Audi CPO Warranty Is Not Transferable & Not Worth It
UPDATE 2 – 12/6/2012 – Audi has reversed their original policy, and CPOs are now transferable again. A great move by Audi, and I applaud them for doing the right thing! I continue to love my Audis, and will be loyal to the brand for a long time to come, and moves like this only reinforce this loyalty. I am on my second (used) Audi and have been delighted with how well built these cars are, but the CPO program is a great idea for anyone that wants the quality of Audi, the assurance of a warranty, and the price of a used car. The picture above is the day that I purchased my second Audi, a pre-owned 2006 Audi S4 with a mere 24,000 miles on the clock. I <3 Audi!
UPDATE – 12/1/2011 – While I’m still disappointed the Audi Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) warranty is not transferable, I will say that I’m very happy with my CPO’d Audi A4. In fact, as I shop for used Audis, I’m hesitant to buy anything BUT an Audi with a CPO warranty. It’s saved me about $3,000 in costs (far more than the added cost of it) and I still have a good 6 months left on it. I do highly recommend the CPO program, and would buy another CPO Audi again in the future. This is in contrast to my post below, which was partially out of frustration of a dealership error in originally telling me it would be transferable, only to find out it wasn’t a year later…
The decision is obviously yours, and you should feel free to shop around, but personally, I think you should strongly consider the CPO warranty. Just be advised it doesn’t transfer, so if you aren’t planning on keeping the car very long, perhaps it might not be worth it to you.
Original Post – April, 2010 – Edited – This post was originally created to voice my dissastifaction that the Audi CPO (certified pre-owned) warranty was not transferrable. At the time, I was looking to sell my CPO’d Audi A4, and had been mislead by the dealership I originally purchased it from that the CPO warranty was in fact transferrable. I created this post to alert other CPO Audi owners that their CPO warranty would not transfer, and urged Audi to reconsider this policy. While I have no clue if this blog post influenced their decision or not, I am very happy to report the Audi CPO program now offers a transferable warranty policy now. This is great news, and makes an already amazing program even better. I continue to be delighted by both pre-owned Audis that I’ve purchased, and will recommend the Audi brand strongly to anyone in the market for a similar vehicle.
There are a few goals of the Audi CPO program. The first is “piece of mind” to someone buying a used Audi at the dealership. You’re buying a used car with some miles on it so the whole purpose is to boost out that warranty so that it appears you’re getting a “full factory” warranty.
The next Audi goal is to increase resale value of the cars by padding in the hidden cost of CPO. I know this wasn’t the case for you, but that is how it is now and with both my TT and RS4 (which were the only ones I bought used). More padding, in general, means more profit.
Now, yes, they only do a simple inspection of the car prior to calling it a CPO to search for any major issues. Typically, it’s the same inspection that they’d give any car before putting it on the lot to avoid selling you a car with a glaring major issue but they tout it as more. So then you have a CPO car with the remainder of the original warranty, (presumably) no problems and an pseudo-extended warranty (CPO) to make up for the lost part of the original factory warranty.
The short comings of the CPO are many. Firstly, it’s not as all-inclusive as the factory warranty (navigation and radio components are notably excluded) and there is a deductible charged per issue. The deductible is $85 and is certainly nothing to sneeze at. With the hidden CPO cost on most vehicles being in the $2000 range, I’d expect no deductible or, at the very least, cover all the components that are covered under the original factory warranty. Lastly, the non-transferable aspect. The built-in cost was paid by you in the end (even though indirect) yet Audi offers no refund for unused portion nor transfers to subsequent owners (even prior to the CPO warranty kicking in).
In conclusion, I agree with you for the most part. The built-in cost, the deductible, the non-trasferability make it a bad deal for $2000+. It’s a great deal for Audi whom I’m sure sees very little claims on CPO vs. factory warranty for all of the reasons above. Personally, I like the added (minor) overall assurance but as with any warranty or insurance, the administrator will try to weasel out if they can.
Great insight as usual Matt. I agree with ur points, I’m just super frusterated with Audi of America over this so my tone isn’t as level headed as yours
Some are still transferable… For example, mine was cpo’d September 2006 and is still CPO’d till july 2010. I’m sure it will be hard to find many other that were sold right before the CPO change like mine was, but they aren’t all expired already.. My deductible was $50..
