Car Buying

Is a CPO Warranty Transferrable?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2014

If you're thinking of selling a certified pre-owned (CPO) car, or if you're thinking about buying a used car from someone who bought the vehicle through a certified pre-owned program, you're probably wondering if you can transfer the warranty to the next buyer. We were curious, too, so we searched through the rules of most automakers' certified pre-owned warranties to find out the answer.

Usually Transferable

In general, most automaker certified pre-owned warranties are transferrable. The majority of automakers openly state this, noting that the next owner usually must notify the automaker of a vehicle sale. They confirm that the warranty will remain valid even once a car has been sold to a new owner.

A few automakers request a fee in order to transfer a vehicle's warranty. For example, Volkswagen requires a $150 fee before it will transfer the warranty to the next owner, while BMW requires $200. That figure is small when you consider the potential savings offered by a comprehensive, manufacturer-backed warranty should something major go wrong.

But Not Always

Although nearly all automakers offer a transferrable certified pre-owned warranty, buying a CPO car with remaining warranty coverage doesn't necessarily mean that the warranty automatically transfers to you.

Most CPO warranty transfers are limited to just one new owner, which means coverage will cease if you buy a certified pre-owned car from one owner and resell it to another one. Additionally, most CPO warranties exclude sales through non-authorized dealerships. That means a car owner who trades in his CPO Ford to a Chevrolet dealership, for example, cancels out any possibility of a certified pre-owned warranty for the next buyer.

Do Your Research

Since the warranty can be an important and valuable tool for a used-car owner, we strongly suggest doing your research before buying any secondhand certified pre-owned vehicle. Specifically, we suggest calling a dealership and asking them to confirm details such as whether the warranty will transfer, exactly how many miles and years are left, and whether you need to pay anything to get the warranty placed in your name. This might sound like a hassle, but it could save you big money if there's an issue with the car you buy and you need the CPO warranty to get it fixed.

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.
Is a CPO Warranty Transferrable? - Autotrader