Car Buying

Buying a Car: Is the Factory Warranty Transferable?

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Honda Accord LX Sedan
Used 2016 Honda Accord
$16,719
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2016 Honda Accord Sport Sedan
Certified 2016 Honda Accord
$17,669
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2016 Honda Accord EX Sedan
Certified 2016 Honda Accord
$17,441
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Honda Accord Sport Sedan
Used 2016 Honda Accord
$16,309
RELATED READING
See all Honda Accord articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Karma cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs MAZDA cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader July 2019

If you're interested in selling or buying a car, you might be thinking about the car's warranty. If you're a buyer, you might be wondering if a used car's warranty will transfer to you or if it's only valid for the original owner. And if you're a seller, you might be curious whether you can advertise your car for sale with the remaining factory warranty -- which could help you get a little more money or sell it quicker. How does it work? Does the warranty transfer to a new buyer? We'll explain.

The devil is in the details but when buying or selling a car, one key question is: Does the new car warranty that comes with every new car transfer to the next owner? In general, the answer is yes.

The Warranty Usually Transfers

In nearly every case, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the new car warranty will be valid for the full term regardless of ownership. In other words, if you buy a new car and later sell it to someone else, the warranty will still remain valid for the new owner until the end of the original warranty period.

As a result, buying a used car with the remaining factory warranty means it's covered for whatever portion of the warranty remains as if you were the original owner.  There's one important catch, however; the warranty is based on the in-service date and not the model year. If you buy a 2019 model-year car with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty in November of 2018, the clock begins ticking the minute you take possession. No matter the mileage, that warranty expires in November of 2021, three years from the date you bought the car new. Likewise, if the new car dealership puts a new car into service as a demo or a loaner, the warranty clock begins on the day that happens.

If holding on to the remaining factory warranty is important to you, we suggest that you call a dealership and provide the service department with the VIN so you can find out exactly how much warranty is left.

The Exceptions

For years Hyundai and Kia have been well known for offering the best powertrain warranties in the industry:10 years or 100,000 miles. What most consumers don't realize is that these legendary warranties aren't transferable to a new owner in many cases. Fortunately, the warranty doesn't become completely invalid when a new owner buys the car as a used vehicle; it just changes to 5 years or 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage. This is also true of Mitsubishi's 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

The change is an important one for used car shoppers to know; many drivers interested in a reliable car will likely choose a vehicle from one of these carmakers based solely on the outstanding powertrain warranty coverage. Sadly, the bulk of that excellent coverage is only available to the first owner. However, there are some exceptions for certified pre-owned buyers. Customers who buy a certified Hyundai will get the full coverage and certified pre-owned Kia buyers get the full powertrain warranty but not the full bumper-to-bumper limited warranty.

Certified Pre-owned?

When it comes to selling a car you first purchased as a certified pre-owned vehicle (CPO), the rules are similar. In most cases, we've found that manufacturer CPO warranties transfer to a second owner. If you buy a car with a CPO warranty and resell it, the person who buys it will be covered with the balance of the extended CPO warranty that you originally received, in most cases. Many automakers charge a small fee (about $50-$100) to transfer the CPO warranty and that process is not automatic. If you buy a used car that has time or miles left on the CPO warranty, contact the automaker to be sure it transfers to you.

Some certified pre-owned warranties (Mercedes-Benz warranties, for example) make one important exception, though: They're only transferable in a private sale. In other words, if you trade in your certified pre-owned car to a dealership, the CPO warranty is no longer valid. For the warranty to stay valid, you have to sell it privately to a new owner.

Verify First

Although we've checked each manufacturer's warranty terms, we strongly suggest that you call a local dealership and provide them with the VIN to verify that the warranty is still valid before signing any papers. After all, automakers often change policies. If you're interested in buying a car with warranty coverage, you won't want to leave it to chance.

Related Warranty Articles:

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated for accuracy since it was originally published.

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Honda Accord LX Sedan
Used 2016 Honda Accord
$16,719
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2016 Honda Accord Sport Sedan
Certified 2016 Honda Accord
$17,669
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2016 Honda Accord EX Sedan
Certified 2016 Honda Accord
$17,441
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Honda Accord Sport Sedan
Used 2016 Honda Accord
$16,309
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Buying a Car: Is the Factory Warranty Transferable? - Autotrader