Did you buy it with really low miles? I guess you’re right that it is possible, just pretty uncommon…especially for B7s as you would have had to buy one used within one year of the body style coming out pretty much?
It actually had high miles for being 1 yr old (27k). But it technically is possible that anyone that traded in a B7 (2005.5 model year) and it was sold cpo before mid/end sept 2006 would still be transferable for $150. Pretty doubtful for 2006 B7 though, but still possible.
Thanks Ryan – I updated the post 🙂
Ryan & Matt – the difference in deductible has to do with when your car was CPO’d. If it was CPO’d before October 31, 2008, your deductible is $50. If it was after that date, it’s more. My deductible was $85 yesterday. Seems like they make the CPO program less generous every year…
I have to disagree with you. One of the main features of the Audi certified Warranty is that it is only available from your Audi dealer, not just anyone. To become a Certified Audi it costs the dealer money and the vehicle has to go through a 300+ point inspection. The Certified program is offered by Audi for those people who are going to buy from the Audi dealer. I can not imagine any Audi sales person boasting that the Certified warranty is transferable, that would not make much sense it would give the customer no reason to buy from the dealer. I think the short of it is I have never met anyone who regretted having the Certified Audi Warranty call it “Piece of mind” but ultimately it just makes sense.
I Am Audi
Hey Scott – sorry for the slow reply, somehow your message got marked as spam so I never saw it until now. Thanks for your comment.
From my understanding, most dealers will do that same 300 point inspection on any used Audi you bring to them for around $175. My dealership sold me the car and the CPO warranty separately, and I can tell you I paid $1550 for the CPO inspection & warranty. Since I want to sell the car, and haven’t made any claims under CPO, I derived $175 worth of value (the inspection) out of something I paid $1550 for – I see that as a highly regrettable decision & poor investment. In hindsight, I wish I had insisted to buy the car without the CPO certification (which the dealership would have done, in theory, although I was very heavily pressured into buying the CPO certification, and was fed bogus claims like that it could transfer – but that’s another story).
I do think the Audi’s found at Audi dealerships seem to be the cream of the crop in terms of quality, but I still think you can find really nice used Audi’s elsewhere if you do not place a high value on having a CPO.
From a financial perspective, buying a CPO warranty is no different than buying any form of insurance – you pay a fee to mitigate risk. Audi (or any other insurance provider) wouldn’t sell the insurance (warranty) for a cost that lost them money, so if you look on an aggregate level, the average person is paying more for the warranty than the cost savings they will get from it, which can be justified to the buyer as “piece of mind” – but personally, I’d rather be my own warranty system, and replace parts as they break out of pocket, especially for parts where aftermarket upgrades are available. I may get particularly unlucky with a costly repair like a blown transmission, but over the course of my lifespan, it should even out, more or less.
I respect your opinion and see where you’re coming from, but I think as long as Audi does not allow you to transfer extended warranties, it makes the whole program not worth it. If you can’t transfer “peace of mind”, how reassuring can it really be? The only circumstances where I could see the peace of mind being worth it, is if you’re buying a car with a questionable CarFax, high mileage or history of accidents, or do not have sufficient savings to cover occasional repair costs yourself.
Your comments are internally inconsistent. Only derived the inspection value? Apparently you do not understand what insurance is. At the end of the year when you have not been in an accident do you demand a refund of your collision insurance because you got no value from it?
Failing to investigate that CPO is not transferable was your error- unless the dealer lied to you. Audi has it explicitly on their website. And yes it is ALWAYS cheaper to self-insure if you can afford to. Personally, I have used the Audi and BMW CPO programs to save money (yup).
I did national searches of the model I wanted and since all CPO vehicles must meet certain cosmetic and mechanical criteria, was able to purchase the vehicles without ever inspecting or driving them myself, from the dealer with the lowest price (small, remote dealers typically). In each case I got exactly the car I wanted for about $4k less than a local CPO, maybe $2.8k less than a non CPO.
