Rolls-Royce certified pre-owned warranty

RR’s CPO benefits cost more than a brand-new Miata – they’re probably still worth it

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Audi and BMW

Rolls-Royce has possibly the most dazzling optional extra in the entire auto industry.

If you opt for the Starlight Headliner, Rolls will take up to nine hours to embed thousands of fiber optic “stars” in your headliner by hand. You can choose to simulate a specific constellation, zodiac sign or even the alignment of the night sky on that date of your birthday.

While it would be neat to customize a Starlight Headliner from the factory, a brand new Rolls-Royce ($350,000 plus) might be a bit out of reach, budget-wise. A Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Rolls may be a more cost-effective option since you’ll get a high degree of quality assurance and a warranty without the factory-new price tag.

Plus, you can always tell your passengers that the previous owner’s Starlight Headliner represents the night sky on your birthday. Who’s going to know the difference?

But how exactly does Rolls-Royce do CPO? How is the British coachmaker’s approach different from that of a mass-market vehicle like a Lexus? How much extra are Rolls dealers charging for CPO over pre-owned prices, and is it worth paying the difference?

Read on to find out.

Key insights

In order to qualify for Rolls-Royce’s official CPO program (dubbed “Provenance CPO”), a used Rolls must be under 20 years old, pass a rigorous inspection (including an average of $15,000 worth of refurbishment) and include a CPO warranty and benefits.

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Rolls-Royce’s CPO warranty attaches one extra year of bumper-to-bumper warranty protection to the remainder of your four-year/unlimited-mile factory warranty. You also have the option to upgrade it to two years of protection for around $6,800.

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On average, CPO Rolls-Royce vehicles cost $33,888, or 11% more than their pre-owned equivalents. That’s quite a gulf, but it’s probably worth it for the peace of mind of knowing you have a Rolls-approved vehicle with an average of $15k worth of service and fresh parts.

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Purchasing a Provenance CPO Rolls-Royce also unlocks the option to purchase an official Rolls-Royce extended warranty, which might be a good idea if you plan to own your CPO Rolls-Royce past year six.

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Rolls-Royce’s certified pre-owned program explained

For context, here’s how a typical CPO program works.

Certified pre-owned (CPO) essentially gives car shoppers a third choice beyond “new” and “used.” In order to qualify as CPO, a pre-owned vehicle must be under a certain age and mileage and pass inspection by a qualified technician at the dealership.

CPO vehicles almost always come with a longer warranty and may also include benefits like 24/7 roadside assistance and rental car assistance.

Now that you know how CPO typically works on a mass-market vehicle, here’s how Rolls-Royce does things a bit differently.

First, Rolls-Royce has a special name for its CPO program: Provenance Certified Pre-Owned. In order to qualify for Provenance CPO, a pre-owned Rolls must be from the “Goodwood era” or newer (2004 plus) and pass a rigorous, multi-point inspection at the Rolls-Royce dealership.

And rest assured, the technicians do more than merely kick the tires.

“All of the service records must be up to date, the tires have to match and virtually anything that doesn’t meet Rolls-Royce standards must be replaced with original factory parts,” the service manager at a major Rolls-Royce dealership told ConsumerAffairs. “I’d say that on average, we spend $15,000 certifying each vehicle.”

Provenance CPO Rolls-Royce vehicles also come with a one-year CPO warranty, an additional year of scheduled maintenance, 24/7 roadside assistance, valet service and various other benefits we’ll discuss below.

So let’s break it all down in detail, starting with the warranty.

» LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

How good is Rolls-Royce’s CPO warranty?

For context, all new Rolls-Royce vehicles come with the following factory warranty:

When you purchase a Provenance CPO Rolls-Royce, you get one extra year of bumper-to-bumper protection added to the remainder of your vehicle’s factory warranty.

“The Provenance Warranty is what they call it,” a rep at Rolls-Royce Las Vegas told us. “It’s essentially an extension of the factory warranty, covering everything but cosmetics, routine maintenance and regular wear and tear.”

