To certify or not to certify? That’s been a popular question among BMW owners the last few years as BMW rolled out it’s certified pre-owned program for used BMW’s. It’s a program popular enough with BMW owners that it’s spread to many other higher end brands such as Lexus and Audi who realized how attractive this may be to those who are new to their brand but don’t want to buy a new car.

For those that don’t know, in BMW terms, the certified pre-owned program is a service you can opt for on any BMW over about 10,000 and under 60,000 miles. However, for a vehicle that is less than 4 years old and has mileage that low then you should hold off as the factory warranty is still more than likely available on the car. As for the warranty itself, it’s good for 2 years or the next 50,000 miles from when it is certified. But I digress, the important thing people need to know is that the items covered by the certification process are:

  • Engine
  • Transmission(Auto and Manual)
  • Fuel system
  • Front and rear suspension
  • Brakes and ABS
  • Air Conditioning
  • The electrical system
  • A few other more integral systems are also covered

Aside from the coverage on the major systems of the car, when a car is certified BMW is required to do hundreds of checks on the car to bring it up to spec before it can be considered covered as a CPO warranty.

As part of these checks, BMW does things such as replace engine belts, change the oil and other fluids, change brake pads and rotors, check the fuel system, a change of tires(if the tread is low enough and you have non-spec BMW tires), etc. The inspection essentially works to confirm that the car is as close as can be to a car that just rolled out of the factory.

Based on the work required to bring you car to CPO- spec will determine the price of your certification so, if you’ve owned your car since new and have it certified then the more preventative maintenance you’ve kept up with then likely the cheaper your CPO will be. For example, my certification cost about $1,800 as BMW had to replace the tires on my car as they weren’t BMW spec( don’t put any Pirelli’s on the car before you have it CPO’d!) so the cost was driven up some.

All in all, if you want to cover major parts and a little more piece of mind after your factory warranty expired or you’re nervous about buying a German car due to out-of-warranty maintenance then this may be a good program for you. Personally, I have buyer’s regret with mine but I’m curious to here what those of you who have a CPO’d car or have considered doing so think about the program.