VW CPO Warranty: Learn the Pros and Cons Before You Buy

The benefits and drawbacks of Volkswagen’s certified pre-owned warranty

byLinsay Thomas, Noelle Talmon| UPDATED Apr 29, 2022 3:36 PM
VW CPO Warranty: Learn the Pros and Cons Before You Buy

If you like German engineering, then there's a good chance you like German cars. However, they can be a little pricey compared to American cars and their counterparts. One way to save some money is by purchasing a certified pre-owned car or SUV such as a Volkswagen. These vehicles may be slightly less expensive than the brand-new alternatives people drive off the dealership lot.

What perks do owners get with a CPO purchase? We go through all the details below so you know the ins and out about CPO warranties before you bring home your new Beetle, Atlas, or Golf.

What IS Covered in the VW CPO Warranty

Volkswagen's aim is to instill confidence in its customers, so it provides a Model-Specific Limited Warranty on all certified pre-owned Volkswagens. This coverage begins when the factory warranty expires or on the date that the CPO vehicle is sold, whichever happens later.

The 2017 and earlier gas, hybrid, and electric CPO vehicles come with a two-year/24,000-mile warranty. The 2018 and newer vehicles come with a one-year/12,000-mile warranty, while the 2016 and earlier TDI vehicles come with a two-year/unlimited-mile warranty.

Volkswagen combines its powertrain and bumper-to-bumper coverage into one under the CPO warranty as opposed to two separate warranties, which is a common practice in the industry. Basically, you receive nearly the exact same coverage that's provided under the automaker's new vehicle limited warranty, which is provided for brand-new vehicles.

Anything that goes wrong with the vehicle due to defects in materials or workmanship is covered by Volkswagen. The CPO warranty covers nearly everything inside and out of the car, such as the air conditioning, anti-lock braking system, engine, steering, transmission, torque converter, electrical power supply, and more.

Inspection, Roadside Assistance & More

Before you purchase a CPO vehicle, the automaker runs it through a strict 100-plus point inspection. If the vehicle fails the inspection, it will not be certified until the problems are corrected. All components are replaced with genuine Volkswagen parts. All vehicles are inspected for starting issues, transmission performance, brake performance, and steering problems. Maintenance updates are also performed. 

Each CPO Volkswagen comes with a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. This lets potential owners know whether the vehicle had any title problems, whether it was involved in a collision, etc.

Roadside assistance is also part of the package. No matter what time of day or night your vehicle breaks down, technicians will be on hand to help with towing, flat tire changes, jump starts, lockouts, and other emergency repairs. This service is available 365 days a year.

All CPO vehicles also come with three complimentary months of SiriusXM radio.

What’s NOT Covered in the VW CPO Warranty

Unfortunately, Volkswagen doesn't cover all repair costs, but most automaker warranties don't, so that isn't unusual. The biggest exclusion is regular maintenance. Whether your vehicle is new, pre-owned or a little on the older side, it requires regular maintenance.

The CPO warranty does not cover oil changes, tune-ups, tire changes, wheel alignments, etc. You have to pay for these services yourself. Some automakers include a free maintenance service or two during the first year of ownership, but VW does not.  In this case, it might be more profitable to opt for some aftermarket warranty plans such as CarShield's or some other.

Also, the warranty excludes wear and tear items, such as brake pads and discs, tires, belts, and other components that break down due to normal use. When these parts need replacing, the owner is responsible for paying for the repair or replacement. 

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Great Things About the VW CPO Warranty

One of the best things about getting a CPO warranty is that it provides some peace of mind. Since all vehicles go through a strict inspection process, you know they are in good operating condition. You don't necessarily have this guarantee if you buy from a private party.

In addition, modern vehicles are technologically advanced, which means if something goes wrong it can be pricey to repair. VW's CPO warranty is fairly comprehensive and covers nearly everything, so should something fail there's a good chance that you'll be financially protected.

The automaker also enlists certified technicians to make repairs using genuine VW parts. If you have a problem with your Jetta, GTI, or Tiguan, only high-quality components will be used to get it running properly again. We also like that the warranty is fully transferable to another owner, which can increase the vehicle’s resale value.

Volkswagen also provides 24-hour roadside assistance, so if you get stranded on the way to work or in the middle of vacation, help is just a phone call away. The company also gives customers three free months of satellite radio as well as a CARFAX history report so you know exactly what happened to the vehicle before you took ownership of it.

Ugly Things About the VW CPO Warranty

One downside with the CPO warranty is that you must pay a $50 deductible each time you bring your vehicle in for warrantable repairs. Many automakers waive this fee, but VW does not. While it doesn't seem like a huge amount, if it takes a few visits to resolve some issues with your vehicle, the cost can put a dent in your savings.

Another problem with the warranty is the powertrain coverage is a little short. Many automakers provide an extended powertrain warranty compared to their bumper-to-bumper warranties.

The warranty conditions are also a little confusing because they're based on the model year of the vehicle. Can you even remember what they are? The 2018 models get a one-year/12,000-mile warranty; the 2016 and older TDI vehicles get two years of coverage with no mileage limit; and gas/hybrid/electric vehicles that are 2017 and newer get coverage for two years/24,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Takeaway Value

Despite its drawbacks, Volkswagen's CPO warranty is comprehensive. Most vehicle defects surface within the first couple of years, so there's a good chance you'll be protected against costly repairs should something go wrong. Plus, it comes with a variety of perks, including roadside assistance. All CPO vehicles are also thoroughly inspected, so whatever vehicle you choose will be in tip-top shape when you drive it home.


Buying a new or pre-owned vehicle can be stressful. You want a reliable vehicle with a decent warranty that will provide financial protection should something go wrong. If you're not sure whether a CPO vehicle from VW is worth considering, check out the FAQs below where we answer commonly-asked questions about the coverage.

Q. What does a VW CPO warranty cover?

A. VW's CPO warranty covers a large range of items, such as the ABS system, air conditioning, steering, engine, and transmission, if the problem is related to a defect in materials or workmanship.

Q. How long is the CPO warranty?

A. That depends on the model year and type of vehicle. It ranges from one-year/12,000-miles to two-years/unlimited miles.

Q. How long is the VW factory warranty?

A. Volkswagen's New Vehicle Limited Warranty for brand-new vehicles is six years/72,000 miles, whichever occurs first.