Rolls-Royce also gives you the option to upgrade your one-year CPO warranty to a two-year. “The cost varies by vehicle, but it’s usually around $6,800,” said the dealership rep.

Before we compare the Rolls-Royce CPO warranty to rival brands, there’s one final thing you should know – not every Rolls-Royce dealer that we spoke with said that the Provenance CPO warranty was included in the price of the vehicle.

“It’s an optional extra,” said one. “We don’t include it in the price.”

“Some Rolls-Royce dealers don’t know what they’re talking about,” said another. “You can’t get the certification papers from Rolls-Royce without the warranty. So it’s always included. To sell a Rolls-Royce Provenance vehicle without the one-year Provenance warranty is not possible.”

So if you find a Provenance CPO listing online, you may want to contact the dealer ahead of time to confirm, in writing, that the listing price includes the Provenance CPO warranty.

How does Rolls-Royce’s CPO warranty compare?

On its own, Rolls-Royce’s CPO warranty is slightly above average.

Bentley and Aston Martin also include one-year/unlimited-mile warranties with their CPO vehicles, while McLaren and Lamborghini cap theirs at 12,000 miles. Ferrari does have Rolls-Royce beat with a two-year/unlimited-mile CPO warranty.

But one thing to keep in mind is that Rolls-Royce vehicles come with a four-year warranty from the factory, which is one year longer than all of the rival brands listed above. That means the combined factory and CPO warranty is five years with Rolls-Royce and Ferrari and just four years with Bentley, Aston, McLaren and Lamborghini.

Looking at more mainstream luxury brands, Mercedes-Benz also includes a one-year/unlimited-mile warranty with its CPO vehicles. But, crucially, the CPO warranty does not provide bumper-to-bumper coverage (it only covers a few hundred parts out of 5,000 plus). It’s a similar story with Audi.

Purely in terms of coverage, Rolls-Royce is bested by Porsche, Lexus and Genesis, all three of which provide a combined six years of coverage from new for their CPO vehicles.

But if you’re looking to maximize your CPO coverage (and money is no object), keep in mind that you can always extend your Provenance CPO warranty one year at a time for up to 10 years, starting at around $6,800 for year six.

*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 Rolls-Royce benefits

Rolls-Royce includes the following benefits with its Provenance CPO vehicles, which last for the duration of the combined factory-plus-CPO warranty:

  • One extra year of routine maintenance for a total of five when you include the four that come with the factory warranty. We’ve been told that this includes things like oil changes, spark plugs, tire balance and rotation, but does not include brake rotors.
  • 24/7 Roadside Assistance, including flat tire assistance, battery jumps, fuel delivery, lockout assistance and towing.
  • Valet service where the dealer will come pick up your Rolls-Royce for scheduled service or warranty work to save you a trip to the dealership. Depending on the dealer, they may also be able to leave you a loaner vehicle from a different luxury brand (e.g., Genesis).
  • Concierge services that can help you secure hard-to-find dinner reservations, organize travel plans and even help arrange meals, lodging and transportation in the event of a breakdown. But in the words of the dealers we spoke with, “RR Concierge will help you book almost anything, but they won’t help you pay for it.”
  • An invite to Whispers, which is Rolls-Royce’s exclusive and secretive owners club with its own chat rooms, newsletter and VIP events.

All told, Rolls-Royce stands out for including one extra year of maintenance with its CPO vehicles. The only luxury automaker to include more free maintenance is Ferrari, which famously includes a complimentary seven-year maintenance plan from new.

It’s a little odd that Rolls-Royce doesn’t provide trip interruption insurance, which helps to cover the cost of meals, lodging and transportation in the case of a breakdown 100 plus miles from home (usually up to about a $500 limit). Even mass-market luxury automakers tend to include this perk, so it’s odd that a brand known for treating customers lavishly would skip it.

Is a CPO Rolls-Royce worth it?

Yes, a CPO Rolls-Royce is worth it.

