Buick certified pre-owned warranty

Low cost with solid benefits — but you may still want more

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Buicks are sometimes associated with an older demographic, but more and more younger car shoppers are discovering that Buicks are a shockingly good value for the money.

If you’re shopping for a Buick and you can’t decide between buying new or used, you might also want to consider a certified pre-owned (CPO) example as a healthy middle ground. These “like new” Buicks have less wear, low miles, an extra warranty and additional benefits that you won’t get from a normal used car.

But what is included? What are dealers charging for CPO these days? And is CPO status worth the cost?

Read on to find out.

Buick updated its certified pre-owned program in March 2024 to match other General Motors brands. The details on this page account for those changes.

Key insights

CPO Buicks come with a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a six-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. (Both are more or less standard for the industry.)

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However, you also get better-than-average benefits, like 24/7 roadside assistance, courtesy transportation, a three-day/150-mile return policy and two years/24,000 miles of complimentary maintenance.

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According to iSeeCars, Buick dealers charge about 3.2% extra for CPO vehicles — that’s a $960 upcharge on a $30,000 vehicle.

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Considering that you get added peace of mind, an extra warranty and about $500 in free maintenance when you buy a CPO Buick, that could be worth it.

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Buick’s certified pre-owned program explained

Certified pre-owned cars are used vehicles that have passed an inspection and include extra warranty protection and benefits. With the exception of newer automakers, like Rivian and Fisker, virtually all car companies have their own CPO programs.

Buick follows the CPO program set by its parent company, GMC. That means used Buicks must be under six model years old (i.e., a 2018 or later in 2024) and have fewer than 75,000 miles on their odometers to qualify. They must also pass a 172-point quality inspection at the dealer.

In return, CPO Buicks come with additional warranties and a fair amount of secondary benefits, including 24/7 roadside assistance from Allstate, courtesy transportation and, best of all, two years/24,000 miles of complimentary maintenance.

Let’s break all of that down even further to figure out whether buying a CPO Buick is worth it — starting with the warranty.

» LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

How good is Buick’s CPO warranty?

For context, all new Buicks come with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty from the factory. These manufacturer’s warranties follow the car, so if you buy a used Buick, you’ll inherit whatever factory warranty still remains on it.

If you buy your Buick certified pre-owned, you also get:

  • One year or 12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage, which begins the day you buy the vehicle or the day your factory bumper-to-bumper warranty ends, whichever comes later.
  • Six years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage, which replaces your factory powertrain warranty and is counted from when your vehicle was new.

Let’s say you buy a CPO 2022 Buick Avenir with 20,000 miles on it. Since it’s two years old, you’ll have two additional years of bumper-to-bumper protection (one factory plus one CPO) and four additional years of powertrain protection.

Basically, Buick’s CPO warranty adds one additional year to both your factory powertrain and factory bumper-to-bumper warranties.

How does Buick’s CPO warranty compare?

That’s pretty average for the industry. Case in point, Mazda — one of Buick’s closest competitors — offers almost the same CPO warranty offerings. Buick also has identical CPO warranties to GMC and Chevrolet because they’re all under the GM umbrella.

Lexus, Acura and Porsche, however, all have four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranties from the factory. On top of that, their CPO warranties add another two years of coverage, meaning you’ll get a possible six years of bumper-to-bumper warranty protection with these brands — as opposed to just four with Buick.

*Measured from when you bought the vehicle or the end of your factory bumper-to-bumper warranty; **Measured from when your vehicle was new

» MORE: Best CPO warranties

CPO Buick benefits

Buick offers reasonably good benefits with its CPO program, like:

  • Roadside assistance for the length of the factory powertrain warranty, including vehicle unlock services, flat tire changes, jump-starts, emergency fuel deliveries and towing to the nearest GM dealer
  • Courtesy transportation, including rides to/from the dealer during warranty repairs and possibly a loaner car when available (the scope of “courtesy transportation” tends to vary by dealer, so be sure to ask your local dealer before making any assumptions)
  • A three-day/150-mile exchange policy, which allows you to swap out (not return) your CPO Buick if you’re dissatisfied (ask your local dealer for details)
  • Two free maintenance visits, including oil and oil filter changes, tire rotations and multipoint inspections (must be used within the next two years/24,000 miles)

You’ll also get a Carfax report for your vehicle as well as trials for OnStar and SiriusXM.

All told, these are pretty solid benefits for a CPO program. The three-day exchange policy is a nice touch, though it’s worth keeping in mind that you’ll only be able to exchange your Buick for whatever else the dealer has on the lot within that short time window.

Unlike many of its rivals, though, Buick doesn’t offer trip expense reimbursements. (These help cover the cost of meals, lodging and transportation if your vehicle breaks down more than 100 miles from home.) But, to be honest, we’d gladly trade trip expense reimbursement for the two free maintenance visits Buick does provide. Both benefits are worth about the same ($300 to $500), and you’re far more likely to use your routine maintenance visits anyhow.

