CPO Programs Compared: BMW vs. Mercedes-Benz
How do these two luxury auto brands stack up when looking at their certified pre-owned programs?
The major luxury brands BMW and Mercedes-Benz both offer robust certified pre-owned (CPO) programs aimed at customers looking for peace of mind when buying a premium automobile. Although each of these programs has similarities, a few key differences might cause some buyers to lean in one direction or the other when making their CPO vehicle purchase decision.
BMW Vehicles That Are Eligible for the CPO Program
BMW opens its Certified Program to any BMW vehicle less than six years old and with no more than 60,000 miles showing on the odometer. That's just the starting criteria, as each CPO-eligible BMW must also pass a 200-point inspection covering the automobile's mechanical, aesthetic, and feature functionality aspects. A vehicle-history report (from Carfax or AutoCheck) identifies any significant accident damage or other issues that might have occurred.
Once a used BMW has completed those steps, the vehicle is sent to the dealership's service department, where any required maintenance is performed.
Mercedes-Benz Vehicles That Are Eligible for the CPO Program
Mercedes-Benz's CPO criteria are similar to those of BMW. Specifically, the automaker operates within a six-year window when selecting used cars for participation, but Mercedes does allow more mileage than BMW: up to 75,000 miles.
A clean Carfax report is an additional requirement. Still, that report is not a substitute for a 165-point inspection by a Mercedes-Benz technician, who looks at those areas of the car or SUV before allowing it to be included under the CPO banner. Finally, Mercedes-Benz requires proof of regular maintenance following the brand's recommended schedule.
As with BMW, any outstanding issues are repaired or otherwise taken care of before being given the final stamp for sale as a Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle.
The Warranty Coverage and Benefits of the BMW CPO Program
BMW provides a pair of warranty coverages to CPO buyers. The first takes the form of the remainder of the automobile's limited new warranty, which is in effect for the first four years or 50,000 miles past its in-service date. If that warranty has already expired, a similar one-year limited warranty applies (with no mileage restriction).
As a bonus, that additional year of warranty is automatically applied to a CPO vehicle still protected by its factory coverage once it runs out. Excluded from BMW's CPO warranty are regular maintenance items (wipers, brakes, etc.) for vehicles sold after 2017, as well as certain suspension, body, and interior components. However, the automaker offers three levels of extended service contracts for up to seven years or 100,000 miles on new, used, and CPO vehicles.
A longer warranty isn't the only benefit of BMW's program. Every CPO vehicle offers six years of free roadside assistance, accessible through the BMW Assist Safety Plan. A loaner car to use during repairs, access to the vehicle's Carfax report, and a three-month satellite radio subscription are also included.
The Warranty Coverage and Benefits of the Mercedes-Benz CPO Program
A CPO coverage extension in the form of a one-year unlimited mileage warranty applies if a CPO Mercedes-Benz is outside of its original 50,000-mile or four-year new-car coverage. As with BMW, Mercedes-Benz offers the chance to purchase extra warranty coverage and a prepaid maintenance plan for specific models.
The Mercedes-Benz CPO warranty covers many of the same things its new-car warranty does. The plan also provides a swap feature that lets you trade in your CPO purchase for another vehicle during the first week or 500 miles of ownership should you get cold feet about the model you selected. The arrangement is further enhanced by roadside assistance and trip-interruption insurance that can lend you a financial helping hand should you encounter difficulties out on the road.
BMW vs. Mercedes-Benz: How Do Their CPO Programs Compare?
Mercedes-Benz and BMW provide similar new-car warranty coverage and comparable one-year, unlimited-mileage warranties for CPO vehicles once that initial protection has expired. The companies also allow for an additional warranty to be purchased.
The Mercedes-Benz prepaid maintenance plans, however, additionally feature trip-interruption insurance and a vehicle-exchange option that the BMW plan can't match.