Motor Vehicle Service Notification – Is It Legit or A Scam?

The motor vehicle service notification is nothing more than a letter notifying you that your car’s factory warranty is expiring soon and at the same time, an offer to buy an extended warranty. Unfortunately, wherever there is money changing hands for something other than tangible goods or services, there are also scams and efforts to cheat some money out of you.

A motor vehicle service notification is a small pamphlet you get in your mail that either notifies you that the car’s factory warranty is running out or it urges you to buy an extended warranty. Now, extended warranties are not a scam per se and can be a good idea, but if you get a motor vehicle service notification in the mail with terms like “urgent” or “high-risk” and without much personal or vehicle information, then the notification is most likely a scam.

motor vehicle service notification postcard

What Does Motor Vehicle Service Notification Mean

A motor vehicle service notification means your vehicle’s factory warranty is soon expiring. The notification is intended to raise your awareness about the expiring warranty and often offers to sell you an extended warranty.

Now, the idea behind that makes sense because not that many people keep track of the factory warranty down to the last day. However, those extended warranties are usually offered by third-party insurance companies.

As a matter of fact, in most states, extended warranties can only be sold by insurance companies instead of dealers or vehicle manufacturers. That said, vehicle manufacturers and dealers can endorse and cooperate with those insurance companies, which is pretty safe.

Furthermore, extended warranties are a good idea depending on the price, provided you do a motor vehicle services notice check and see if the third-party insurance company is tied in some way or another with the dealer. It’s also worth mentioning that extended warranties can cover the vehicle “bumper to bumper” or only the drivetrain (engine and transmission). But that’s a subject for another time.

What’s more important right now is that a lot of those third-party insurance companies don’t have anything to do with the dealer, in which case you have no guarantee that the company is legit or that it even exists. Unfortunately, most of the service notifications you get will be scams, especially if you get a motor vehicle services notice voucher or a random phone call.

When and Why Did You Receive the Notification

Under the right circumstances, you will get a motor vehicle services notice a couple of months before the factory warranty expires. That said, scam insurance companies, and even some legit ones, will offer an extended warranty much sooner or even right after you buy the car.

A scam or not, you absolutely don’t need any kind of extended warranty as long as your vehicle is covered by the factory warranty. But of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t buy an extended warranty, and it makes sense that insurance companies will try to capitalize on that. That’s especially true for scam insurance companies.

And naturally, the reason why you get a motor vehicle service notification isn’t that the insurance company is trying to help you and keep you safe, but rather because they are trying to make money. So, you can consider the motor vehicle service notification calls as nothing more than a form of telemarketing.

But regardless, a legitimate extended warranty is definitely worth your consideration. Extended warranties, especially bumper-to-bumper warranties, do keep you safe by all means. An extended warranty costs $2,500 on average and lasts between 5 to 7 years or 60,000 to 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

That means you can plan out your vehicle maintenance costs down to the last cent. You simply add up all the regular service prices for a year plus the monthly cost of the extended warranty, and you can be sure that you won’t spend a dime more. That’s because if anything breaks down on the vehicle that’s outside the scope of regular maintenance, it’s covered by the extended warranty.

motor vehicle services notice check

How Do You Know If the Motor Vehicle Service Notification Is Legit

It can be difficult to discern a legitimate motor vehicle service notification because fake ones can resemble a real one pretty well. But after we explain how a real one and how a fake one looks, it should be pretty straightforward. But even so, always contact your dealer before you spend any money, or better yet, contact the vehicle’s manufacturer.

Now, a real motor vehicle service notification will have real and relevant personal and vehicle information. That includes your first and last name, the vehicle model and production year, the correct mileage, the correct MSRP, and sometimes even the VIN number. After you see what kind of information, or lack thereof, a fake notification has, that will probably be enough to make you confident in recognizing a scam.

But there is more. Legitimate motor vehicle service information will have an insurance company name that has a website on Google and plenty of customer reviews on third-party consumer websites. Furthermore, the notification will hold an insurance company address that should preferably be in the state where the vehicle is registered or bought.

Furthermore, depending on how the factory warranty works, you might find that the insurance company name on the service notification matches the one on the factory warranty. But while that’s always a good sign, it doesn’t have to be the case because warranties are almost never outsourced to third-party party companies.

A Legitimate Motor Vehicle Service Notification Contains the Following Information

A motor vehicle service notification doesn’t have to include every point below to be legitimate, but it does need to include at least several of them, including your personal information.

