Kia certified pre-owned warranty

It might take careful timing to get the most out of Kia’s solid warranty

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Kia, Hyundai and Toyota
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Did you know Hyundai technically owns Kia? It’s why the two companies share parts, launch similar cars and generally maintain a friendly sibling rivalry.

One place where they seem to diverge, however, is how they warranty their certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. Hyundai doesn’t offer a CPO bumper-to-bumper warranty, while Kia does — albeit with an important quirk.

Keep reading to see everything you need to know about Kia’s CPO program before you buy, including how it stacks up to the competition and whether it’s worth paying extra for.

Key insights

CPO Kias come with a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and reinstate the 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty included with every new Kia — which doesn’t usually transfer to second owners.

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Kia’s bumper-to-bumper CPO warranty can run concurrently with the five-year/60,000-mile factory limited warranty, rendering the CPO warranty less useful.

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To maximize your CPO Kia benefits, consider an older vehicle with a nearly expired or already-expired factory warranty so your CPO warranty provides more value.

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If you plan to own your Kia long-term, think about stacking an extended warranty on top of your CPO Kia’s extra coverage.

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Kia certified pre-owned program explained

In order to qualify for Kia’s certified pre-owned program, called Kia CPO, a pre-owned Kia must be under six years old (i.e., at least a 2018 in 2024), have fewer than 80,000 miles on its odometer and pass a 165-point dealership inspection that includes a thorough look at the engine, electrical system, infotainment system and other components.

Kia CPO vehicles come with a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and various towing/rental/travel benefits we’ll discuss in a bit. But first, let’s break down and evaluate that warranty coverage.

» LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

How good are Kia’s CPO warranties?

Kia’s CPO warranty is better than the industry average.

For context, brand-new Kias all come with:

  • Five years/60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage, which includes nearly everything on your vehicle
  • 10 years/100,000 miles of powertrain coverage, which includes your engine/transmission/drive axle only

Most of the time when you buy a used car, you also get whatever factory warranty still remains. But with Kia, Hyundai and Genesis (which Hyundai also owns), the powertrain warranty doesn’t transfer when the vehicle is resold, so it usually only applies to the first owner.

One of the major benefits of buying a CPO Kia is that you get that factory powertrain warranty reinstated: a full 10 years/100,000 miles of protection.

Despite their name, bumper-to-bumper warranties don’t cover every part of your vehicle — just most parts.

You’ll also get a complimentary one-year/12,000-mile Kia Distinction Platinum (bumper-to-bumper) warranty that covers everything on your vehicle but wear-and-tear and a handful of other exclusions.

The catch is that it starts the second you buy the car. Unlike most other CPO warranties, it doesn’t wait until your factory bumper-to-bumper warranty expires, meaning the two can run concurrently, and your Platinum warranty may not add much coverage.

It would’ve been ideal if the Platinum warranty waited until each vehicle’s five-year/60,000-mile factory warranty expired, but unfortunately that isn’t the case.

How do Kia’s CPO warranties compare?

Despite the Platinum warranty not waiting for your factory coverage to expire, Kia’s CPO warranty still ranks well against competitors — especially the lengthy powertrain coverage.

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

» MORE: Best CPO warranties

CPO Kia benefits

In addition to the warranties mentioned above, Kia’s CPO program also offers excellent additional benefits, such as:

  • 24/7 roadside assistance during the powertrain warranty, including flat-tire changes, fuel deliveries, lockout assistance and jump-starts
  • Travel breakdown coverage of up to $100 per day (max $500 per incident) to help cover meals and lodging if your Kia breaks down far from home
  • Emergency towing coverage of up to $75 per warranty-covered breakdown
  • Rental car coverage of up to $35 per day for up to 10 days while your Kia is in the shop for a warranty-covered breakdown

These benefits are well above average and even surpass those offered by certain luxury automakers. The towing, travel and rental car coverage will almost certainly come in handy if your Kia experiences repair delays, which many ConsumerAffairs reviewers have reported.

