BMW Certified Pre-Owned Review

December 8, 2020

All around the world, BMW has a specific reputation for providing quality, luxurious cars. However, buying a brand-new BMW is quite costly. That’s why we recommend going for the BMW certified pre-owned vehicle program. You can get into a BMW that’s been inspected and has a warranty without paying new car prices.

TLDR; We like the BMW certified pre-owned program. Although, the lack of a separate powertrain warranty does bring down the entire program. Most other programs include a powertrain warranty. We do appreciate that they add the CPO warranty to the end of the New Vehicle warranty. Their inspection process is thorough, and they offer great perks. The BMW CPO program is a great way to get into a BMW.  

BMW’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Information

BMW says their CPO program is “selective from the start.” While that’s an excellent sales pitch, what does it mean? Here’s what we’ve gathered:

  • Less than 60,000 miles on the odometer
  • A “late-model” vehicle with more than 300 miles on it
  • A clean Carfax or AutoCheck report
  • Only has genuine BMW parts
  • An up-to-date maintenance history

The lack of a specific age range is a bit concerning, but with a 60,000-mile maximum, most vehicles will only be a few years old. We love the program criteria because they require an up-to-date maintenance history for the car, which is not standard for other CPO programs.

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

Every BMW certified pre-owned vehicle includes comprehensive coverage that kicks in after the New Vehicle warranty expires. We love to see automakers add a new warranty to the end of the New Vehicle warranty instead of replacing it.

The CPO warranty has the same coverage as the New Vehicle warranty, described as “specific defects in materials and workmanship.” They also include a complete breakdown of what is not covered:

  • Maintenance, such as oil changes and replacing brake pads
  • Upkeep, such as engine drive belt replacement and wheel alignment
  • Suspension, such as ball joints and tie rod ends
  • Body, such as mounts and partitions
  • Interior, such as bulbs and floor mats
  • Any non-original equipment parts, components, and accessories

While this might seem like a long list of what they don’t cover, it’s all relatively standard for CPO programs. Most CPO programs are a little more specific about what they will cover. Based on our interpretation, BMW will cover repairs if they are related to a manufacturer defect.

The warranty may be transferred to a new party, which significantly increases your resale value.

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

Every BMW certified pre-owned vehicle comes with whatever is remaining on the New Vehicle Warranty, if anything, which lasts for four years and 50,000 miles. After that warranty expires, the CPO warranty kicks in, which provides one year of coverage with unlimited mileage.

Since one of the requirements to be in the BMW certified pre-owned program is to have less than 60,000 miles, it is possible to buy a CPO vehicle with a New Vehicle warranty that has already expired. Fortunately, you’ll still be covered by the new warranty. Although, this does mean you would benefit from buying a newer CPO vehicle, if possible.

You may purchase extended protection at any point during the warranty to extend your coverage. BMW offers a few different types of extended warranties that you can view on their website.

BMW’s Certified Pre-Owned Inspection

BMW performs a thorough inspection of every vehicle before it’s certified. Unlike almost every other automaker, they don’t talk about how many inspection points they have. Instead, they call it a “360-degree vehicle inspection.” Even on their inspection checklist, they don’t number the inspection points. So, what are they inspecting? Let’s take a look:

  • Vehicle background, including maintenance records and VIN report
  • Wheel assembly, including tire measurements and brake inspection
  • Body and mechanical, including bumper condition and glass condition
  • Mechanic, including belt tensioners and exhaust system
  • Stationary review, including pedal function and driver’s seat functions
  • Road test, including pedal function and navigation system functionality
  • Rolling review, including cold/hot starting and ABS condition

Something that jumps out about their inspection process is that their checklist has a section for “comments.” Most automakers have a simple “pass” or “fail” checklist. BMW may include this section for many possible reasons, but we like to think it was so they could more accurately describe the component’s condition.

Other BMW Certified Pre-Owned Perks

Most automakers provide perks with every CPO vehicle they sell, and BMW is no different. Here are the bonuses you can expect if you buy a BMW certified pre-owned vehicle:

  • 24/7 roadside assistance for the duration of your warranty, including lockout assistance, fuel delivery, emergency tows, and jump-starts
  • Trip interruption, providing coverage of up $1,000 per incident if your car breaks down “far” from home (although “far” is not explicitly defined)
  • BMW Assist, which is a safety plan that provides emergency assistance and can detect collisions
  • Loaner vehicles directly from the dealership during the duration of your warranty, if your vehicle is in for covered repairs
  • Three months of SiriusXM
  • A comprehensive Vehicle History Report

Some of these perks are standard, while others go above and beyond what is par for the course. Providing loaner cars directly from the dealership is a unique benefit and prevents the hassle of having to deal with a rental car business or going through the reimbursement process. We also appreciate the trip interruption perk.

We recommend the BMW certified pre-owned program. They provide a thorough vehicle inspection, although they don’t use the point-based system other automakers use. We do wish they offered a specific extended powertrain warranty. They make up for this lack of warranty with their other offerings, but overall the absence of a powertrain warranty does bring the program down. Ultimately, it’s an excellent program for someone looking to get into a BMW who doesn’t want to go for a brand-new car.

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