If you want to drive a luxury car, you have three options: buy new, lease, or buy used. Tavarish says the smart money buys used and buys on Craigslist for cheap, but if you want a little more peace of mind, certified pre-owned is the way to go. Autotrader ranked their top ten CPO programs, you might be surprised who didn't make the cut.
Autotrader says they determined their rankings based on length of coverage, ability to be transferred, and the deductible for repairs. They said the best programs have coverage up to 100,000 miles, are transferable to other owners, and have little or no deductible.
Who's got the best CPO in town? Porsche, it turns out:
"Porsche's certified pre-owned program is easily the best in the industry...Like many luxury-car certified pre-owned programs, it offers six years or 100,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage for any vehicle that's still under factory warranty. But if a used car's factory warranty is expired, Porsche will also offer an additional two years or 50,000 miles of coverage — something no other automaker does. They also offer a long list of perks that make a CPO vehicle very compelling."
Now here is where things get really interesting. Porsche will certify cars all the way back to 2007. That means you can pick up this 2008 Cayman for less than I paid for my 2015 GTI and still get up to 50,000 miles worth of warranty coverage.
A manual transmission-having, mid-engine sports car with a warranty can be yours for under $30 grand... Why did I buy a Volkswagen again?
In the number two spot is Lexus. Given the brand's reputation for making sublimely reliable luxury cars, I guess it isn't much of a risk for them to offer some excellent CPO coverage. Suppose you were in the market for a compact, luxury, sport-sedan. A nicely equipped A4 or 328 will easily run you about $40k.
But why have only four cylinders when you can have eight? Like this this tire-smoking 2010 IS F with a 416 horsepower 5.0L V8.
Now, I know what you're thinking..."BMW, Mercedes or Audi have to have the number three spot right?" Nope. Despite the fact that those programs are probably the most popular among luxury cars, Autotrader just gave them an un-ranked "honorable mention." That is because none of them can come close to the comprehensive coverage of Volvo.
Recently when I did some shopping for a few clients looking to get a used luxury crossover, I found the CPO Volvo XC60 to be a fantastic value. Often you can pick one up with less miles, more equipment and a better warranty than a German car of the same price.
But enough about crossovers... you like hatchbacks with turbocharged five-cylinder engines and manual transmissions, right? Of course you do!
Here is a CPO 2012 C30 T5 for under $20,000. It might not be the most practical hatchback, but what it lacks in usability it makes up for in style. Plus you will look way more grown up in this thing than you would in a Fiesta ST.
After Volvo, the number four spot is occupied by Hyundai and number five goes to Kia, though their CPO programs are pretty much identical. Finishing up the list is Volkswagen, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini, and Mitsubishi. That is an interesting bunch, considering none of those brands are known for stellar reliability.
Purchasing any used car is a risk, having some warranty coverage either via CPO or third party reduces your risk. However, it is important to do your research about the make and model you are interested in and find out where the trouble spots are. I also recommend getting the car inspected by an independent third party if you can.
If you have a question, a tip, or something you would like to to share about car-buying, drop me a line at AutomatchConsulting@gmail.com and be sure to include your Kinja handle.