Chevrolet certified pre-owned warranty

An average warranty that’s likely worth it on Chevy’s less reliable models

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When Alan Shepard — the first American in space — returned to Earth in 1961, General Motors gave him a free Corvette. NASA didn’t approve of GM giving free products to government employees, so GM set the price for an astronaut to lease a Corvette at $1.

Neil Armstrong got a convertible.

Today, Chevrolet’s certified pre-owned (CPO) program isn’t quite that generous, but you don’t have to reach orbit to take advantage of it. CPO Chevrolets come with a solid warranty and benefits, and they’re certainly worth considering if you’re shopping for a used Chevy anyway.

Read on to find out if one’s right for you.


Key insights

  • Chevrolet Certified Pre-Owned vehicles must be under six years old, have fewer than 80,000 miles and pass a thorough 172-point inspection.
  • CPO Chevrolets also include a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a six-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, which is average compared to Chevy’s competitors.
  • Chevy dealers charge an average of $569 more for CPO vehicles versus regular used cars.
  • That’s worth it on most Chevy vehicles, but it’s especially valuable for used Tahoes, Silverados and Bolts, which aren’t known for their reliability.

Chevrolet’s certified pre-owned program explained

Chevrolet’s CPO program is simply called Chevrolet Certified Pre-Owned.

In order to qualify as a certified pre-owned Chevrolet, a Chevy car, truck or SUV must be six model years old or newer (i.e., at least a 2017 in 2023) and pass a thorough 172-point inspection by a trained Chevrolet technician.

All CPO Chevrolet vehicles include a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a six-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, both of which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

You’ll also get two complimentary maintenance visits, roadside assistance, towing and a few other benefits attached. Let’s break it all down, starting with the warranty.

» LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

How good are Chevrolet’s CPO warranties?

For context, all Chevrolet vehicles come with the following factory warranties, which automatically transfer to all new owners until they expire:

When you buy a CPO Chevrolet, you effectively get both warranties extended. The bumper-to-bumper warranty term extends to four years/48,000 miles, and the powertrain warranty term extends to six years/100,000 miles. (Just note that both terms are measured from when the vehicle was sold new to its first owner.)

If your CPO Chevy has no factory warranty left, you still get the same one year or 12,000 miles of extra bumper-to-bumper protection, but it starts when you buy the car. You also still get the six-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Overall, one bonus year of bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage plus two extra years of powertrain coverage is solidly average for a CPO program.

How do Chevrolet’s CPO warranties compare?

Chevrolet’s CPO warranty matches what you’ll get from Ford, Mazda and Toyota beat for beat. It also outstrips Subaru, which doesn’t include bonus bumper-to-bumper protection at all, but falls short of Kia and Hyundai.

Hyundai technically doesn’t include extra bumper-to-bumper protection either, but its factory bumper-to-bumper warranty term (five years/60,000 miles) is already a year longer than a CPO Chevy’s.

» MORE: Best CPO warranties

CPO Chevrolet benefits

In addition to solid CPO warranties, Certified Pre-Owned Chevrolets come with the following benefits:

  • 24/7 roadside assistance for the full length of the CPO powertrain warranty (six years/100,000 miles), which includes battery jump-starts, flat-tire changes, emergency fuel deliveries and lockout assistance.
  • Courtesy transportation (i.e., free towing) to the nearest Chevy dealer if you experience a warranty-covered breakdown. You can also get reimbursement for your transportation expenses. It’s worth noting that all new, used and CPO Chevy EVs include eight years/100,000 miles of free towing, though.
  • Two complimentary maintenance visits, including tire rotations, oil changes and multipoint inspections.

These are OK benefits for a CPO program. The complimentary maintenance visits are a nice touch, but notably absent from these benefits is any kind of rental car assistance.

“You might be able to get a loaner if the dealer has one, but that’ll totally be up to the dealer,” a local Chevrolet dealer sales rep told us. “The CPO plan doesn’t guarantee that we’ll be able to provide alternative transport while your vehicle is in the shop.” Many competitors offer at least $35 per day in rental car reimbursements.

Is a CPO Chevrolet worth it?

We’ll get right to it: If you can find a CPO Chevy that costs less than $1,000 more than a similar uncertified vehicle, then it’s probably worth it.

Here’s why. In general, paying extra for a CPO is more likely to be worth it if:

  • The vehicle you’re considering has below-average reliability scores.
  • The CPO warranty includes at least one year/12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection.
  • The dealer isn’t adding more than a $1,000 upcharge for certification.

