Certified Pre-Owned Cars

By Matt Keegan
Last Updated 05/13/2016

If you’re shopping for a used car, a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle is one choice to consider. CPOs represent used cars that are backed by the manufacturer, and are typically just a few years old with low miles. You might consider certified pre-owned cars as the low-cost alternative to a new car, or as a low-risk option to a used car.

CPO Basics

There are no industry standards in place for certified pre-owned programs, so some caution should be exercised when shopping for a vehicle. These cars are sold by new car dealers and typically represent used cars that have the manufacturer standing behind them.

CPO cars, trucks and SUVs go through an inspection per the manufacturer’s guidelines. Most CPOs also include some type of an extended warranty that goes beyond the typical 90-day/4,000-mile guarantee of the standard used car. Still, it is important for consumers to understand what that coverage represents, including your cost out of pocket and possible exclusions. In some cases, your vehicle might qualify for the balance of the warranties that came with it when the car was new. Ask the salesperson to explain what is included.

At CARFAX, we work with numerous brands that include a CARFAX Vehicle History Report as part of the certification process. These brands also report that information to us whenever they certify a used car. You’ll find a great selection of CPO vehicles with CARFAX Used Car Listings.

CPO Programs

What CPO programs are available to you? We’ve compiled a list based on what each manufacturer currently provides.

Acura
Eligible vehicles: Six model years or newer and less than 80,000 miles
182-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • CPO powertrain: extends the coverage to seven years or 100,000 miles from original in-service date.
  • One-year/12,000-mile limited warranty following expiration of new-car warranty.
  • One year of roadside assistance; trip interruption benefits; complimentary 3-month trial of SiriusXM Radio
  • No deductible, transferrable; three-day exchange only

Audi
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer and less than 60,000 miles; Serviced by Audi within the past four months or 4,000 miles
Inspection exceeds 300 points
Warranty information:

  • Balance of new-car limited warranty
  • Additional two-year/50,000-mile warranty after original warranty expires
  • Roadside assistance
  • $85 warranty deductible; $150 warranty transfer fee to new owner.

BMW
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer with less than 60,000 miles
Full inspection provided
Warranty information:

  • Three warranty programs
  • $50 warranty deductible; fully transferable with $200 fee

Buick
Eligible vehicles: Six model years or newer with less than 75,000 miles
172-point inspection and reconditioning
Warranty information:

  • Five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from original in-service date
  • One-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty
  • Two-year/24,000-mile scheduled maintenance plan
  • No deductible; no transfer fee

Cadillac
Eligible vehicles: Must be serviced no more than five years from original in-service date and with less than 60,000 miles
172-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Balance of new car warranty
  • Three months of OnStar and SiriusXM Radio
  • Roadside assistance with courtesy transportation
  • No warranty deductible; transferable at no charge

Chevrolet
Eligible vehicles: Six model years or newer with less than 75,000 miles
172-point inspection and reconditioning
Warranty information:

  • Five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from original in-service date
  • One-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty
  • Two-year/24,000-mile scheduled maintenance plan
  • No deductible; no transfer fee

Chrysler
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer with less than 75,000 miles
125-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Powertrain warranty for up to seven years and 100,000 miles from original in-service date, depending on the model
  • Three-month, 3,000-mile maximum care warranty from sale date
  • Upgraded warranty available
  • $100 deductible; $150 warranty transfer fee

Dodge
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer with less than 75,000 miles
125-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Powertrain warranty for up to seven years and 100,000 miles from original in-service date, depending on the model
  • Three-month, 3,000-mile maximum care warranty from sale date
  • Upgraded warranty available
  • $100 deductible; $150 warranty transfer fee

Fiat
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer with less than 75,000 miles
125-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Powertrain warranty for up to seven years and 100,000 miles from original in-service date, depending on the model
  • Three-month, 3,000-mile maximum care warranty from sale date
  • Upgraded warranty available
  • $100 deductible; $150 warranty transfer fee

Ford
Eligible vehicles: Six model years or newer and with less than 80,000 miles
172-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Balance of seven-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty from original in-service date
  • One-year/12,000-mile comprehensive limited warranty
  • Seven-year/100,000-mile roadside assistance from original in-service date
  • Free CARFAX vehicle history report and covered by CARFAX Buyback Guarantee
  • $100 deductible; fully transferable warranty at no cost.

GMC
Eligible vehicles: Six model years or newer with less than 75,000 miles
172-point inspection and reconditioning
Warranty information:

  • Five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty from original in-service date
  • Bumper-to-bumper warranty for one year or 12,000 miles
  • Two-year/24,000-mile scheduled maintenance plan
  • No deductible; no transfer fee

Honda
Eligible vehicles: Six model years or newer with less than 80,000 miles
182-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • CPO program extends powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles
  • One-year/12,000-mile limited warranty after the new-car limited warranty expires
  • Three-month trial of SiriusXM radio
  • $50 deductible; no transfer fee

Hyundai
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer with less than 60,000 miles; Must pass CARFAX Vehicle History Report
150-point inspection (extended inspection with Equus and Sonata Hybrid models).
Warranty information:

  • Balance of five-year/60,000-mile new car limited warranty
  • Powertrain warranty for 10 years or 100,000 miles beyond original in-service date
  • Ten years and unlimited miles roadside assistance, travel interruption reimbursement and car reimbursement.
  • Three-month SiriusXM radio
  • No deductible; no transfer fee

Infiniti
Eligible vehicles: Less than six years from original in-service date with less than 70,000 miles; Clean title and vehicle history
167-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • CPO coverage extends new car limited warranty up to six years or unlimited miles from original in-service date
  • Roadside assistance, trip interruption and service car rental included
  • Three-year CARFAX Buyback Guarantee
  • Complimentary first year of basic maintenance
  • No deductible; $50 transfer fee