On one (S4), there was a nagging oil leak that eventually necessitated removing the engine- all gratis. Several smaller problems too. On the other, only minor issues, but the dealer was happy to give me a new steering wheel because the center emblem was discolored (yup). Both of these cars have turbo motors. Turns out the S4 had been chipped by previous owner and the inspection had not caught it (I did). VERY happy to have those turbos covered for several years.
I don’t think I’m being inconsistent, but I do think I could have worded what I was saying better. “To me, the CPO warranty should add $150 value to the final selling price of the car…and then figure in how long you plan on keeping the car (to determine the rest of the value).” I’m not saying its only worth $150 – I’m just saying the CPO is especially over-priced if you only plan on keeping the car for half of the duration of the CPO warranty.
I do understand the concept of insurance (I was an Econ major at Northwestern), and think in certain cars that have a history of problems – such as oil consumption in the 4.2 V8 S4s – it could make sense.
I still fervently believe that Audi’s CPO program could be a lot better, and is depressingly stingy and offers very little, other than an inspection and a tenuous warranty on certain parts. Most third party warranties are transferable, can carry lower deductibles, offer more choices where your car gets serviced, can be purchased to cover all parts of the car including electronics, are offered at similar or lower upfront costs.
To me, the Audi CPO warranty should be the best option for a used Audi, but in my personal opinion I think Audi fails hard at accomplishing this, and a 3rd party warranty would be a better choice until they change certain aspects of the program to be more beneficial to owners.
And yes, the dealership did lie to me about the warranty being transferrable. I’ve complained to Audi of America about it and hopefully they were disciplined accordingly. I should have done my research to prove the dealership was wrong, but I bought the car the day I drove it as I was so impressed and enthralled with it.
I have a 2008 A4 coming off lease in the Spring of 2011. I intend to buy the car at lease-end. The dealer says many people CPO their lease buyouts (called an in and out). after reviewing the CPO program, I agree that it is not worth the money to me. I already know this car and it has been trouble free mechanically. My biggest worries are the electronics which are not covered under CPO. I will still have at least a year under warrantee before the CPO plan kicks in. Because it is not transferable or refundable, I am placing a bet that for the two year period beginning a year and half from now, a major failure of a mechanical part will fail in that two year period. For that privilege, the dealer wants $1600 to insure against that occurrence (with deductible costs to boot). I think its a poor risk for me as I know my own car. If the car is sold or totaled, I’m out the $1600. On the other hand, if i was buying an unknown used A4 from the dealer, I would be inclined to take the CPO since the dealer would be representing that the car passed inspection and major systems would be covered. In all, Audi’s CPO is weaker than other comparison cars. They have a comparison with BMW’s program on the Audi website and it highlights how much better the BMW program is. You would think that with Audi’s poor reliability reputation, their CPO program would be stronger to provide comfort for used car purchasers and strengthen the market for used Audis. Apparently not so.
It’s definitely a gamble – I can kind of understand why Audi doesn’t want these to be transferrable (to give the dealerships an edge in selling used Audis), but if they aren’t transferable they should allow a partial refund if you were to cancel your warranty early (say if you sell the car, total it, etc).
That being said, I’ve now been on my CPO for over a year after I decided not to sell on to my car. It is amazing how quickly your bill can rack up for little things, although some of the items I’ve taken my car in for were not something I’d normally care much about, and if you have a mechanic you like you can save a lot of money by avoiding the dealership. After a year of being CPO, I can say I’ve warmed up to it a bit, and my dealer always takes great care of me.
It really comes down to – do you like to gamble? do you think your car is more likely to have an expensive issue or not? For the B7 A4, there are a few items that will fail pretty commonly – the diverter valve (only about $100), the intake flap (about $2-300), and if you’re really unlucky, the cam follower. For a 2008 you already have the revised diverter valve, so really the intake flap & cam follower would be the two ones to watch for. The Cam Follower is especially important, because if it fails it can really do some expensive damage. If you don’t opt for the CPO, just make sure to keep up with maintenance & inspections, and have the tech check out your cam follower from time to time.
