Comparing Certified Pre-Owned Luxury Car Warranties

Getting a certified pre-owned luxury vehicle can almost be as good as buying new. Some certified pre-owned luxury vehicles are even better than some new vehicles.

Not only is the quality of these luxury vehicles generally known to be better, but the dealership certifies them by inspecting them from top to bottom and making sure that everything is in working order and great condition. These vehicles also come with warranties that protect drivers against a host of potential issues that develop later or that weren’t able to be detected in the certification.

Here’s a look at what some of the most popular luxury brands offer for the warranties for their certified pre-owned vehicles:

Acura

Acura only includes vehicles that are six years old or less and that have fewer than 80,000 miles in its certified pre-owned lineup. A 182-point inspection is performed, and a vehicle history report is provided. If you buy one of these cars, you have three days to return it for a full refund.

Cars that make the grade come with a 12-month or 12,000-mile limited warranty, as well as a powertrain warranty that lasts seven years or 100,000 miles. The warranty includes rental reimbursement, trip interruption protection, and 24-hour roadside assistance. Special financing is available, and there is no deductible on warranty claims.

BMW

BMW has some slightly stricter standards for its certified pre-owned program. Only cars that are five years old or less make the cut. In addition, the cars must be in service for at least six months and not have more than 60,000 miles. But BMW also sets a minimum – the cars have to have at least 6,000 miles on them to be in the program. Cars get a “multipoint” inspection, but there is no specific number. No return or exchange policy is stated.

The warranty is for 100,000 miles or six years from when the car was first sold. For some pre-owned BMWs, that may mean you only have the warranty for a year. The warranty includes 24-hour roadside assistance and trip interruption protection, and there is a $50 deductible for claims.

Mercedes

Mercedes puts a cap of six years of 75,000 miles on their certified pre-owned vehicles, and it puts them through a “rigorous inspection.” Special financing is available, and the car can be exchanged within seven days or 500 miles.

Warranties for the certified pre-owned vehicles are for the balance of the new car warranty plus one year. There is no mileage cap on the warranty, just the time limit. Roadside assistance and trip interruption protection are included, and drivers can get a free loaner car if they take their vehicle in for warranty service. There is no deductible for warranty claims.

Audi

Like BMW, Audi also limits its pre-owned sales to cars that are no more than five years old and have no more than 60,000 miles. Each vehicle goes through a more than 300-point inspection to make the cut. Special financing and leasing are both available for these certified vehicles.

A limited warranty is offered from six years or 100,000 miles from when the car was first sold plus two years. A comprehensive warranty is offered for another 50,000 miles after the original factory warranty runs out. There is an $85 deductible for warranty claims, and Audi offers a free loaner vehicle when cars are serviced under the warranty. The warranty is transferrable for a $150 fee.

Lexus

When you get a certified pre-owned vehicle from Lexus, it will be less than six years old and will have less than 70,000 miles on it. Vehicles go through a 161-point inspection before they are put on the sales floor.

Pre-owned vehicles from Lexus come with a six-year warranty with no mileage limit. The warranty is broken down into four years or 50,000 miles from the original new car warranty plus another two years and unlimited mileage. The warranty includes roadside assistance, trip interruption protection, and a free loaner vehicle if repairs are set to take more than eight hours. The warranty is not transferrable, though almost every other program offers transferrable warranties.

Lexus certified pre-owned vehicles also come with a complimentary maintenance plan that includes the first four maintenance services. The service plan is limited to two years or 20,000 miles.

Infiniti

Infiniti only includes vehicles that are younger than six model years old and that have less than 75,000 miles in their certified pre-owned program. Cars in the program that have less than 15,000 miles come with a warranty for six years or 75,000 miles. Those with more than 15,000 miles come with a six-year warranty with no mileage limit. Cars that are already outside the new vehicle warranty get an extra two years of protection with no mileage limit.

The warranty plan includes rental car reimbursement of up to $50 a day and service from a courtesy vehicle.

Volvo

Vehicles have to be less than five years old to be in Volvo’s certified pre-owned lineup, and they have to pass a more than 130-point inspection. The pre-owned vehicles come with a six-year warranty with coverage for 100,000 miles. The warranty starts from the date the car was first sold.

Roadside assistance and trip interruption protection are included, but service vehicles are not included. No deductible is required for service visits under the certified pre-owned warranty.

Which Brands Have the Best Warranty?

“Best” is always a subjective term. Some might think that charging a deductible for visits while others don’t automatically knocks down a warranty program, while others might not care about that as much as the availability of loaner vehicles. So your mileage may vary when evaluating what programs are the best.

However, an objective look at the programs put the Acura warranty program near the top. It offers extended protection, doesn’t charge a deductible for claims, and includes round-the-clock protection. Of course, you likely won’t need the warranty protection since Acura is one of the best luxury brands on the market and the quality of the vehicles is certified, but having that protection offers some peace of mind.