Is a CPO Buick worth it?

To recap, CPO Buicks include a one-year extension of your factory bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties, two free maintenance visits (valued at roughly $150 to $250 each), an extra year of roadside assistance and a slew of other benefits. Plus, you’re getting a car that’s inspected, and, presumably, in better condition than a regular used Buick.

So is all this worth paying extra for?

Well, it usually depends on two factors:

  1. How reliable the cars are, and
  2. How much extra dealers are charging for CPO status

Let’s explore both to help you decide.

How reliable are Buicks?

The general consensus seems to be that Buicks are slightly more reliable than your average vehicle.

Many Buick and GMC vehicles have the same engine and transmission, but the Buicks are just quieter, smoother and have better fit and finish than the GMCs.”
— an anonymous Buick dealer

In its 2024 Vehicle Dependability Study, J.D. Power ranked Buick third out of 29 brands overall. Consumer Reports ranked it 12th out of 30 spots in 2023, and RepairPal ranked it 13th out of 32 in 2019. (RepairPal data also suggests that Buick vehicles cost around 7% less than your average vehicle to maintain and repair; that’s not bad for a semi-luxury brand.)

A CPO warranty is actually less valuable on a reliable car.

If you’re trying to choose between a GMC and a Buick, consider this: We spoke to multiple dealers that sell both sibling brands, and each of them preferred Buick.

“Many Buick and GMC vehicles have the same engine and transmission,” one told us, “but the Buicks are just quieter, smoother and have better fit and finish than the GMCs.”

Contrary to what you might think, Buick’s above-average reliability is actually a knock against its CPO program. To put it simply, reliable vehicles are less likely to make use of the extra warranty coverage and benefits that certified pre-owned vehicles provide. A CPO Buick could still be worth it, though, depending on how much it costs you.

How much does a certified pre-owned Buick cost?

According to a report by iSeeCars, Buick dealers tend to charge 3.2% extra for CPO vehicles versus standard used ones. That’s less than the 3.6% average across all brands, and when we looked at actual listings, we were able to confirm that dealers are indeed charging around 3% to 4% extra for CPO Buicks at the time of publishing. (For context, 3.2% of a $30,000 vehicle would be $960.)


So, is it worth paying that much for a certified pre-owned Buick?

Consider this: If you bought an official Buick extended warranty (aka a Buick Protection Plan), the cost would be around $1,000 per year of additional bumper-to-bumper coverage. Compared to that, getting a one-year warranty for $960 is actually a minor savings. Plus, you’re getting two free maintenance visits worth about $200 each. That’s another $400 in savings right there.

Those savings could actually make a big difference in closing the gap between what you’d spend buying CPO versus what you’d spend paying out of pocket for repairs.

We’d still recommend getting a pre-purchase inspection on a CPO vehicle just so you have a second opinion about the car’s condition, though. (Dealership inspections can’t always be trusted, and certification isn’t a guarantee that the car is free from issues.)

But, all that being said, paying around 3% extra for a longer warranty, two free maintenance visits and some degree of quality control might be a good deal — especially if you value peace of mind.

Note

Looking at consumer reviews of Buick on our site, we saw that many drivers seem happy with the value and features of their vehicles — but problems do exist, especially with the paint on select Buick models.

“The SUV itself has been great. The paint is awful.” wrote a reviewer in Missouri about their 2020 Enclave. “From day 1 the paint has chipped. And it’s in areas that it shouldn’t be chipping. There’s lots of people out there having the same problems with the red quartz color.“

Hidden paint issues are another reason why ordering a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) could be a good idea. Even though your CPO vehicle has been “certified” by the dealership, a PPI could save you from buying a lemon with paint issues — especially since paint isn’t usually covered by a CPO warranty.

» RELATED: What does a corrosion warranty cover?

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    Do you need an extended warranty for your Buick?

    Even though Buick’s CPO warranty may be a good deal, it only adds one year to an already-short three-year factory warranty. As a result, you might still consider buying an extended warranty to help protect yourself against pricey repairs after year four.

    In our full breakdown of Buick’s extended warranty options, we found that they cost $800 to $1,000 per year of added bumper-to-bumper coverage. (We found more affordable rates with some third-party warranty providers than we did with Buick’s official Protection Plans.)

    If you plan to keep your Buick long-term and you get a lot of reassurance from having a warranty, an extended vehicle service contract might be worth it. All you really need to collect a price quote is the make, model, year and mileage of your vehicle, so you can theoretically shop around for coverage before you actually buy your car, too.

    » 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 Slumps as Rate of Deterioration Increases, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed March 14, 2024.
    2. Consumer Reports, “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” Accessed March 14, 2024.
    3. RepairPal, “Buick Reliability Rating.” Accessed March 14, 2024.
    4. iSeeCars, “Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Cars: Are They Worth the Extra Cost?” Accessed March 14, 2024.
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