For you, if you never really had a problem with the car, it’s hard to tell how that should impact your decision. On one hand, maybe you have an exceptionally well built car, but on the hand maybe those parts that are prone to break down have had an extended life due to you taking very good care of it, but at this point they’ve reached their maximum age before you’ll start to have issues. Tough call.
You said that your dealership charged you separately for the CPO warranty? I have been researching this issue all day because I just found out recently that my dealership did as well, but I was under the impression that the Certified Pre-Owned cars came with the warranty, not that it was an additional cost. Currently on the audiusa website it states that all CPO vehicles come with the CPO warranty but I bought mine in Aug of 2009 and since I just found out that they charged me extra for the CPO warranty I am trying to find more info.
Was your car advertised as Certified Pre-Owned? Or did they just offer to add the CPO warranty to your used car for an additional charge? I was told by my dealership that the non-certified cars they have can be requested to be made certified at the additional cost, but the car I bought was advertised as certified and so I would think is supposed to come with the CPO warranty.
It’s my understanding from speaking with Audi of America that the policy on this changed. Formerly (and I presume when you bought yours in 2009) dealerships were allowed to sell the car and CPO as separate items – some dealerships did it this way (like mine, who charged $1500 for the CPO and $20,000 for the car) and other dealerships did not, preferring to just have one final price for the car + CPO. I’m not sure when this policy changed and dealerships were no longer allowed to sell the car & CPO warranty seperately, but I’m almost certain they can no longer do that and now any car that is CPO’d is CPO’d…
How does Audi know the car has changed hands. Cant I just go in and give them the old owners name and pay in cash?
That’s a good question – it’s worth a shot I suppose?
They check your driver license when u bring it in
Just about ready to become an Audi family member with the purchase of a used 2008 A4 Quattro S-line! I took it for a test drive today and I am extremely excited about the quick response in both acceleration and handling! An amazing piece of machinery!!!
However, subsequent to the the test drive my first call was to Audi Canada to confirm the CPO policy and quickly and sheepishly, I might add, they advised me that the CPO warranty will not be transferred if purchased 3rd party vendor as the warranty only follows the origin of purchaser. Immediately my thought was, I sure hell hope Audi did the right and ethical thing. That being they rebated the unused prorated portion (approx 2yrs) back to the customer who purchased it! Realizing I was not thinking this but asked it, her quick response as a grinning NO!
Personally, after reading what I have read above and today’s response from Audi I have to say it does not smell right and leaves a bad taste in my mouth! Seriously, Audi one of the most expensive luxury automobiles on the market will not simply honor and carry through on a contract where Audi received full compensation for a contingency service not contractually served! I chuckled when I read above when one (JD) said “At the end of the year when you have not been in an accident do you demand a refund of your collision insurance because you got no value from it” is ludicrous and not does not run parallel to what many are trying to say here. Let me help you out with a better example to see it another and much more clearer way! A customer takes out a loan and is sold life and disability coverage (insurance) as part of their payment protection. They are charged an insurance premium for the full length of the term, that is, should they remain full term. Going forward, that same customer contacts the lending institution a year later asking for a payout of the loan. Immediately that payout figure backs out the prorated unused insurance premium where the customer then is only responsible for what was used in “peace of mind coverage” and remaining balance. Anything else would be simply illegal and unethical!
Audi, needs to reconsider their policy, especially in light of the depressed market and the eroding market share everyone is experiencing! One might think to do something radical like give a “good-guy” back to the consumer!
Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts here
Oh ya, I’m still buying that Audi – it truly rocks!!! Hah!
Thanks for sharing Lee. I think we’ve both came to the same conclusion – the CPO could be better, but it’s not so bad it would prevent us from buying an Audi. You’ll love the car, so congrats on that!
This is the reason I have preapproved financing and havnt bought a new car yet. I dont know to buy a 2008 A4 with 35k+ miles on it or a 2012 Jetta GLI with all the warranties. I loved the Quattro. But im torn.
The new CPO warranties are transferrable, for a small fee as of 9/1. The CPO offers more than just an extended warranty. You get the same extended roadside assistance as the factory warranty, with unlimited miles, you get trip interruption and trip routing benefits, you get special interest rates if financing, and in order to pass a CPO inspection the cars tires and brakes have to be at LEAST 50% or better. A simple safety inspection wont require these to be replaced unless they’re worn out. Take that as you will.
