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What’s the Best CPO Warranty?

Buying a used car can have certain advantages—savings in cost being the biggest. But buying a used car without a warranty or thorough inspection can be risky. Certified pre-owned (CPO) programs help put customers’ uncertainty and skepticism to rest in the buying process.

What Does Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Mean?

A certified pre-owned car is a used car that has been thoroughly inspected by the vehicle’s manufacturer before being certified. It usually comes with some degree of factory warranty coverage. CPO programs were originally designed by manufacturers to avoid sending used cars in good shape to auto auctions.

Many cars are returned to dealerships after only a couple of years with a few thousand miles on them. These vehicles are usually in good or better condition, and auto manufacturers realized they could resell the vehicles for more than they would profit at auction. Most CPO cars were originally leased cars or used in a rental fleet, though some come from private owners who decide to upgrade vehicles after only a few years.

By offering a certified pre-owned Program, manufacturers can increase their revenues on used cars. At the same time, many buyers feel more confident purchasing a car that’s been certified by the manufacturer and offers some sort of warranty protection.

When to Consider Buying CPO

CPO vehicles are great for value-conscious buyers who want a nearly new vehicle with a solid warranty, but don’t want to buy off the floor at a premium price. However, CPO vehicles tend to come with a higher price tag than the same car without being certified. It’s important to consider several factors before purchasing CPO:

  • Reliability: If a vehicle or brand is known for being reliable, it may not be worth the extra cost to purchase a CPO vehicle, as even a regular use model is likely to run without issues.
  • Purchase Cost: Double-check the pricing of a CPO vehicle before you buy. On some models or in certain areas, the price premium for a CPO model can actually cost just as much as a new vehicle. When you factor in dealer incentives or new-car discounts, you might even end up paying more for a CPO.
  • Repair Costs: For vehicles known for having costly repairs, buying CPO is usually worth the extra price to get some warranty coverage and a pre-sale inspection.
  • Extra Coverage: If you find a CPO model that’s priced the same or similar to the same car in a non-certified model, the CPO can offer extra protection at no extra charge.

To customers who are looking into buying a luxury brand, CPO programs are especially attractive. Many expensive luxury vehicles depreciate in price quickly, so buying used can save significant money on the price of a luxury car.

However, most luxury car brands also come with expensive repair bills when a repair is needed, such as BMW or Audi cars. CPO programs help luxury car buyers save money on their vehicle purchase while reducing the risk of a breakdown after purchasing.

Portrait of a mechanic at work in his garage - car service, repair, maintenance and people concept.

What to Look for in a CPO Program

If you’re considering a CPO vehicle, there are steps you can take to ensure you’re getting a good deal and a car that’s in good shape. When researching different manufacturer CPO programs, be sure to look for these important features:

  • Manufacturer Certified: Make sure you look at a manufacturer certified model, not a dealer certified model. Manufacturers, like GM or Hyundai, provide a rigorous inspection and refurbishment process when certifying vehicles. Dealerships have realized they can charge more on used cars by adding “certified” to the title. However, dealership certification processes are not standardized and may not ensure the vehicle is in good shape.
  • Factory Warranty: The best CPO programs will attach a factory warranty to their used vehicles. Although even the best CPO warranty is usually shorter a new car warranty, this protection can still give you peace of mind when buying a used car.
  • A Reliable Car: Just because you can get a good deal on an almost-new car doesn’t mean a manufacturer’s certification will make up for an unreliable car. Make sure you choose a car from a manufacturer with a good dependability rating.
  • Vehicle Restrictions or Repairs: The best CPO programs not only inspect vehicles but make necessary repairs when needed, such as repairing brakes. Likewise, some manufacturers only let vehicles that pass the inspection without issues into their certified programs.
  • Extra Benefits: The best CPO warranty will include additional benefits to help keep you on the road if your car needs repairs, like roadside assistance or rental car benefits.

Based on these factors, you might want to look into a CPO program from GM and sub-brands like GMC, Buick, and Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, Porsche, or Lexus.

Most Popular CPO Programs and Best CPO Warranty Options

When you choose a CPO vehicle, consider the manufacturer’s warranty included for the price. Getting the best CPO warranty can help you avoid any issues in your first few years of owning the vehicle. We’ve put together a list of the five most popular CPO programs and their warranties.

Manufacturer Bumper-to-Bumper  Powertrain Additional Benefits
GM 12 months/12,000 miles 6 years/100,000 miles 24/7 roadside assistance, Vehicle Exchange Program, free OnStar trial, free SiriusXM trial
Hyundai Remainder of original 5-year/60,000-mile new car warranty 10 years/100,000 miles Rental car reimbursement, trip interruption protection, roadside assistance, SiriusXM trial
Kia 12 months/12,000 miles 10 years/100,000 miles 10-year/unlimited-mileage roadside assistance, SiriusXM trial, rental coverage
Porsche 2 years/unlimited miles from end date of original warranty Same as bumper-to-bumper Roadside assistance, trip interruption protection
Lexus 2 years/unlimited miles after expiration of new-car warranty Same as bumper-to-bumper Roadside assistance, loaner car/rental car coverage, limited factory maintenance included for 2 years

Finding the Best CPO Warranty for Your Certified Car

Getting the best CPO warranty for your newly purchased certified vehicle is important to enjoying the benefits of a CPO program. When shopping for CPO cars and their warranties, remember to read the warranty fine print and consider getting a second professional option on the warranty coverage.

