What Is VW Certified Pre-owned?

Volkswagen’s used-car program includes an inspection, roadside assistance, and a warranty.

2017 Volkswagen Beetle pink front quarter viewVolkswagen

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Volkswagen offers a robust Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle program with certain guarantees that can help a used-car purchase seem like new.

Let’s dig into the benefits of VW’s CPO program.

Dealer Inspection

One of the biggest benefits to buying a certified pre-owned vehicle is the dealer inspection. VW puts its certified used vehicles through a 100-plus point inspection, which includes looking at the engine, transmission, brakes, and steering. The inspection ensures that any recommended or required maintenance is completed prior to the sale.

The inspection and repairs should include any open recalls, but to be on the safe side, it’s always wise to check any open recalls using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) via the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, and then verify with the dealer that each repair was completed.

Each VW CPO vehicle will include a Carfax vehicle history report, with detailed information on any accidents, service history, type of use and ownership history. This should also show if recall work was completed, but you can always ask questions.

Roadside Assistance

For its CPO vehicles, VW offers two years of 24-hour roadside assistance, which includes towing to an authorized VW dealership, flat tire changes, and jump starts. It’s similar to an AAA membership, but free. (AAA memberships can cost upwards of $300 per year, depending on which plan you choose and how many members are enrolled per family.)


One of the best things about buying a certified pre-owned vehicle from VW might just be the model-specific limited warranty coverage. While the owner is still responsible for normal wear and tear and regular maintenance (oil changes, tires, brakes, etc.), the warranty will cover things like engine components, suspension components, electrical systems, steering systems, exhaust, telematics, lighting, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

The length of the warranty depends on the model year. Model years 2017 and older as well as 2020 and newer receive a two-year/24,000-mile (whichever comes first) comprehensive limited warranty. Model years 2018 and 2019 get a one-year/12,000-mile (whichever comes first) comprehensive limited warranty.

Model Years Included

VW says that it will only consider vehicles originally sold within the last six years. That means there could be something of a gray zone if, say, a leftover 2017 model like the Beetle wasn’t sold until early 2018.

A handful of turbodiesel models (known as TDI in VW-speak) may also be young enough to qualify for certification.

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Jill Ciminillo
Jill Ciminillo is a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality, and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on cars for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization.