Mercedes-Benz On A Budget: Certified Pre-Owned (CPO): Part I

August 18, 2010

Do you have champagne taste but a beer budget? Do you get excited about the thought of owning a Mercedes-Benz--one of the premier motor cars on the planet--but can’t afford the monthly payments or the high maintenance costs? JP Morgan was one of the richest people in the world at the turn of the last century. He could afford literally anything he wanted. This American financier once said of those who didn’t have his wealth, "If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it.” I used to think that was true with the most exclusive luxury cars, but no more.

Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-owned (MBCPO)
Can’t afford the sticker price on a new Mercedes-Benz? Try the next best thing: a certified pre-owned Benz that has gone through a “rigorous” inspection process with all deficiencies brought up to Mercedes-Benz standards. These cars are sold exclusively at Mercedes-Benz dealerships, so you’ll get the full red carpet treatment you’ve hoped for, or come to expect.

But we all know that the initial selling price is not the only financial consideration when buying a new or used vehicle. Maintenance costs over time can bury you just as easily as a monthly payment that’s beyond your means. It’s why I frequently recommend that family and friends (and readers of this website) consider a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle instead of just a used car.

All CPO vehicles not only meet a higher standard, they come with an extended warranty from the manufacturer that protects the buyer from future problems. This is crucial if you’re buying a car that costs more to maintain than your average Chevrolet or Honda model. Or if you want to pay a little more upfront (buyers generally pay a premium for a CPO vehicle) so you can lock in your repair costs over the long haul by having it covered through the extended warranty.

MBCPO Extended Warranty
Mercedes-Benz uses a two-step system for its MBCPO warranty program. First, buyers receive a 5-year/100,000 mile warranty from the in-service date, or when the car was initially purchased. This includes any remaining new car warranty (4-years/50,000 miles) plus a 1-year extended warranty up to 100,000 miles.

The second step of the MBCPO program consists of the option to purchase a one or two year extension to the CPO warranty. This provides the new owner a total warranty of six or seven years, or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

What’s interesting about the Mercedes-Benz CPO warranty is that it covers the powertrain and items normally included with the limited warranty, commonly referred to as the “bumper-to-bumper” warranty. Many other manufacturers split the warranty program into two categories with the powertrain (engine and transmission) portion significantly longer than the bumper-to-bumper segment. Manufacturers, especially those with a minimal bumper-to-bumper portion of the CPO warranty program, offer the option of purchasing an extension one or both segments.  

MBCPO Other Benefits
As well as a rigorous inspection and extended warranty, the Mercedes-Benz certified program also includes:

- 24-hour roadside assistance for the life of the vehicle
up to three days trip interruption benefits
- a free CARFAX vehicle history report
7-day/500 miles exchange program

Tomorrow we look at exactly how much you can save by purchasing a Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle compared to a new one.

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