Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) is a federally insured financial institution established in 1935. Initially, membership was only open to military and civilian government employees and their families. Today, PenFed is serving over 2.5 million members worldwide, including all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and in Guam, Puerto Rico, and Okinawa. PenFed provides services that include checking and savings accounts, mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, and Route 66 extended auto warranties. Route 66 Extended Warranty, also known as Auto Services Company Inc. (ASC Warranty), is a vehicle service contract provider that has been in business for over 30 years. It describes itself as providing cheaper, better, and "more robust" vehicle service contracts than auto dealers. But rather than working with customers directly, Route 66 offers extended car warranties through financial institutions and credit unions like PenFed. Hence, you can't buy a warranty from Route 66. But you do have to go through Route 66 to file a claim.
The corporate office for PenFed Credit Union is 7940 Jones Branch Dr., Mc Lean, VA 22102. The Route 66 Extended Warranty headquarters is PO Box 1075, Mountain Home, Arkansas, 72654.
- PenFed Credit Union Provides online services for credit union members to determine Route 66 extended car warranty eligibility Offers transparency by including sample Route 66 contracts and policy costs on its website
- Route 66 Extended Warranty Is the contract administrator Allows any ASE Certified repair facility for repair authorizations Provides a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee or 60 days with no filed claims
- $0 deductible
- Nationwide coverage
- Coverage for high mileage vehicles over 100,000 miles
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Rental car reimbursements
- Total loss refund option available
- Fully transferable coverage
- PenFed is not a direct administrator
- Route 66 does not offer online quotes
- PenFed only offers 3 coverage plans
- Route 66 has limited customer service hours
- There are few Route 66 online customer reviews
As a financial institution, PenFed sells reasonably priced Route 66 extended car warranties to its credit union members to supplement a vehicle’s factory coverage. Members can conveniently access PenFed Online to determine a vehicle’s eligibility and how to move forward in the application process.
Overall, purchasing a Route 66 service contract might be a reasonable option if you are a PenFed member and went through the credit union to finance your vehicle. But before deciding anything, let’s see what Route 66 offers and how its customers feel about the contracts, claim filings, and customer service.
According to the website, PenFed offers three vehicle protection plans through Route 66 Extended Warranty. These include Easy Street Protection for Newer Cars, Easy Street Protection, and Main Street Protection. Each has a $0 deductible, roadside assistance for the life of each service agreement, and car rental reimbursement. Depending on your financial and auto needs, one option may be more beneficial than another.
Easy Street Protection for Newer Cars
Similar to a factory warranty, this coverage plan offers 6 years or 100,000 miles of protection, whichever comes first. However, the vehicle cannot be over three years old and must have 0-15,000 odometer miles to qualify for this option. Pricing also starts at $995 for standard vehicles. Further, the sample contract states that the policy includes all items covered under a manufacturer’s original coverage plan and only lists the not covered components. These include, but are not limited to:
- Tires & wheels
- Struts & shocks
- Brake shoes or pads,
- Rotors or drums,
- Belts & hoses,
- Filters, fluids, lubricants
Easy Street Protection
This Route 66 extended car warranty option provides 5 years or 100,000 miles of protection, whichever comes first. It is also the closest to a manufacturer’s warranty. However, Easy Street Protection is only available to vehicles 8 years old or newer with 75,000 or fewer odometer miles. Pricing starts at $1,495 for standard vehicles and $2,995 for premium, including vehicles like the BMW 1, 3, and 5 series or the Mercedes-Benz C & E Class vehicles and hybrid automobiles. The exclusions in the sample contract are the same as those in the Easy Street Protection for New Cars contract.
Main Street Protection
As Route 66’s deluxe coverage plan option, buyers receive 36 months or 36,000 miles of breakdown protection, whichever comes first. The plan is only available to vehicles 8 years old or newer with 75,001–125,000 odometer miles. Pricing starts at $1,495 for standard vehicles and $2,995 for premium and hybrid automobiles. The contract explicitly lists covered components, which include parts encompassing the following:
- Automatic transmission
- Standard transmission
- Drive axle assembly (front or rear-wheel drive)
- Drive axle assembly (4-wheel or all-wheel drive)
- Air conditioning
- Front suspension
- Fuel delivery
- Electrical battery
- Seals and gaskets
Warranty Reviews: What Route 66 Customers Say
Route 66 claims to be a cost-efficient mechanical breakdown coverage provider that protects against significant repair costs. It provides emergency roadside service throughout the contract’s life, including lockout services, flat-tire assistance, and battery jump-starts. It also activates vehicle services contracts on the purchase date, unlike others that begin on a vehicle’s in-service date.
But before moving forward with repairs, an ASE Certified mechanic must diagnose the car problems first and contact Route 66 for authorization. The mechanic can only begin working on the vehicle if it receives approval, and Route 66 will pay the shop directly.
Are Route 66 customers happy with their service contracts, repair processes, and perks? Does the company indeed offer the most comprehensive breakdown coverage? Let’s see what the customers have to say.
Nearly a dozen reviewers on both the Route 66 and Yelp websites posted positive accounts of their experiences with their warranties. All the posts express appreciation for the following factors:
- A simple and fast claim filing process
- Friendly and responsive customer service and claims departments
- Valuable savings on pricey repairs and roadside assistance
On Yelp, only one person wrote an average-rated customer review and noted dissatisfaction with their claim’s outcome. The person was grateful for a fast company response when calling to file a claim, but they felt the warranty should have paid more for the repairs. Also, the customer would have been happier had they not had to pay out-of-pocket car rental fees. Route 66 reimburses car rents at $40 a day. However, this person’s rental cost was close to $80 per day.
Overall, the number of dissatisfied customers on Yelp dominates the reviews, with several suggesting Route 66 Extended Warranty is a scam company. Complaints revolve around the following topics:
- Frustration with warranties not covering repair costs
- Refund denial within the cancellation period
- Not knowing that Route 66 does not cover labor or diagnostic fees
- Being left stranded after calling the emergency roadside service number
Unfortunately, sifting through reviews isn’t the most straightforward process. Unless you have a family member or friend who can offer concrete testimony, it’s tough to discern whether an online review is trustworthy. Hence, choosing an award-winning and reputable company might be the best alternative. So, where do you start?
A car warranty from a financial institution like PenFed can be a more attractive investment because you’re familiar with the business selling it. In addition, you might be more open to spending the money on an agreement because it has a $0 deductible and affordable coverage. But you can’t simply trust that the contract is a solid investment because a well-known company sells it. As with any contract agreement, you must thoroughly understand the services and what it does not cover. This is especially critical when the seller is not the contract administrator.
Remember, you don’t have to belong to a financial institution to find a reliable breakdown coverage plan. Other reputable third-party providers exist. At Extended Auto Warranty, we have already taken the time to research the companies that offer vehicle service contracts. In fact, we bought a plan from every company we reviewed, so we can confidently recommend the best options available. Use our research to compare coverage options, extra perks, pricing, and customer service as you search for a top-rated provider.
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