Mini Certified Pre-Owned Program Review

December 20, 2020
Written by: Zach Shefska

Mini is one of those brands that attracts certain people and retains them for life. With a unique style and particular offering, people often become lifelong fans of Minis. However, getting into a brand-new Mini can be quite expensive. Fortunately, Mini offers a certified pre-owned (CPO) program specifically for those who want a warrantied, and inspected vehicle, but don’t want to pay new prices.

We’re about to look at the Mini certified pre-owned program. We’ll examine what the warranty covers, how long it lasts, the depth of their inspection, and discuss any perks they include.

TLDR; We are neutral towards the Mini certified pre-owned program. While they offer a thorough and impressive inspection, they also don’t provide much of a warranty. We’d like to see a more extended warranty or a separate powertrain warranty that lasts longer. Overall, the CPO program is excellent for Mini fans, but there’s likely a better program out there for everyone else.

Mini’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Information

To become a Mini certified pre-owned vehicle, the car must meet the following requirements:

  • Five years old or newer
  • 60,000 miles or fewer
  • Pass a 197-point checklist

If a car meets all these conditions, it may be sold as a Mini certified pre-owned car. It’s worth noting that the car must pass the inspection with a score of 100%.

What does Mini’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

The Limited Warranty covers any issue that can be considered a manufacturer’s defect. Mini has provided a comprehensive list of items that are not covered on their website, but we’ll go over the main points below:

  • Vehicle maintenance, including fluid replacement and brake pads
  • Upkeep, including batteries and coolant
  • Suspension, including ball joints and coil springs
  • Body, including air leaks and water leaks
  • Interior, including bulbs and trunk mats
  • Accessories, including all non-original parts

This level of coverage is standard for a certified pre-owned program. Automakers typically do not cover anything related to negligence or abuse, which is largely what is covered in the list of exclusions.

When repairs are made, Mini explicitly states that they will only use genuine Mini parts. This policy is excellent, as genuine parts are typically far superior to aftermarket parts.

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Something that jumps out at us is the lack of a separate powertrain warranty. We would love to see Mini offer an entirely different warranty that focuses on the powertrain and for that warranty to last for longer than the standard warranty.  

Mini charges a $50 deductible per visit for any warrantied repairs. While this is nothing compared to the cost of replacing a transmission, it can still add up over time. We generally don’t like when CPO programs charge a deductible for their warranty repairs.

How long does Mini’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Last?

Every Mini certified pre-owned vehicle comes with a six-year Limited Warranty with no mileage cap. However, the warranty begins when the car was originally sold, not when you purchased the car.

Warranties can be transferred to a new owner, but there is a $200 warranty transfer fee. If you decide to sell your car, you can leave this fee up to the buyer. However, charging a transfer fee is far from ideal and is a mark against the Mini CPO program.

Mini’s Certified Pre-Owned Inspection

Mini conducts a 197-point inspection of any vehicle before it is sold as a CPO car. You can view the complete checklist on their website, but we’ll cover the main points below:

  • Vehicle background and maintenance, including a vehicle history report and checking for recalls
  • Wheel assembly, including a tire inspection and brake inspection
  • Body condition, including front bumper condition and interior condition
  • Mechanical, including headlight assembly and engine oil fluid levels
  • Stationary review, including pedal function and audio function
  • Rolling review, including engine performance and transmission noise

Mini has a lot of inspection points under each of the above categories. We’re impressed by the thoroughness of their inspection, and it gives us confidence in their CPO program overall. We believe that the inspection is an essential part of the CPO program, and Mini is doing excellent in that department.

Other Mini Certified Pre-Owned Perks

All certified pre-owned Minis come with 24/7 roadside assistance covering all the common issues, such as replacing a flat tire, emergency tows to a Mini dealer, or lockout services.

Surprisingly, roadside assistance is the only perk discussed on the official Mini certified pre-owned website. We checked other sources, and the only additional perk some discuss is a three-month subscription to SiriusXM. However, we are not able to verify that bonus.

We’re surprised by the Mini perk offering. It’s one of the most minimal offerings that we’ve seen among all the CPO programs we’ve reviewed.

Overall, we are neutral towards the Mini certified pre-owned program. If you’re a specific fan of Mini and don’t want to pay brand-new prices, then the CPO program is a great way to go. However, if you’re shopping around and investigating different CPO programs, there are better programs out there. We would like to see Mini offer a specific CPO warranty that begins when you buy the vehicle or provide a separate powertrain warranty that lasts for longer.

The best thing we can say about the Mini CPO program is that their inspection is quite intense. They are well above the average amount of inspection points, and this is something we greatly appreciate. However, we must mention that you should always have a pre-purchase inspection before buying your CPO Mini.

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