  • The vehicle model name and production year
  • The vehicle’s VIN number
  • The MSRP or the purchase price
  • The last recorded mileage, usually the mileage your vehicle had the last time it was serviced
  • Your first and last name
  • The insurance company name and full address (not just a PO Box)
  • The insurance company is easy to find online and has good reviews on third-party consumer websites
  • The insurance company name is endorsed by the dealer or vehicle manufacturer
  • The insurance company name matches the one on the factory warranty
  • The notification comes no more than a couple of months before the factory warranty expires

motor vehicle services notice check in mail

Is Motor Vehicle Service Notification a Scam

Not all vehicle service notifications are scams, but a lot of them are. And although fake insurance companies are not a trend anymore as they were back in the 2000s, they still exist. Moreover, about half of the vehicle service notifications people get are scams, if not the majority, so you should definitely be careful and do your research before buying into anything.

However, extended warranties are definitely not scams, and they are mostly offered by third-party insurance companies. A legitimate extended warranty can definitely save you a lot of headaches since they cover the vehicle typically from 30,000 to 150,000 miles. That’s a period when the vehicle is still relatively new and expensive to repair, plus it’s much more prone to failure than it was during the first three or five years.

Now, I’m not trying to sell you insurance, but for what it brings you and for how much it costs, it’s definitely worth considering. But again, buying an extended warranty by relying on nothing more than a service notification is not a good idea at all.

Scam Motor Vehicle Service Notification Signs

As we already established, most motor vehicle service notifications are scams. Luckily, there are some pretty obvious signs they are illegitimate, with the first one being a lack of your personal information.

A scam motor vehicle service notification won’t state your first and last name, which is a dead giveaway. The notification will refer to you as the “vehicle owner” or, for example, a “Chevrolet owner” or whatever your vehicle brand is.

However, the notification will have the vehicle’s name, model, and production year included. But don’t let that confuse you because those insurance companies can still get some of your basic personal information.

Furthermore, a scam vehicle service notification will have terms like “urgent,” “time sensitive,” “high risk,” “pre-existing electrical or mechanical issues,” etc. All those terms are used to pressure you into making a rash decision, and none of them have any real backing.

An extended warranty is not urgent, and your vehicle is not high risk without a warranty in any sense of the word. Plus, those “pre-existing issues” are simply made up.

Furthermore, the insurance company name on the notification won’t trigger any relevant search results on Google, plus there might not even be a name. Moreover, instead of a company address, you will only see a PO Box, plus that could be registered multiple states away, which is never a good sign.

Also, if you find the company name on Google, most of the time, it will be on third-party consumer websites with extremely bad reviews. But as always, you should contact your dealer or the vehicle manufacturer to check if they know anything about the company. And lastly, if the notification comes with a stated expiration date that falls before your factory warranty expires, just straight out ignore it.

A Scam Motor Vehicle Service Notification Looks Like This

The most obvious sign that the insurance company is a scam comes after a thorough Google search reveals bad reviews or nothing at all. Other than that, the lack of personal information and terms designed to make you panic is enough for you to ignore the notification.

  • Doesn’t contain your first and last name
  • Refers to you as using neutral terms like “vehicle owner” or “Chevrolet owner.”
  • Doesn’t have any information about the vehicle other than the model name and production year.
  • Pressures you with terms like “urgent,” “high-risk potential,” and “pre-existing problems.” Also, the notification may state, “Motor vehicle services immediate response to this notice required,” which is equally as bad.
  • The stated expiration date of your factory warranty is incorrect
  • No insurance company address (a PO Box doesn’t count)
  • No search results of the company name on Google, no official website, or bad third-party consumer website reviews.
  • The company address or PO Box is registered in a different state from where you live.
  • Your dealer doesn’t confirm that he or the vehicle manufacturer endorses the insurance company.

How To Stay Away From Motor Vehicle Service Notification Scams

The best way to stay away from motor vehicle service notifications is to contact the dealer or the vehicle manufacturer and ask them about the insurance company that sent you the notification. If neither can confirm that they cooperate with the company, stay away from it.

Other than that, if the service notification doesn’t match at least 50% of the points we described that a legitimate notification has, but matches at least 50% of those that describe a scam notification, stay away from it.

And lastly, always do your own research. A quick Google search will take you less than a couple of minutes and can reveal more than enough about the insurance company. In today’s day and age, a company without an official website is almost guaranteed to be a scam, especially if the company sends you a service notification, not to mention if it has bad reviews on third-party websites.

