Volvo certified pre-owned warranty

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In 1959, Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin invented the three-point safety belt we all wear today. And despite investing in research and development — and being perfectly positioned to make lots of money in licensing fees — Volvo decided to release the design patent for free, saving countless lives.

Volvo’s legacy of safety and sensibility spills over into its modern-day certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle program. In order to qualify as CPO, pre-owned Volvos must undergo rigorous testing, and they include a rare unlimited-mile warranty. But, unlike the seat belt, Volvo’s CPO perks aren’t free to the world, so it helps to know what you’re getting before you buy.

Read on to see everything you need to know before you buy a certified pre-owned Volvo.


Key insights

  • Certified Volvo vehicles must be under five years old, have fewer than 80,000 miles and pass a rigorous 170-point inspection.
  • Qualifying vehicles come with a five-year/unlimited-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty that replaces the four-year/50,000-mile factory warranty.
  • Other notable benefits include special financing rates, discounts on extended warranties and a one-year Starlink trial subscription.
  • It probably isn’t worth buying a CPO Volvo that’s between four and five years old since you’ll get less than the full year of bonus bumper-to-bumper protection.

Volvo’s certified pre-owned program explained

Volvo calls its CPO program Certified by Volvo. In order to qualify as a Certified by Volvo vehicle, a pre-owned Volvo must be under five model years old (i.e., a 2018 or newer in 2023) and have fewer than 80,000 miles on its odometer.

Additionally, the vehicle must pass a 170-point inspection conducted by a certified Volvo technician. This inspection includes a detailed look at the interior, exterior, powertrain, luxury amenities, safety systems (e.g., Pilot Assist, Blind Spot Information System) and much more.

For example, the 170-point inspection also includes specific checks on hybrid and EV systems, if applicable. “We check to ensure charging time is optimal, the battery takes a full charge and ensure a factory charging cord is available,” a Volvo sales rep told us. “The CPO qualifiers across the board are pretty stringent.”

» LEARN: What does a car warranty cover?

How good is Volvo’s CPO warranty?

Volvo’s CPO warranty is fairly average.

For context, Volvo offers a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on all new cars, which is transferable to each successive owner until it expires. This bumper-to-bumper warranty covers virtually every part of your vehicle.

When you buy CPO, Volvo effectively extends that four-year/50,000-mile factory warranty to five years with unlimited miles.

“It’s basically the same warranty as the factory warranty, covering everything but normal wear-and-tear and consumables,” the Volvo dealership sales rep reported. “It’s as close to a continuation of the new Volvo warranty as you can get.”

One extra year of bumper-to-bumper protection is pretty standard for a CPO warranty, and doing it with no mileage limit is a nice touch, especially if you intend for your Volvo to become a cross-country hauler.

But what happens if you buy a CPO Volvo that’s just under five years old?

“You’ll only get 6 months of CPO warranty coverage,” another dealership sales rep told us. “That’s why most dealers won’t bother certifying Volvos that are over 4 years old. Customers won’t buy them because they aren’t getting the full CPO warranty benefits.”

Assuming you buy a CPO Volvo under four years old for maximum coverage, how does Volvo’s warranty compare with its rivals’ coverage?

How does Volvo’s CPO warranty compare?

Volvo’s CPO warranty is better than Mercedes’ or Audi’s because it offers true bumper-to-bumper protection, but it falls short of Lexus, Porsche and Genesis, which all offer longer combined coverage terms.

» MORE: Best CPO warranties

CPO Volvo benefits

In addition to a solid warranty, Certified by Volvo vehicles also include the following benefits:

  • 24/7 Volvo roadside assistance for the duration of the CPO warranty, including fuel deliveries, flat-tire changes, battery jump-starts and emergency lockout services if your keys are lost, broken or locked in the car.
  • Towing to the nearest Volvo retailer in the event of a mechanical breakdown or a traffic accident that renders your Volvo inoperable. (Volvo says it’ll help arrange a tow after a “collision” at your expense.)
  • Trip interruption benefits of up to $500 to help cover the cost of meals, lodging and transportation if your Volvo breaks down 150-plus miles from home and requires overnight repairs. These benefits also cover personal or commercial transportation to help reunite you and your Volvo once repairs are done.
  • Special financing rates unique to CPO Volvos between one and four years old, starting at 5.99% for 60 months (subject to availability and credit approval).
  • Discounts on extended warranties — According to a dealer sales rep we spoke with, “It’s less expensive to add the continuation of the CPO warranty than to purchase a separate Volvo VIP plan (Volvo’s official extended warranty).”

We’ll discuss the price difference between the CPO extended warranties and the regular VIP plans below. For now, know that these are above-average benefits for a CPO program. The ability to apply your trip interruption benefits toward shipping your Volvo back home is a nice touch that we haven’t seen in a CPO program before.

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Do you need an extended warranty for your Volvo?

Volvos are just unreliable enough that you might want to consider getting an extended warranty for when your CPO warranty runs out.

In our full breakdown of Volvo’s extended warranty plans, we found that the price for a seven-year/100,000-mile Platinum plan (providing bumper-to-bumper protection) ranged from $3,500 to $4,000, depending on the vehicle in question. That amounts to about $1,250 per year of additional bumper-to-bumper coverage after the four-year/50,000-mile factory warranty runs out. (That “seven-year” term is measured from when your vehicle was brand-new.)

Manufacturers often measure their extended warranty terms from a vehicle’s in-service date, even if the warranty is purchased long after.

As previously mentioned, though, CPO Volvos get special rates on these extended warranties. We were quoted $3,000 to add two more years on top of the five-year CPO warranty and $4,000 to add five years.

Paying $3,000 to add two years of coverage isn’t a great deal compared with the cost of buying a noncertified used Volvo and adding a Volvo VIP extended warranty, but paying $4,000 to add five years to a CPO Volvo is a much better proposition.

If you plan to own your Volvo for a long time, buying a CPO Volvo and extending your CPO warranty by another five years might be cheaper than buying a separate extended warranty. However, in our previous analysis, we also found that third-party warranties might come in even cheaper, so consider getting extra quotes and comparing the offers you receive.

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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. 9, 2023.
  2. Consumer Reports, “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” Accessed Aug. 9, 2023.
  3. RepairPal, “ Volvo Reliability Rating .” Accessed Aug. 9, 2023.
  4. iSeeCars, “ Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Cars: Are They Worth the Extra Cost? ” Accessed Aug. 9, 2023.
  5. Edmunds, “ Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) .” Accessed Aug. 9, 2023.
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