The best way to protect your vehicle may be to purchase an extended warranty from a third-party provider like CARCHEX. Read more to learn how to analyze your CPO warranty as well as how to make sure you’re getting the best CPO warranty for your car.

Read the Fine Print

There are a ton of car brands that offer CPO programs—but just as with any other auto warranty, some are better than others. If you’re considering buying a CPO car, make sure you do some research beforehand. Find out what the top brands in 2019 cover in terms of CPO warranty.

Try to steer clear of dealership “certified” programs, as they determine the type of coverage you get and do the inspection themselves—and are not held to the same standards as a manufacturer-backed program. Either way, before you buy, read the fine print. Pay attention to what level of coverage they’re offering, when the warranty begins, and when it terminates.

More than likely, you’ll see that most manufacturer’s warranties offer coverage, but they have some big gaps. Most manufacturer’s only cover repairs and replacement of parts that are determined to be faulty or defective, making your breakdown due to normal driving of your car void on the CPO warranty.

You can use a third-party extended warranty provider like CARCHEX to help you bridge the gap in your coverage and protect your car after the CPO warranty has expired. What’s more, benefits like roadside assistance and SiriusXM are included, so you’re missing out on these benefits.

Get a Second Professional Level Evaluation

On rare occasions, undocumented accident damage slips through the cracks, even in the case of manufacturer CPO cars. And because there is no guarantee the vehicle will be trouble-free, it’s always a good idea to have an independent inspection done on pre-owned vehicles before purchase. That way, if something was missed and is caught before the deal closes, you can have the dealer make the appropriate repairs.

With a used car inspection, you don’t have to pass up any opportunities. Get a second professional opinion, rather than wait to discover issues you may have to pay out of pocket for later.

Additionally, adding an extended warranty from a provider like CARCHEX allows you to reduce your costs as your vehicle ages and needs common repairs.

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CARCHEX: The Best CPO Warranty for Your Vehicle

You may be surprised to learn that the best CPO warranty for your car likely doesn’t come from a warranty at all. Instead, a vehicle protection plan, often called an extended warranty or vehicle service contract, can provide the coverage your CPO car needs long after the CPO warranty expires. At CARCHEX, we provide five levels of coverage for CPO vehicles of almost any age or mileage.

Get the extended warranty you need to cover your CPO vehicle from CARCHEX and gain valuable peace of mind. At CARCHEX, we’re proud to offer trustworthy, reliable extended warranties.

  • Better Business Bureau Rating: We’ve been accredited by the BBB since 2009, and we’ve also earned an A+ BBB rating, the highest available.
  • Additional Perks: All of our plans come with 24/7 roadside assistance, trip interruption services, and rental car benefits to help keep you on the road, even when your CPO vehicle needs repairs.
  • Multiple Options: Find the perfect plan for your vehicle by customizing our coverage plan options to fit your coverage and budget needs.
  • Affordable: We promise a No-Haggle, Low-Price Guarantee™, so you can be confident you’re getting a low cost up front. In addition, our monthly payment options make it easy to pay for the best CPO warranty.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Our goal is to provide the best, most reliable customer service in the extended warranty industry, and we’ve been doing it for 20+ years.

Customized, Free Quote from CARCHEX

Learn how you can protect your vehicle even after the CPO warranty expires with an extended vehicle service contract from CARCHEX. With endorsements from auto industry leaders like Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book, and CARFAX, you can be sure you’re getting reliable protection for your car.

Get a free, customized quote on an extended car warranty for your CPO vehicle from CARCHEX today. Call us toll free at 866-261-3457.


U.S. News & World Report: https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/what-does-certified-pre-owned-mean

JD Power: https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2019-us-vehicle-dependability-studyvds

Jalopnik: https://jalopnik.com/when-its-really-worth-it-to-buy-a-certified-pre-owned-c-1794738731

U.S. News & World Report: https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/what-to-look-for-in-a-cpo-program

General Motors: https://www.gmcertified.com/certified-benefits

Hyundai: https://cpo.hyundaiusa.com/us/en/certified-pre-owned/index.html

Kia: https://www.kia.com/us/content/dam/kia/us/en/cpo-assets/brochure/pdfs/kia_certified_pre-owned_brochure.pdf

Porsche: https://www.porsche.com/usa/approvedused/porscheapproved/features/warranty/

Lexus: https://www.lexus.com/lcertified/certification-warranty

Autotrader: https://www.autotrader.com/best-cars/buying-used-car-7-longest-cpo-warranties-2019-281474979942845

BBB: https://www.bbb.org/us/md/hunt-valley/profile/extended-warranty-contract-service-companies/carchex-0011-23015869

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