Jaguar
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer with less than 60,000 miles
165-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Up to six years or 100,000 miles from original in-service date.
  • Two-year/50,000-mile comprehensive warranty
  • Roadside assistance, trip interruption and rental car benefits
  • No deductible; no transfer fee

Kia
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer with less than 60,000 miles
150-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Balance of 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty plus one year or 12,000 miles of platinum mechanical coverage
  • Factory 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty (non-transferable)
  • Roadside assistance, rental car allowance and travel breakdown coverage
  • $50 deductible; $40 transfer fee

Land Rover
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer with less than 60,000 miles
165-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Up to six years or 100,000 miles from original in-service date
  • Two-year/50,000-mile comprehensive new-car warranty beyond original warranty
  • One-year/50,000-mile comprehensive warranty on off-cycled program vehicles
  • 24-hour roadside assistance, trip interruption and rental car benefits
  • No deductible; no transfer fee

Lexus
Eligible vehicles: Six model years or newer
161-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Three years or 100,000 miles from original in-service date
  • 24-hour roadside assistance, trip interruption coverage, loaner vehicle
  • No deductible; no transfer fee

Lincoln
Eligible vehicles: Six model years or newer with less than 60,000 miles
200-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Six-year/100,000-mile comprehensive limited warranty from the original in-service date
  • Complimentary roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement
  • Free CARFAX vehicle history report and covered by the CARFAX Buyback Guarantee
  • $100 deductible; no transfer fee

Mazda
Eligible vehicles: Six model years or newer with less than 80,000 miles
150-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from original in-service date
  • One-year/12,000-mile additional limited warranty that starts once the new-car warranty ends or from the CPO purchase date
  • 24-hour roadside assistance plan
  • No deductible; no transfer fee

Mercedes-Benz
Eligible vehicles: Six model years or newer with less than 75,000 miles
Rigorous inspection process
Warranty information:

  • Remainder of new car limited warranty as well as a 12-month CPO limited warranty with no mileage maximum
  • Three-month free trial for Mercedes-Benz mbrace connected services
  • Two years of roadside assistance and three-month SiriusXM Radio trial

Mini
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer with less than 60,000 miles
Mini Next vehicle inspection checklist followed
Warranty information:

  • Two-year/50,000-mile comprehensive warranty after the new-car warranty expires
  • Six-year, unlimited miles roadside assistance
  • $50 deductible; $200 transfer fee

Mitsubishi
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer with less than 60,000 miles
123-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • 10 years or 100,000 miles from original in-service date
  • No deductible; no transfer fee

Nissan
Eligible vehicles: Six model years or newer with less than 80,000 miles; Clean title history
167-point inspection
Warranty Information:

  • Powertrain warranty and roadside assistance: Seven years or 100,000 miles from original in-service date
  • Three-year CARFAX Buyback Guarantee and free 3-month SiriusXM Radio trial
  • $50 deductible; $50 transfer fee

Porsche
Eligible vehicles: Eight model years or newer with less than 100,000 miles
Inspection exceeds 111 points
Warranty information:

  • If vehicle is still under its new-car warranty, then that model will be covered for up to 6 years or 100,000 miles
  • For vehicles no longer under the new-car warranty, coverage is extended by two years or 50,000 miles up to a limit of 100,000 miles
  • No deductible; no transfer fee

Ram
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer with less than 75,000 miles
125-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Powertrain warranty for up to seven years and 100,000 miles from original in-service date, depending on the model
  • Three-month, 3,000-mile maximum care warranty from sale date
  • Upgraded warranty available
  • $100 deductible; $150 warranty transfer fee

Subaru
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer with less than 80,000 miles; Clean CARFAX report
152-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Powertrain warranty: 7 years or 100,000 miles from original in-service date
  • Three-month free trial of SiriusXM Radio
  • No deductible; $35 transfer fee

Toyota
Eligible vehicles: Seven model years or newer with less than 85,000 miles; Clean CARFAX history
160-point inspection; 174-point inspection for hybrid models
Warranty information:

  • Powertrain warranty: 7 years or 100,000 miles from original in-service date
  • Comprehensive warranty coverage for one year or 12,000 miles
  • One-year roadside assistance with unlimited miles
  • No deductible; no transfer fee

Volkswagen
Eligible vehicles: Seven model years or newer with less than 75,000 miles
112-point inspection
Warranty information:

  • Two-year/24,000-mile comprehensive warranty added to the remaining factory warranty (or from the date of sale if no warranty remains)
  • Three-month free trial of SiriusXM Radio
  • Two-year roadside assistance
  • $50 deductible; no transfer fee

Volvo
Eligible vehicles: Five model years or newer with less than 80,000 miles
Inspection exceeds 130 points
Warranty information:

  • Seven years or 100,000 miles from original in-service date
  • Three years or 50,000 miles comprehensive after new-carry warranty expires
  • Three-month free trial of SiriusXM Radio
  • Roadside assistance
  • No deductible; no transfer fee

Your Personal Inspection

Whether your desired used car is certified or not, it is important to perform an inspection on your own. Keep in mind the following points to ensure your purchase satisfaction.

First, only buy from a reputable dealer such as a new car dealership. Second, obtain maintenance and repair information. Third, get a CARFAX Vehicle History Report and examine it closely. Accidents or other problems will be listed on that report. Fourth, find an independent mechanic check the car for damage and excessive wear and tear. Fifth, take a test drive.

Remember, you should only make a deal if you are completely satisfied with the vehicle.