How To Avoid Vehicle Warranty Scams

The single best way to avoid vehicle warranty scams and fake vehicle service notifications is to get your own extended warranty. What we mean by that is to research all the most popular extended warranty companies and see what they have to offer. There is also no need to rely on any kind of notification that the factory warranty is expiring since they usually last exactly three years or exactly 30,000 miles, so it’s easy to keep track.

Anyway, by getting your own extended warranty, you will know precisely what each company is offering, what their ratings are, and how the prices differ between each of them. Even more important, you will get the best chance of rationally deciding whether or not you actually need or want an extended warranty. Again, an extended warranty is not required by any law, nor do leasing companies require it.

Some of the best extended warranty companies, according to, are “Endurance,” “CarShield,” “Carchex,” “ForeverCar,” and “Olive.” Those five companies have the highest consumer ratings in the country. Plus, visit any of their websites to find an extended warranty calculator and a thorough explanation of what the warranty covers, how long it lasts, and all your options. All those companies are extremely transparent, so there are no hidden fees, surprises, or rash decisions, and the chances of getting scammed basically don’t exist.


Q: Why do I keep getting letters about car warranty?

Usually, when your car’s factory warranty nears the expiration date, you will get a letter, a phone call, or an email notification that it’s about to expire and asking you to buy an extended warranty. However, if you are getting multiple letters or other notifications, then it’s most likely a scamming insurance company.

Q: Is the vehicle services division legit?

Technically, yes, the vehicle services division is legit, but it’s also a scam. By buying an extended warranty from the vehicle services division, you will pay much more than you would by getting your own extended warranty; plus, you will always have trouble getting money out of them if something goes wrong with your car; that’s if you get anything at all.

Q: Why do I keep getting extended warranty mail?

You keep getting extended warranty mail because some second-class insurance companies are trying to get money out of you. Now, an extended warranty is a real thing and can definitely keep you safe, but always you do your own research and buy an extended warranty from well-known insurance companies.

Q: Can I still drive my car with the service light on?

Yes, you can still drive your car with the service light on, and nothing bad will happen immediately, nor will the vehicle shut down. However, the service light is letting you know that it’s time for an oil change, and ignoring it can have extremely negative long-term consequences for your vehicle.

Q: Is the motor vehicle service notice legit?

In most cases, the vehicle service notice is not legit. Technically the insurance companies behind the service notices do exist but will charge you way too much, and getting them to pay for any future repairs can often be impossible.

Q: How do I stop getting car warranty mail?

There are two things you can do to stop getting car warranty mail. The first is to report the company that keeps sending you mail to the FCC, and if the company is violating any telemarketing laws, they will stop it. On the other hand, you can register with DMA (direct marketing association), and they will stop most of the telemarketing letters, calls, and emails you keep getting.

Q: Is there spam mail about the car warranty?

Although there aren’t as many spam emails about the car warranty as there were a decade ago, people still get them regularly. You should always ignore that type of mail, and if your car’s factory warranty is expiring soon, find a well-established insurance company to buy the extended warranty from.

Q: How do car warranty companies get your information?

Car warranty companies usually get your information from public mailing lists to which people subscribe, often unknowingly or not knowing that the mailing list is public. There are also other methods that warranty companies use to get personal and vehicle information, but most of them are unknown.

Q: Can you get an extended warranty after it expires?

Yes, you can get an extended warranty after your factory warranty expires. However, in that case, the price of the extended warranty can be significantly higher depending on how long it has been since the factory warranty expired.

Final Words

At the end of the day, vehicle service notifications were extremely popular right after the 2007 market crash because a lot of insurance companies were going bankrupt, and getting people to buy extended insurance was a way for them to keep afloat or pull some money out of the company before its demise.

But it’s important to know that most vehicle service notifications today are also some type of scam, even if they are from a real company. People who buy extended warranties based on service notifications rarely ever get the repairs covered and sometimes can’t even contact the insurance company. That’s why you should always find a reputable insurance company like “Endurance” or “ForeverCar.” With such companies, you will get the best possible deal, and you are safe from any scams.


Ibro Cehic

From a young age, I was captivated by cars and motorcycles, and my first driving experience only fueled my passion further. By the age of thirteen, I was already tinkering with vehicles and knew that my life would revolve around them in some way. Combining this passion with my love for writing, I now share my automotive expertise with fellow enthusiasts through my articles.

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