“We had a drive train issue on our Kia Telluride that is a year and a half old. The Kia warranty is 10 year 10 thousand miles supposedly. We were out of town when this happened and were told it would take 2-3 weeks to fix with no rental or car replacement,” wrote Cora, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Nevada.

“I had over 3 recalls on my Kia Sorento. Kia never made good on their class action lawsuit,” wrote Amie, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Florida. “I had to have my car sit for over 6 months and still never was able to have it fixed by a Kia dealer.”

I had over three recalls on my Kia Sorento. Kia never made good on their class action lawsuit. I had to have my car sit for over six months and still never was able to have it fixed by a Kia dealer.”
— Amie, ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Florida

Is a CPO Kia worth it?

It’s possibly worth paying extra for a CPO Kia, but you should try to find a higher-mileage vehicle that’s at most $500 more than a similar noncertified vehicle.

In general, paying extra for CPO is more likely to be worth it if:

  • The vehicle you’re considering has below-average reliability scores.
  • The CPO warranty offers at least one year/12,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection.
  • The dealer isn’t charging more than $1,000 extra to buy CPO.

Kia checks the second box, so let’s see how reliable it is — and what dealers are charging.

How reliable are Kias?

Kias generally rate well for reliability.

In 2024, J.D. Power ranked Kia eighth out of 29 automakers for dependability, and Consumer Reports ranked it 10th out of 30 brands in 2023. The latter outlet reports that individual Kia models like the Kia Sportage tend to rank above average.

When Kias need fixing, the repairs generally aren’t very expensive, either. According to RepairPal, Kia vehicles cost just $474 per year in maintenance and unplanned repairs — well below the $652-per-year industry average. They also make unplanned trips to the shop just 0.2 times per year, compared with the 0.4 average across brands.

Such high reliability diminishes the need to pay extra for CPO. Still, it might be worth it if it’s cheap or you have particularly bad luck.

How much does a certified pre-owned Kia cost?

CPO Kias cost around 2.9% more than noncertified used Kias, according to iSeeCars. That’s a $446 upcharge, on average. A quick comparison of used versus CPO prices on Edmunds showed that price differences varied anywhere from $400 to $800, depending on the model and the dealer.

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

If you’re thinking of buying a CPO Kia, here are some ways you can maximize your benefits:

  • Buy a CPO Kia approaching five years old or 60,000 miles: That way, you can maximize the value of your one-year/12,000-mile Platinum warranty and save a few dollars on the price.
  • Register your Cross Country Motor Club Driver’s OneCard Membership: This is how you activate your roadside assistance benefits.
  • Don’t forget your towing, rental car and travel benefits: Between these three, you could have up to $925 in expenses covered per breakdown.

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Do you need an extended warranty for your Kia?

Since the CPO warranty only lasts a year, you might be considering purchasing more Platinum coverage if you plan to own your Kia long-term.

Interestingly, in our full breakdown of Kia extended warranties, we actually had a hard time finding a Kia dealer that still sold Kia Distinction Plans. Most, like Rick Case Kia in Sunrise, Florida, had shifted to a third-party extended warranty partner. Some of these plans were affordable, starting at around $500 per year of coverage. (For context, the average extended auto warranty costs around $1,000 per year of coverage.)

In short, while you may not need a CPO or extended warranty on your Kia, both are cheap and might be worth the peace of mind. Check out our picks for third-party warranty companies to get started.

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Bottom line

CPO Kias come with an above-average warranty and excellent benefits for less than $500 extra, on average. Just be aware that you’ll get the most value for your money by buying a CPO Kia near the five-year/60,000-mile mark so your Platinum coverage doesn’t overlap with the vehicle’s existing factory coverage.

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. RepairPal, “Kia Reliability Rating.” Accessed Aug. 7, 2023.
  2. iSeeCars, “Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Cars: Are They Worth the Extra Cost?” Accessed Aug. 7, 2023.
  3. Edmunds, “Certified Pre-Owned (CPO).” Accessed Aug. 7, 2023.
  4. J.D. Power, “Vehicle Dependability Slumps as Rate of Deterioration Decreases, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed May 17, 2024.
  5. Consumer Reports, “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” Accessed May 17, 2024.
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