That is excellent news! I will call my dealership to verify and then update the post once I can confirm this is true and what conditions applies to newer CPO cars being transferable.
Anthony – I am in the exact same situation. Can’t decide between a CPO 2008 A4 (almost out of its factory warranty, leaving me with just about the 2 year CPO) or 2012 GLI Autobahn. I was also thinking maybe I’ll go totally conservative and buy a trusty 2012 jetta TDI but I am very confused. I’ve always bought used cars and never spent anywhere near 25k. Anyone have any suggestions?
I’d go with the A4, but that’s just me 🙂
I guess I could buy the a4 and keep it for 4 years or so instead of keeping the GLI for 6 or 7+ yrs. Just don’t want car payments and repair costs!!!
Time to update your blog post! It is once again transferable as other people have commented. The transfer takes place directly via Audi of America with no involvement from the Dealer.
That’s great news. Will update now, thanks Devin!
I just bought a 2006 A3 and I was wondering how to obtain a warranty if thats possible. Does it cost anything?
You usually have to get the warranty when you buy the vehicle (or within a few days, max). You can call some aftermarket warranty companies and see, but you definitely cannot get the Audi CPO Warranty unless you bought from an Audi dealer and bought the CPO Warranty when you purchased the car – even then, only certain Audis qualify (based on year, mileage, condition, etc).
I’m currently in the market for an pre-owned A5…test driven and in love. However since this is my first foreign and >$20K car purchase, I need insight on a few things. I’m doing a national search to determine the best price options and one dealer responded with this: “We currently have this (’11 A5 Quattro Prem.) vehicle listed at $29,982. I can offer you an Eprice of $29,312 as an Audi Certified vehicle or $28,000 without the vehicle being certified.” Can anyone please explain this certification thing? And does anyone have an opinion on the A5…seems everyone on this blog have A4s. Thanks.
The Certified program is pretty great – it’s basically an extended warranty on your car so that if anything breaks within a few years or 40,000 miles, Audi will cover the repair cost with a small deductible of like $75…the terms change so I’d double check those figures. But for an extra $1k or so that’s a pretty good deal.
Trying to get to the bottom of something with CPO… I am looking at an 2012 S4 that was CPO at ~5K. Since then it has been sold a couple times to different parties and now has 34K. That said, and from my understanding from Audi’s site, the CPO stays with the vehicle and rides on top of the factory warranty. Is that correct? I called the dealer where the guy who now owns it purchased the vehicle, and they didn’t see it as CPO. Which is weird, since CPO should be tied to the VIN…right?… Am I missing something?
If I am reading the Audi site right, and know that the in-service date was 7/11, then the warranty should be moved out to 7/17 and go to 100K — right? It reads as though once a CPO, always a CPO on Audi’s site… Again, unless I am missing something…
Josh – Audi changes their CPO policies quite a bit, so the best source would be to call Audi of America and speak to a customer service rep, as they should be able to speak directly to that car and what the terms/conditions of the CPO were when it was issued for that particular model.
Hi, I’m looking to buy a used Audi as we’ll and am wondering if a certified warranty if worth the extra 15000-20000 ? Mainly because it only covers two years.
I sure hope those aren’t USD, I don’t think it’s worth $15-20k. I’m guessing maybe you had an extra 0 in there? I’d say its definitely worth 1,500-2,000, although depends on the model – for an A8 or bigger car, that’s a bargain. For a more base model like an A3, still probably worth it but maybe not as good of a deal. Keep in mind anything major that breaks can run $1,000 pretty easily between parts and labor.
As a former Audi dealer technician I wanted to chime in regarding the CPO inspection process. The CPO inspection was a two hour job. Everything was looked at front to back, top to bottom and inside out. We tested every function, button, and widget in the car. The body and under side were checked for signs of accident damage, leaks or anything abnormal. All of the control modules were checked for faults and any issues corrected. The CPO cars were in very close to new condition. The vehicles had to meet a much higher standard than a non CPO vehicle. They were not your standard used car that you pay extra for just because it was CPO.