What Is Involved In A Certified Pre-Owned Warranty

Christoper Nagy | Oct 01, 2019

In the decision-making process for purchasing an automobile, one of the many factors we seek is an assurance of dependability. While the reputation of reliability for a chosen car, truck or crossover can be a key motivator, a manufacturer-backed new car warranty coverage adds an extra layer of protection contributing to added peace of mind. For companies, a warranty is a time-honored means to promote their commitment to maintain a lasting relation with customers using their products typically applying only to first-time purchase experience. Attempting to replicate this sensation of added security towards your automotive investment in a gently used vehicle, certified pre-owned (CPO) car dealerships provide their own taste of quality assurance to buyers.

Through the certified pre-owned dealership channel, automakers want to convey an image of longer-term dependability with their brand. The inclusion of a warranty plays a role towards reinforcing the perception of quality. Depending on the CPO vehicle, it is possible to have two warranties with one program spanning from previous ownership and the second applied specifically towards a pre-owned purchase.

Existing New Car Warranty

Modern automakers employ impressive new car warranties to instill confidence in their products from the factory. Since a number of vehicles available through certified pre-owned channels are between three and five years of age and generally possess low mileage, original factory warranties (that includes the so-called bumper-to-bumper warranty) may still apply. This policy is more transparent in certain instances when a new car limited warranty is immediately acknowledged as transferable. For some auto manufacturers, the CPO warranty is positioned to take effect after the expiration of time or a mileage threshold is exceeded with the new car limited warranty. This new car coverage would cover a wide variety of components such as powertrain, audio equipment and other general build-quality issues excluding general maintenance.

The powertrain warranty attached to a vehicle when new will often carry over to a certified pre-owned purchase. Batteries integrated into hybrid and electric vehicles also incorporate warranty coverage that extends to its original sale date.        

Certified Pre-Owned Car Warranty

Tailored directly to the second owner of an automobile, the certified pre-owned warranty comes as a delightful, assuring perk. In addition to a thorough inspection process CPO vehicles, a majority of automakers include a comprehensive limited warranty with CPO vehicles. Similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty offered on a vehicle when brand-new, this comprehensive warranty packages provide coverage to various internal engine and drivetrain components. Exclusions for warranty coverage apply in matters such as vehicle misuse, damage caused by improper maintenance or accidents. The duration for a comprehensive CPO warranty typically runs between one and two years in length with a possibility of a mileage restriction.

Privileges Paired with Certified Pre-Owned Warranty

Naturally, automakers want new car customers as well as pre-owned buyers to experience no reason to take advantage of a warranty. However, when warranty-related service may be needed, it is in the best interests of an auto manufacturer to leave a customer with the most pleasing experience possible.

A majority of certified pre-owned vehicle agreements incorporate 24-hour roadside assistance service that can be applied to warranty repairs. In most cases, roadside assistance will last during the course of the comprehensive limited warranty. Customers of CPO vehicles may also be eligible for trip interruption reimbursement with some automakers that includes hotel stays and meals related to inconvenience of a vehicle breakdown.

Transfer of CPO Warranty After Purchase

While certified pre-owned warranties provide an immediate benefit after purchase, this advantage is also available to a new owner if a decision is made to sell the vehicle. In most cases, the purchaser of a CPO vehicle is able to transfer the balance of the warranty during a sale. The ability to transfer a CPO warranty with a vehicle makes it more attractive for fetching a high resale price. Conditions and exceptions may apply to the agreement with the CPO dealership, so carefully read the fine print. One common stipulation with the transfer of a CPO warranty will only remain effective following a private sale.

A certified pre-owned warranty can deliver an additional incentive for customers to consider during a vehicle purchase decision.

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