Let’s start by quickly recapping all that you get with a CPO Rolls-Royce:

  • A vehicle that’s undergone an average $15,000 worth of inspection and necessary refurbishment
  • A one-year/unlimited-mile extension of the four-year bumper-to-bumper factory warranty
  • One extra year of roadside assistance and scheduled maintenance
  • A few extra goodies like Whispers membership and VIP-exclusive events

Now, is all that worth paying extra for?

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

  • The vehicle you’re considering has a history of average or below-average reliability
  • The difference in cost between CPO and pre-owned isn’t much above average (6%)
  • The CPO warranty and benefits justify the added cost

We’ve already established that Provenance CPO Rolls-Royce vehicles come with a solid warranty, strong benefits and a rigorous inspection worth up to $15,000 all on its own.

But how much are dealers charging for CPO Rolls-Royces these days? And do you really need the inspection and warranty, or are Rolls-Royce vehicles dependable enough all on their own?

How reliable are Rolls-Royces?

According to CAR Magazine UK, Rolls-Royce sold just 6,032 vehicles globally in 2023. That’s just one vehicle for every 416 Mercedes Benz models sold.

For that reason, long-term reliability data for Rolls-Royce vehicles is scant. But many experts and owners agree that once BMW started providing the engine and key internals, the reliability of your average Rolls-Royce skyrocketed.

But just because Goodwood-era Rolls-Royce vehicles are well-made doesn’t mean there’s suddenly no value in buying CPO. Aside from the other benefits, keep in mind that each of the four dealers we spoke with claimed to spend around $15,000 refurbishing every pre-owned Rolls-Royce to reach CPO standards.

That implies that your average CPO Rolls-Royce is in vastly better shape than a pre-owned one, and that’s really where you’re getting your money’s worth. So when you buy CPO, you’re paying for a higher-quality vehicle and much higher peace of mind.

But how much are you paying?

How much does a certified pre-owned Rolls-Royce cost?

To find out, ConsumerAffairs visited to compare the average cost of a used versus Provenance CPO Rolls-Royce. To make the closest comparison possible, we excluded vehicles with major issues, accidents reported or unreasonable price tags that might skew the results.

In total, there were 79 pre-owned Rolls-Royces on the East Coast with an average asking price of $320,511 and 19 CPO models with an average price of $354,399. That represents a difference of $33,888 or a 11% surcharge over the average pre-owned price.

Sure, the price difference is enough to purchase a brand new Mazda MX-5 Miata to drive on the weekends, but it may be worth it for the added peace of mind alone. If you purchase a non-CPO Rolls, you may save 11% upfront, but you risk inheriting someone else’s neglected money pit.

Plus, purchasing a Provenance CPO Rolls-Royce also unlocks the option to purchase additional warranty coverage up to 10 years from new. So before we wrap up, let’s discuss your options and whether it’s worth upping your coverage.

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Do you need an extended warranty for your Rolls-Royce?

If you purchase a Provenance CPO Rolls-Royce, you’ll have the option of purchasing one extra year of Provenance CPO warranty protection (for a total of six from new) for a starting price of around $6,800.

If you want to keep your Rolls-Royce even longer than that, you’ll have the option of purchasing a two- or three-year Rolls-Royce extended warranty (dubbed the Rolls-Royce Service Inclusive). Like the CPO warranty, the official extended warranty includes regularly scheduled maintenance, valet service and more.

Truth be told, you have a long time to decide whether you want a Rolls-Royce Service Inclusive since your combined factory and CPO warranty won’t expire for at least another year. But when the time comes, it might be worth investing in continued warranty protection to lower the cost of maintenance, surprise repairs and to simply buy yourself additional peace of mind.

After all, what’s the point in owning the world’s most luxurious vehicle if you haven’t maxed out the peace of mind optional extras?

» 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. Car Magazine UK, “New era, same success: Rolls-Royce sales the biggest ever.” Accessed May 14, 2024.
  2. Mercedes-Benz Group, “Sales rise to 2,493,000 vehicles in 2023.” Accessed May 14, 2024.
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