Ford Certified Pre-Owned Review

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Last updated Dec 8, 2020

Buying a Ford certified pre-owned vehicle is a fantastic way to own a relatively new Ford that comes with a warranty and has been inspected. You don’t need to pay new car prices to have a car with a warranty. We often advise people to go for a CPO vehicle over a Craigslist used car since you know the vehicle you’re buying has been inspected and comes warrantied.

We’re about to dive deep into the Ford CPO program, where we’ll discuss the warranty, inspection process, and go over the perks they offer.

TLDR; Ford’s warranty is unimpressive, but it’s also not disappointing. They are offering an industry-standard warranty. Their inspection process, while thorough, is also industry standard. There’s nothing that jumps out as unique or exciting about the Ford CPO program. If you’re a fan of Ford, it’s still worth buying a Ford CPO over a generic used Ford off the side of the road. 

Ford’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Information

The Ford certified pre-owned program includes two warranties that are on par with the industry standard. They don’t rise above the average, but they also don’t fall below it. To be eligible for the Ford CPO program, a car must meet the following criteria:

  • Less than 80,000 miles
  • Five model years old or newer

The mileage requirement is slightly higher than other automakers, who generally set the bar at 50,000 miles.

What does Ford’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

When you buy a Ford certified pre-owned vehicle, you’ll receive two warranties that cover different parts of your car.

Comprehensive Limited Warranty which covers over 1,000 components including:

  • Engine
  • Electrical system
  • Brakes
  • Steering components
  • Front and rear-wheel drive
  • Safety systems

Ford also provides a Powertrain Limited Warranty, which covers:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Drivetrain

Both of these warranties are offering industry standard coverage. This can be considered a good thing since they aren’t dipping below the industry standard. However, we would like to see more components covered in the Comprehensive Limited Warranty.

How long does Ford’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Last?

The Ford certified pre-owned program provides two warranties of different lengths:

  1. Comprehensive Limited Warranty: 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first
  2. Powertrain Limited Warranty: Seven-year or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first

Both of these warranties are fully transferable to new owners with no transfer fee, enhancing your resale value.

Ford also offers Extended Service Plans, which cover more areas of the vehicle and have varying durations. These plans are available at a Ford dealer, and they do not post any information about them on their website.

It’s important to note that Ford does not explicitly mention what happens when you buy a CPO car that still has the New Vehicle Warranty. They should state whether or not that warranty will carry over, and if the CPO warranty kicks in after it expires. Perhaps it means you won’t be receiving a CPO warranty. This policy needs to be stated directly.

Both of their warranty durations are relatively standard for the auto industry. The Comprehensive Limited Warranty duration is the same as most other competitors, while the Powertrain Limited Warranty is slightly lower than others, as some offer ten years.

Ford’s Certified Pre-Owned Inspection

Every Ford certified pre-owned vehicle has been through a rigorous 172-point inspection. You can view the complete inspection checklist on their website, but we’ll go over the significant points:

  • Vehicle history, including inspecting the VIN and looking through service recalls
  • Road test, including engine starts, engine acceleration, and engine noise
  • Exterior, including body condition and power liftgate functionality
  • Vehicle interior, including interior amenities condition and navigation system functionality
  • Vehicle diagnostics, primarily a self-test for all CMDTCs
  • Underhood, including engine oil levels and belt conditions
  • Hybrid/electric vehicles have unique inspection points, such as charging components and hybrid cooling system
  • Underbody, including the presence of frame damage and tire tread depth
  • Convenience, including owners guide and a complete set of keys

Providing a 172-point inspection is more thorough than some competitors, but not by much. It is an average amount of inspection points. We’re unimpressed by their inspection process, but still, we aren’t disappointed in it.  

We should highlight that this is Ford’s internal inspection. You should still have your own pre-purchase inspection done.

Other Ford Certified Pre-Owned Perks

Every Ford certified pre-owned vehicle comes with many perks. Ford provides these perks both as a ‘thank you’ and to persuade you to buy a Ford CPO vehicle. The perks are:

  • A three-month subscription to SiriusXM
  • 24/7 roadside assistance for the duration of the Powertrain Limited Warranty, which covers lockouts, flat tires, emergency tows, and gas delivery
  • A Vehicle History report
  • You can buy a Ford certified pre-owned vehicle with Ford Credit, which is their unique credit offering which gives you the ability to return the car within one year

This perk offering is pretty small as compared to other automakers. We’re a little surprised since Ford is such a big name in the auto world. Perhaps it’s for this reason that they don’t feel the need to offer too many perks?

Overall, the Ford certified pre-owned program is average in every way. They only fall below average with their perk offering, but that’s not as important. The critical aspects of a CPO vehicle are the warranty and inspection, and they’re perfectly average in those regards. Being average is certainly better than being subpar. We recommend this program for fans of Ford. If you are looking for a reliable certified pre-owned vehicle, Ford is an acceptable way to go, but there are other automakers with better programs.


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