Buying a brand-new car can be a worrisome endeavor for many customers. New cars are expensive, come with frightening depreciation, and can have confusing purchase options (lease/finance/buy outright). Which is why slightly used cars are a bit more comforting for many buyers; they offer more straightforward buying options (finance or buy outright) and have already taken their big depreciation hit, making them better values than their newer counterparts.

Though, buying a used car isn’t without its fears, though. Service history, accident history, and general reliability can all worry potential customers. Which is why Certified Pre-Owned vehicles can be incredibly comforting for said customers. So let’s take a look at the BMW Certified Pre-Owned program, what it is, how it works, and if it’s right for you.

What is BMW’s Certified Pre-Owned Program?

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BMW’s CPO program isn’t unlike its competitors’. In essence, it’s a way to buy a used car that’s been inspected, certified, and warrantied by a certified BMW dealer. A CPO BMW will have had a thorough inspection, to make sure it’s in good enough condition to quality for CPO, and it will come with a warranty. Admittedly, that warranty isn’t as impressive as the new car’s warranty but it’s a warranty nevertheless.

Those two facts offer peace of mind, when it comes to buying a used car. The fact that certified BMW mechanics checked the car over, to make sure there weren’t any glaring faults, and that it passed its inspection can really ease a buyer’s mind. More than that, the comfort in knowing that, if anything does go wrong, it’s covered by a warrant for the next couple of years can really make a customer feel good about their purchase.

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When a dealership takes in a vehicle during a trade-in, if the vehicle is eligible, it goes through the CPO certification process. This process checks to make sure everything is in working condition, that there isn’t any significant damage to the vehicle, and how well maintained it is. The comprehensive check list that BMW techs go through to certify a vehicle is quite long which proves that if a vehicle passes, it’s likely in very good condition. Of course, it doesn’t guarantee anything but it does drastically reduce the likeliness of your used purchase having any major issues soon after buying it.

What is the Warranty Like?

The biggest draw for customers to the CPO program is its BMW extended warranty. A car is the second biggest purchase anyone can make, only behind a house. Because of that, customers want to know their purchase is safe, especially when it comes to an expensive, complicated luxury car such as a BMW. Which is why warranties are so important.

BMW’s CPO warranty is a one-year, unlimited-mile warranty that tacks onto the end of the car’s original new-car warranty. So, for example, if you buy a CPO BMW with two years and 20,000 miles still left on its original new-car warranty, you get the rest of that new-car warranty, plus an additional one year warranty after that. It must be said, though, that the CPO warranty is not an extension of the original warranty, as it doesn’t cover as much.

For instance, certain wear and tear items are no longer covered under the CPO warranty. Things like shock dampers, suspension bushings, engine drive belts, and certain body parts. The reason for excluding those items is that they’re past their original warranty and the car is being bought second hand. While that’s understandable, it’s still not exactly a new-car warranty, so customers need to be aware of that.

Additionally, it must also be mentioned that the new-car’s three year/36,000 mile maintenance program does not transfer to the CPO buyer at all. In fact, the car loses its maintenance program the moment it’s certified for CPO status.

How Much Does the CPO Certification Cost?

Dealers typically tack on around $1,500 to the cost of the vehicle if it’s certified pre-owned. That fee is so the dealership can not only inspect the car but also pay for the additional warranty on the car.

Is a Certified Pre-Owned BMW Right for You?

To be honest, it’s hard not to recommend a CPO BMW if you’re in the market for a used Bimmer. Sure, you’ll spend a bit of extra money on a CPO car than you will a normal used BMW but it’s almost certainly worth it. The extra money you’ll spend on the car is well worth the peace of mind, knowing that the vehicle has been thoroughly inspected and given an additional year warranty. It also proves that any maintenance done to the car over its life was done through a certified BMW dealer and not some random mechanic, or else the BMW wouldn’t pass its certification process.

Having the knowledge that your CPO BMW was inspected, certified, and then warrantied makes any car purchase that little bit easier and makes living with it a bit less stressful. Unless you’d prefer a much cheaper and older BMW, a CPO is well worth it.

Other Options: BMW Extended Warranty

Deciding on whether to extend your BMW factory warranty depends on the coverage you need you want or need for your vehicle. Of course, the age and condition of your BMW will play an important role, but regardless, we put together some tips to guide you through the process.

We also included two companies that are operating in the space of car warranties.

Best Extended Warranty Companies. Our top picks for your BMW:

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