Lexus certified pre-owned warranty

The best CPO program in the business includes a rare perk worth up to $2,500

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Lexus vehicles are so reliable that many outlast the roads they drive on. Still, things can go wrong, which is why you might be considering buying your Lexus certified pre-owned (CPO).

CPO cars are gently-used, low-mileage vehicles that have passed inspection and earned an additional warranty — but not all CPO programs are the same. Some are little more than cynical cash-grabs, while others are incredibly robust and generous, providing great value and peace of mind.

So, where does Lexus fall on that spectrum? What are Lexus dealers charging these days for CPO status, and is it worth it?

Read on to find out.


Key insights

  • Lexus’ CPO program is called L/Certified. In order to qualify, a used Lexus must be under six model years old, have fewer than 75,000 miles and pass a 161-point dealer inspection.
  • L/Certified vehicles include a two-year/unlimited-mile bumper-to-bumper CPO warranty. That’s the best in the business, rivaled only by Porsche and Genesis.
  • L/Certified also has the best CPO benefits we’ve seen: 24/7 roadside assistance, free loaner cars, rental car assistance, trip expense reimbursement and up to $2,500 in free maintenance.
  • Lexus dealers are charging around $1,800 extra for certified pre-owned vehicles these days, which is high for the industry but arguably well worth it, considering the lengthy warranty and strong benefits.

Lexus’s certified pre-owned program explained

Certified pre-owned status is the car industry’s version of “like new.” In order to qualify as CPO, a used vehicle must usually be in good shape, have relatively few miles on the odometer and pass a dealer inspection. CPO vehicles also come with extra warranty protection — generally added to the remaining factory warranty — and may come with extra benefits, like free roadside assistance, towing and travel insurance.

CPO vehicles are used, but they come with many of the benefits you get from buying new.

Lexus calls its CPO program L/Certified. In order to qualify as L/Certified, a pre-owned Lexus must be under six years old (i.e., a 2018 or newer in 2024) and have fewer than 75,000 miles on the odometer. It must also pass a 161-point quality inspection, which is performed by the dealer but designed by Lexus.

All CPO Lexus vehicles also come with an additional two-year/unlimited-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, which either starts on the day of purchase or adds to whatever factory warranty still remains on the vehicle. That means a CPO Lexus gets up to six years of bumper-to-bumper protection, measured from the date the original owner bought the car.

That coverage can come in handy if something goes wrong with your Lexus, especially if it happens more than once.

“Bought a certified pre-owned from a Lexus dealer. Love the car except for one thing,” a reviewer from Massachusetts reported. “[I] have had 11 door lock actuators replaced due to part failure. … Lexus had been very good and agreed to replace the parts even after the expiration of the warranty. I had to deal with Lexus customer service directly as the dealer did not want to deal it after the 6th or 7th failure.”

Lexus CPO vehicles also come with a long list of benefits, including four complimentary maintenance visits, 24/7 roadside assistance and towing, trip interruption protection (covering meals and lodging if you break down far from home), free loaner vehicles, and a $50 per diem towards a rental car if a loaner is unavailable.

Let’s break it all down a little further, starting with the warranty and how it compares to what you’ll get from other brands.

» LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

How good is Lexus’ CPO warranty?

Lexus’ CPO warranty is among the best in the business.

To recap, L/Certified vehicles come with two years of bumper-to-bumper warranty protection with no mileage limit. If your L/Certified vehicle still has some of its original factory warranty remaining (which, on a 2024 Lexus, is four years/50,000 miles from new), your two-year CPO warranty will start at the end of the existing coverage.

The only CPO warranty that can rival that at the time of publishing is Porsche’s, which also adds two years to a four-year/50,000-mile factory warranty. Genesis comes in third place, with a one-year/15,000-mile CPO warranty that attaches to the end of a five-year/60,000-mile factory warranty.

How does Lexus’ CPO warranty compare?

Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all have a similar four-year/50,000-mile factory warranty, but their CPO warranties add just one extra year of coverage. In addition, Audi and Mercedes’ CPO warranties only cover a few hundred parts.

*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 Lexus benefits

L/Certified vehicles come with the following benefits:

  • Complimentary maintenance covering the next four factory-recommended services over two years or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first
  • 24/7 roadside assistance, including battery jump-starts, tire changes, lockouts, fuel deliveries, and towing to the nearest Lexus dealership or an alternative repair facility
  • Trip interruption protection of up to $200 per day for up to three days ($600 total) to help cover the cost of meals and lodging if your Lexus breaks down over 100 miles from home
  • Free loaner vehicles from the dealership if your Lexus needs more than eight hours of warranty-related repair work
  • If a loaner is unavailable, rental car assistance of up to $50 per day for up to five days ($250 total)

All told, these are some of the best benefits found in any CPO program. On average, a CPO program will include a one-year warranty, roadside assistance, and maybe $35 per day in rental car assistance. So, Lexus offering double the warranty and roadside assistance along with free loaners, extra rental car assistance and free trip insurance is almost unheard of.

