General Motors Certified Pre-Owned Review

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Last updated Dec 8, 2020

Buying a General Motors certified pre-owned vehicle allows you to get a stable, warrantied car for a fraction of the price of a new car. We always steer people towards a CPO vehicle over a used car whenever we can.

We’re about to go over the General Motors certified pre-owned warranty, the inspection process, and other bonuses. We’ll give you our thoughts along the way so that you can evaluate whether their program is worth your money.

TLDR; General Motors provides an average warranty with their certified pre-owned cars. The bumper-to-bumper warranty is longer than some competitors, while the powertrain warranty is shorter than most competitors. However, their inspection process is quite thorough, and we like that they investigate vehicle history as part of it. While the perks they give you are nice, we don’t think they should persuade you to buy a General Motors certified pre-owned vehicle.  

General Motors’ Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Information

Warranties are half of the reason we always recommend a certified pre-owned vehicle over an ‘off the street’ used car. The other half is due to the inspection. Between the warranty and the inspection, you know that you’re getting a reliable vehicle and that the manufacturer has you covered if any issues should occur.

What does General Motors’ Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Every General Motors certified pre-owned vehicle includes two warranties:

Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty:

  • $0 deductible
  • Covers “almost every part” in your car
  • Does not include anything considered damage or misuse

Powertrain Limited Warranty:

  • $0 deductible for repairs
  • Covers most engine components, transmission components, and drive systems
  • Does not cover damage caused by aftermarket parts, such as turbochargers

The General Motors certified pre-owned warranties are average compared to industry standards. The bumper-to-bumper warranty is longer than some competitors, but the powertrain limited warranty is also shorter than some competitors.

We appreciate that there isn’t a deductible for covered repairs. Other automakers have deductibles, so it’s nice to see that General Motors is not taking part in this trend.

How long does General Motors’ Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Last?

General Motors certified pre-owned vehicles come with two warranties that have different durations:

Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty:

  • 12-months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first
  • Begins when the vehicle is purchased, or the New Car Warranty expires
  • Completely transferrable with no transfer fee

Powertrain Limited Warranty:

  • Six years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first
  • Begins when the vehicle was initially sold
  • Completely transferrable with no transfer fee

Being able to transfer the warranty is a nice feature. Imagine being able to sell a used car with a warranty; the new owner will love that. Not having to pay a transfer fee is also excellent, as some automakers do have a transfer fee.

We aren’t pleased with the warranty durations, although their bumper-to-bumper warranty is four times longer than Dodge. A longer powertrain warranty would put General Motors on par with other car manufacturers.

General Motors’ Certified Pre-Owned Inspection

The inspection is an essential part of any CPO program. It’s how you know the vehicle will be reliable, and the warranty provides some peace of mind. General Motors conducts a thorough 172-point inspection of all cars before they are certified. You can view the complete checklist on their website, but we’ll cover the main points below:

  • Investigate vehicle history, including checking for recalls and going over the Carfax report (are Carfax reports trustworthy?)
  • Perform upcoming maintenance, including changing the oil and cleaning battery connections
  • Check tires and brakes, including checking all four wheels for tire tread depth and brake pad thickness
  • Detailing, including removing any foreign odors and cleaning glass surfaces
  • Road test, including checking the engine, transmission, stability, steering, and HVAC
  • Functional areas, including airbags and parking brakes
  • Engine compartment, including the checking the brake system and cooling system
  • Under the vehicle, including visually inspecting for leaks and checking the drivetrain condition
  • Interior, including seating functionality and lighting functionality
  • Exterior, including checking headlights and functionality of all door handles
  • For hybrids, they check the hybrid battery and confirm the auto stop

Again, we appreciate their inspection because a vehicle history investigation is included. While we can assume other manufacturers do this, too, we like seeing it on the checklist.

Other General Motors Certified Pre-Owned Perks

Automakers like to include perks with their CPO programs, and General Motors is no different. Every General Motors certified pre-owned vehicle comes with a handful of bonuses:

  • 24/7 roadside assistance provided by Allstate, valid for the length of your powertrain warranty. It covers all common issues, such as flat tires, lockouts, battery jump starts, and gas delivery.
  • Two complimentary scheduled maintenance visits, which include oil and oil filter change, tire rotations, and a multi-point inspection
  • OnStar limited trial, which is their system that provides turn-by-turn navigation, emergency crash assistance, and advanced diagnostics
  • A three-month trial of SiriusXM
  • Enrollment in MyGM, which provides points that can be redeemed for rewards

These perks are pretty average. However, one that stands out is the two complimentary scheduled maintenance visits. Some other competitors provide one visit, while most give no free maintenance visits. The OnStar trial is also an excellent perk, and may come in handy in the event of an accident.

We aren’t particularly impressed by the General Motors certified pre-owned program, but we aren’t disappointed in it either. It’s quite an average program, which isn’t a bad thing. They would impress us a bit more by extending their powertrain warranty. We do like how many inspection points are checked during their inspection process, though. Overall, we’re neutral towards this program.  

1 Comment

  1. Kevin S Davis

    You might want to note that Cadillac CPO is NOT the same. Actually they just made it worse back in July. FYI.


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