BMW Will "Un-Certify" Your CPO Car If You Don't Purchase From BMW

Certified pre-owned is a great way to get the "ultimate driving machine" of your dreams without dropping a ton of cash, but a new program has just eliminated that extra warranty coverage if the vehicle was not purchased from a BMW store.

Wait..what?

According to BMW, any Certified Pre-Owned car that was certified after January 1st 2014 is not eligible for a warranty transfer if the car was sold through a non-BMW dealership. Here are two scenarios:

John buys a CPO 2010 328 in February of 2014 (the vehicle was certified in February). John drives it for a few months, and is enticed by lightly used M3 at CarMax. He trades his 328 for the M3. CarMax puts the 328 for sale and advertises it as a CPO BMW because according to the time and mileage there is still warranty coverage left. Except it is not a BMW CPO car anymore, because despite what the CarFax says, the car is being sold through a non-BMW dealer.

Mary buys a CPO 2009 X3 in January of 2014 (the vehicle was certified in January). Mary drives it for a year or so and decides she doesn't need an SUV and wants a 2-series. She goes to her local BMW dealer and trades her X3 in for a nice M235, because Mary is awesome. The BMW dealer advertises her X3 as a BMW CPO vehicle, and because it is being sold through a BMW dealer it retains the CPO coverage.

What about private sale?

Now if John advertised his CPO 328 on Craigslist and you, a private buyer, purchased it the CPO warranty could be transferred to you as long as you pay the $200 transfer fee and the vehicle still qualified for coverage given condition and mileage.

What if the vehicle was "certified" prior to Jan 1st. 2014?

According to BMW, all cars certified before that date would still be eligible for CPO warranty transfer regardless of how the vehicle was acquired. For example, if Mary's X3 was certified in December of 2013, she could have given it to any dealer and they could still sell a CPO x3 with whatever remaining coverage the vehicle still had.

This only applies to the extended CPO coverage right?

Correct...any BMW sold that still has the balance of the factory (original) warranty remains with the car and is not impacted by the transaction. However, as we discussed in the previous CPO article, most dealerships will charge a premium for a car with CPO coverage. Any CPO BMW sold at a non-BMW store (that was certified after 1/1/14) is now just a "used" BMW.

How does this affect the no-cost maintenance?

All new BMWs come with a no-cost maintenance plan for the first 4 years or 50k miles (whichever comes first). Currently, all vehicles for sale that have a no-cost maintenance plan can be transferred to another owner regardless of a dealership or private sale. However, beginning with 2015 BMW models the no-cost maintenance will not be transferable. BMW will make an exception for vehicles given to family members via a "household transfer."

TL:DR- If you want a CPO BMW, you must buy it from a BMW dealer.

(Photo Credit: bmwusa.com)

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