BMW certified pre-owned warranty

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BMWs don’t come cheap, and neither do their repairs when things go wrong. As a result, you might be considering buying a certified pre-owned (CPO) BMW to save a few bucks and reduce the risk of paying out of pocket for future repairs.

So how does BMW’s CPO program stack up? Is it better than Audi’s and Mercedes’? Read on to find out.

Key insights

Certified BMWs must be under 5 years old, have fewer than 60,000 miles, and pass a rigorous inspection and road test conducted by a certified BMW technician.

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CPO BMWs also come with a one-year/unlimited-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty that extends the vehicle’s four-year/50,000-mile warranty from the factory.

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If you want protection beyond your CPO warranty period, know that BMW’s official extended warranties are extremely expensive and have mixed reviews.

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You might find a better price and superior service with a top-rated third-party company.

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BMW’s certified pre-owned program explained

BMW’s certified pre-owned program is simply called BMW Certified.

In order to qualify as BMW Certified, a used Bimmer must be at most five model years old (e.g., a 2018 in 2023) and have between 300 and 60,000 miles on the odometer. It must also pass a comprehensive inspection and road test conducted by a BMW-certified technician.

We really go through them with a fine-toothed comb.”
— a BMW sales associate

“With CPO it goes through an intense inspection process. We really go through them with a fine-toothed comb,” a sales associate at a BMW dealer told us. “When you buy CPO, you’re pretty much purchasing a new car.”

Let’s see how BMW’s CPO warranty stacks up to the competition.

» LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

How good is BMW’s CPO warranty?

BMW’s CPO warranty is a little better than the industry average (one year/12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage) but potentially much more valuable, considering the high cost of BMW repairs.

When you buy a certified pre-owned BMW, you’ll get one year of bumper-to-bumper coverage (no mileage limit) added to the remainder of your four-year/50,000-mile factory warranty. (If the factory warranty of your CPO vehicle has already expired, your one-year warranty starts on the date you purchase the vehicle.)

It’s worth noting, however, that BMW’s CPO warranty isn’t quite as comprehensive as its new vehicle warranty. It still covers roughly 95% of the parts on your car, but there’s a longer list of exceptions with the CPO plan, especially when it comes to suspension, body panels and leaks.

How does BMW’s CPO warranty compare?

On the upside, BMW’s CPO warranty is still significantly more comprehensive than Audi’s or Mercedes’. The latter two have very limited CPO warranties that only cover a few hundred parts, while BMW’s is exclusionary — meaning it covers almost every part on your vehicle (5,000-plus).

Still, Porsche offers a warranty that lasts a year longer than BMW’s, so that might be your better bet if you’re looking for maximum CPO warranty coverage on a German luxury car.

Outside of German brands, BMW’s CPO warranty effectively matches what you get from Cadillac, but Lexus has both of them beat.

» MORE: Best CPO warranties

CPO BMW benefits

In addition to providing extra warranty coverage, CPO BMWs include the following benefits:

  • 24/7 roadside assistance for the duration of the warranty, including battery jump-starts, fuel or fluid deliveries, tire changes and lockout services
  • Complimentary towing to the nearest BMW dealer if your vehicle is inoperable
  • Trip interruption assistance of up to $1,000 per incident to help cover the cost of meals, lodging, car rentals and alternate transportation if your BMW breaks down over 100 miles from home and requires overnight repairs.
  • Loaner vehicles while your BMW is in the shop for warranty-covered repairs (subject to dealership approval and availability)

Overall, these are above-average benefits, but the one notable omission is rental car assistance when you’re close to home. Some CPO programs will pay between $150 to $500 to help cover the cost of a rental car if no loaners are available. BMW will only provide rental car assistance if your car breaks down 100-plus miles from home.

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Do you need an extended warranty for your BMW?

If you want coverage beyond the extra year provided by your CPO warranty, you might want to consider an extended warranty. BMW’s official extended warranties, dubbed BMW Extended Services Contracts, can offer bumper-to-bumper protection until your vehicle hits seven years old or 100,000 miles — two years beyond what your CPO warranty would cover.

However, these plans cost roughly $5,000 for two years of coverage, and a common complaint among consumer reviews of BMW on our site is that the automaker tended to deny claims for repairs that customers strongly felt should be covered.

In our full breakdown of BMW’s official extended warranties, we determined that you could probably save money and have a better overall experience with a top-rated third-party warranty company instead.

» FIND WARRANTY COMPANIES: Best extended car warranty companies

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Article sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
  1. J.D. Power, “Vehicle Dependability Improves Despite Continued Problems with Technology, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed Aug. 8, 2023.
  2. Consumer Reports, “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” Accessed Aug. 8, 2023.
  3. RepairPal, “BMW Reliability Rating.” Accessed Aug. 8, 2023.
  4. iSeeCars, “Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Cars: Are They Worth the Extra Cost?” Accessed Aug. 8, 2023.
  5. Edmunds, “Certified Pre-Owned (CPO).” Accessed Aug. 8, 2023.
  6. BMW of North America, “Can I transfer my BMW Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Warranty?” Accessed May 6, 2024.
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