On top of that, you’ll also get up to four free maintenance visits within your next two years or 20,000 miles of driving, whichever comes first. That’s no small perk, considering routine maintenance on a luxury vehicle isn’t cheap.

All told, four free maintenance visits will save you between $2,000 and $2,500. ”
— a Lexus technician

“If you look at the Lexus routine maintenance schedule, you’ll see there’s something every 5,000 miles,” a service tech at an Atlanta Lexus dealer told us. “All told, four free maintenance visits will save you between $2,000 and $2,500.”

Up to $2,500 in free maintenance on top of all the other benefits Lexus offers is arguably overkill, but how much does Lexus charge for all this? Is it even worth it?

Is a CPO Lexus worth it?

In general, it’s worth paying more for certified pre-owned status if either:

  • The vehicle you’re buying has a reputation for below-average reliability
  • The warranty and benefits are worth the extra cost
  • The cost difference between CPO and used is relatively low

To find out if a CPO Lexus is worth it, let’s look at just how reliable Lexus vehicles are these days and how much dealers are charging for L/Certified vehicles.

How reliable are Lexus vehicles?

Lexus vehicles are still widely renowned for their build quality and long-lasting dependability.

In its 2024 Vehicle Dependability Study, J.D. Power ranked Lexus first place, with only 135 problems per 100 vehicles after three years. Toyota came in second with 147, and the industry average was 190. BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles had 190 and 218, respectively.

Consumer Reports also ranked Lexus in first place in 2023, with a reliability score of 79. (The Lexus UX scored highest in its lineup with an 83, while the NX compact crossover scored a 49.) According to RepairPal, Lexus vehicles cost around 15% less to repair and maintain every year than your average vehicle — including nonluxury brands.

The luxury line, Lexus, has always been a very reliable product that has excellent resale value. ”
— Lauren Fix, editor in chief of CarCoachReports.com

So what makes Lexus vehicles so much more reliable than your average car — and significantly more reliable than competing luxury brands?

“The answer is actually really simple,” Sean Kim, an experienced mechanic, told ConsumerAffairs. “Toyota makes them. High levels of quality control, quality parts and good engineering.”

“Toyota has a reputation for producing reliable, low maintenance vehicles,” confirmed Lauren Fix of CarCoachReports.com. (Lauren is also a member of ConsumerAffairs advisory panel). “The luxury line, Lexus, has always been a very reliable product that has excellent resale value.”

In essence, Lexus vehicles may come with the best CPO warranty in the business, but ironically, it may be the last brand that needs it.

How much does a certified pre-owned Lexus cost?

According to a study by iSeeCars, Lexus dealers charge an average of 6.1% extra for CPO vehicles versus regular pre-owned vehicles. That’s much higher than the industry average of 3.6% across brands, and it means that a Lexus that costs $40,000 used might cost $42,440 sold as CPO.

Reliable vehicles are less likely to actually use their CPO warranty coverage, but the other perks can make the upcharge worth it.

That being said, 6.1% is just an average. When we compared used vs. certified pre-owned Lexus prices on Edmunds, we found that the CPO upcharge could range anywhere from $200 to $4,000, depending on the model and the dealership. But in general, the average did tend to hover around $1,800.

$1,800 is high for a CPO upcharge, but it’s probably well worth it, considering how much Lexus offers with its CPO program.

Lexus vehicles are so reliable that it’s unlikely you’ll need to use your two-year CPO warranty. You will, however, need to use your complimentary maintenance visits since you shouldn’t go without brakes and oil changes — and four free maintenance visits practically pay for the entire CPO program all by itself.

So, all told, CPO Lexus vehicles are generally worth the cost.

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Do you need an extended warranty for your Lexus?

If you find a great deal on a non-CPO Lexus or you plan to own your Lexus after the CPO warranty expires, you might be wondering: Is it worth buying an extended warranty on a Lexus?

In our full analysis of Lexus extended warranties, we discovered that the average cost of a Lexus extended warranty is around $900 to $1,400 per year of bumper-to-bumper coverage, which is much more than the industry average of $1,000 per year. When you combine that with the fact that a Lexus is far less likely to break down than cars from other makers, paying that much for an extended warranty usually doesn’t make financial sense.

But, if you’re intent on protecting your Lexus, we recommend checking out both Lexus’ official extended warranty program and reputable third-party options to find the best deal.

» 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 11, 2024.
  2. Consumer Reports, “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” Accessed March 11, 2024.
  3. RepairPal, “Lexus Reliability Rating.” Accessed March 11, 2024.
  4. iSeeCars, “Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Cars: Are They Worth the Extra Cost?” Accessed March 11, 2024.
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