With that in mind, let’s look at why paying extra for Chevy CPO might be worth it.

How reliable are Chevrolets?

Chevrolet has a mixed record for reliability.

On the one hand, J.D. Power ranked the brand fifth out of 32 automakers in its 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, which is based on problems encountered with 2020-model-year vehicles. But Consumer Reports, which draws data from a broader range of model years, ranked Chevrolet a dismal 20th out of 24 brands, citing major issues with the Bolt, Tahoe and Silverado.

RepairPal, which evaluates brands based on how often their vehicles need repairs and how much they cost, ranked Chevy 20th out of 32 marques. According to that site, Chevrolets cost an average of $649 per year in maintenance and repairs, which is just below the $652 average across all brands. They also make unplanned trips to the mechanic just 0.3 times per year, compared with the 0.4 industry average. However, unexpected repairs were “severe” (costing $2,000-plus) 25% more often than your average brand, hence the low ranking.

Overall, Chevy’s mixed record for reliability underscores the value of additional bumper-to-bumper protection.

“I bought a 2019 Chevy Malibu LT and it has a little over 22K miles on it. Within the first 30 days of me having the car there's an error message that repeatedly pops up saying my car isn't in park even if it's cut off,” wrote Loreal, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Illinois.

“I'm highly displeased because this is my first major vehicle purchase and I actually went to a certified Chevrolet dealer expecting to receive a durable vehicle. Thank God for the extended warranty because the fact I haven't had this car 60 days and I already have to have major maintenance done to it is ridiculous.”

How much does a certified pre-owned Chevrolet cost?

On average, CPO Chevrolets cost 2.7% more than noncertified pre-owned vehicles, according to iSeeCars. That reportedly translates to an average $569 upcharge. We confirmed this ourselves with a quick look at used vs. CPO prices on Edmunds, and a price difference of $500 to $1,000 seemed about right.

We also noticed that CPO Corvettes and Camaros were rarer and priced significantly higher ($2,500-plus higher) than their noncertified equivalents. If those are the models that interest you, consider reading step eight of our guide to buying a used car to learn how to negotiate with dealers the easy way.

But, for the rest of the lineup, a sub-$1,000 upcharge is reasonable considering the benefits you’re getting, which include:

  • A pre-purchase inspection (about $200)
  • A one-year extended bumper-to-bumper warranty (around $800)
  • Two years of extra powertrain coverage (approximately $800)
  • Two complimentary maintenance visits (about $200)
  • Two bonus years of roadside assistance with free towing (around $200)

All told, those benefits could be valued at around $2,200, so paying $1,000 (or better yet, $500 post-negotiation) is a deal worth considering.

How to get the most out of Chevrolet’s CPO warranties

If you do end up purchasing a certified pre-owned Chevrolet, here are some ways you can maximize your benefits:

  • Log your roadside assistance number: You may not have internet access everywhere you go, which can make it difficult to access your complimentary roadside assistance if you don’t have the number saved in your phone.
  • Schedule your free service visits: Dealership service centers can often be booked out weeks or even months in advance, so it might be a good idea to go ahead and get your two free visits on the schedule before you need one at the last minute.

Quick and easy. Find an auto warranty partner now.

    Do you need an extended warranty for your Chevrolet?

    Since your CPO bumper-to-bumper coverage will run out eventually, you might consider investing in an extended warranty if you plan to own your Chevy long-term. But is a Chevy extended warranty worth the price?

    Chevy’s official extended warranties — known as Chevrolet Protection Plans — can provide bumper-to-bumper protection well beyond your CPO warranty’s expiration date, but they don’t come cheap.

    For our hypothetical 2022 Camaro SS, we were quoted $5,213 on a seven-year/84,000-mile Platinum plan, which only provided four years of protection beyond the factory bumper-to-bumper warranty.

    Still, an extended warranty might be worth the cost if you’re considering a CPO Chevy from a particularly unreliable year (like 2019) or a specific model known for having reliability issues (e.g., the Silverado, Bolt or Tahoe). While you’re at it, you might consider getting multiple quotes from some top-rated third-party warranty companies as well.

    » MORE: Chevrolet extended warranty: cost, coverage and plans

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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. 10, 2023.
    2. Consumer Reports, “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” Accessed Aug. 10, 2023.
    3. RepairPal, “ Chevrolet Reliability Rating .” Accessed Aug. 10, 2023.
    4. iSeeCars, “ Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Cars: Are They Worth the Extra Cost? ” Accessed Aug. 10, 2023.
    5. Edmunds, “ Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) .” Accessed Aug. 10, 2023.
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