Nearly eight million used cars changed hands in 2019, so the second-hand market is big business in the UK. Some of these cars will be as-new pre-registered specials, while others are unlikely to make it beyond their next MOT.
Buying a car via a manufacturer-backed scheme will increase the chances of finding a reliable and roadworthy example.
Here, we run through an A to Z of the major approved used car schemes in the UK.
All pre-owned Abarth cars purchased through the manufacturer-backed Found scheme come with a 12-month warranty, breakdown cover for a year, a comprehensive pre-sale inspection and a certificate showing that the mileage and history have been independently checked and verified.
Alfa Romeo Selected For You
Like Abarth, Alfa Romeo is part of the mighty FCA empire, so it’ll come as no surprise to discover that its approved used car scheme is almost identical. You get the same 12-month warranty, breakdown cover and pre-sale inspection, but Alfa Romeo also points out that some of its cars might be ex-fleet or multiple user.
Aston Martin Timeless Certified Pre-Owned
Aston Martin’s Timeless Certified Pre-Owned programme is available for all qualifying models up to 10 years old. Along with the usual mechanical and history checks, Aston Martin also offers a 12-month unlimited mileage warranty, breakdown cover for a year, and a subscription to its in-house magazine. Furthermore, any servicing due within three months or 3,000 miles will be taken care of, along with protection against MOT failure.
Buy an approved used Audi in 2020 and you’ll be covered by a one-year warranty with breakdown cover. The offer is valid for vehicles up to eight years old and up to 100,000 miles at the point of activation. All approved cars must pass a 149-point inspection and are covered by a 30 days/1,000 miles exchange plan. You’re also protected from the cost of MOT repairs up to a value of £750.
Certified by Bentley
A pre-owned Bentley comes with a 12-month unlimited mileage warranty and a certificate of authenticity to establish its provenance. Owners will also receive a free subscription to the in-house magazine, an invitation to dealer events, plus a tour of the Bentley factory in Crewe.
BMW Approved Used Cars
All approved used BMWs come with a 12-month unlimited mileage warranty and breakdown cover for the same period. BMW will also pay for any MOT work carried out during the period of the warranty.
All approved used Citroens must pass a 112-point pre-delivery inspection and are offered with a minimum 12-month warranty. All cars are covered by European breakdown cover, MOT test protection and a 30-day/1,000-mile fault-based exchange programme.
All Dacia Approved used vehicles come with a 12-month warranty, the usual condition checks and a 30-day exchange promise. It’s also worth pointing out that, if the car is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, the used guarantee will be topped up where necessary. This applies to the majority of warranties featured here.
DS Automobiles Certified
DS Automobiles’ used car scheme is a touch better than Citroen’s. Buy a DS Certified car and you’ll get a minimum 24-month warranty, European breakdown cover for the same period, plus a 30-day/1,000-mile exchange programme. Furthermore, all cars are put through a 120-point pre-delivery inspection, which is eight more than you get when you buy a used Citroen.
Ferrari’s Approved used car programme covers Ferraris registered within the last 14 years. The package includes a 190-point inspection, a 24-month warranty and European breakdown cover for two years (12 months for the rest of the world). The roadside assistance includes travel and accommodation, plus a rental car for the duration of the repairs.
Fiat Found Approved
Fiat’s Found Approved used car scheme includes a 12-month warranty, breakdown cover for 12 months and a pre-sale inspection. Fiat points out that some of its cars might be ex-fleet or multiple user.
Ford Approved and Ford Direct
Ford operates two approved used car schemes. Ford Direct cars are ex-management or ex-demonstrator models that come with a two-year unlimited mileage warranty, breakdown assistance for two years, a 30-day exchange programme and insurance for three days. Ford Direct cars are reconditioned to as-new standard. Ford Approved cars tend to be older and come with the balance of the manufacturer’s warranty, breakdown assistance for 12 months, a 75-point inspection, 30-day exchange and insurance for three days.
All cars sold through Honda’s Approved used car scheme are subjected to a 100-point check and come with a 12-month guarantee. Along with roadside assistance for a year, customers are also entitled to a 30-day exchange policy.
Hyundai H Promise
New Hyundais are covered by a comprehensive five-year warranty, but if this has expired, the used car will come with cover for 12 months. All cars come with roadside assistance for a year, a safety and condition check, plus a 30-day/1,000-mile exchange agreement.
Jaguar offers a minimum one-year warranty plus European breakdown cover for 12 months. All cars are subjected to a 165-point check and come with MOT cover up to the value of £750 (with a £50 excess). There’s also a seven-day insurance package and a 30-day/1,000-mile conditional car exchange agreement.
Selected for You Jeep
Jeep’s approved used car scheme is called Selected for You, and features a 12-month warranty and breakdown cover for the same period. There’s also a pre-sale inspection and a 30-day exchange promise.
Kia Approved Used
Kia Approved Used cars are less than 20 months old and have covered less than 20,000 miles, which means they’re still covered by the seven-year new car guarantee. You’ll also receive free ‘driveaway’ insurance, a 60-day/1,000-mile exchange plan, breakdown assistance for a year, first-year MOT cover up to £1,000 and 24-hour accident aftercare.
Approved Land Rover
Land Rover offers a minimum one-year warranty with European breakdown cover for 12 months. All cars are subjected to a 165-point check and come with MOT cover up to the value of £750 (with a £50 excess). There’s also a seven-day insurance package and a 30-day/1,000-mile conditional car exchange agreement. As a bonus, you’re invited to spend half a day at a Land Rover Experience Centre.
Lexus Select Approved Pre-Owned
Buy a Lexus through the Select Approved Pre-Owned scheme and you’ll get a 12-month warranty with the same level of cover as the original manufacturer’s warranty. Cars are subjected to a 150-point check and you also get 12 months breakdown cover and a 30-day/1,000-mile exchange policy. A hybrid health check adds an extra one-year/10,000-mile battery warranty extension, until the vehicle is 15 years old.
Maserati says its ‘pre-driven vehicles are selected and approved for the Maserati Approved programme based on condition and service history’. All cars are subjected to a 121-point inspection and come with a two-year unlimited mileage warranty and breakdown assistance for 24 months. At the time of writing, only 2015-2018 GranTurismo, Grancabrio, Quattroporte, Levante and Ghibli models qualify for the scheme.
Mazda Approved Used Cars
The Mazda Approved Used Car scheme offers cars with a 12-month unlimited mileage warranty, breakdown cover for a year, £250 insurance excess return in the event of an accident, MOT protection up to the value of £750, seven-day insurance cover and a 30-day/1,000-mile exchange programme.
If you’re fortunate enough to be buying an approved pre-owned McLaren, you’ll receive a minimum 12-month warranty, breakdown assistance for a year, all servicing due within three months to be carried out, tyres with at least 3mm of tread, and all necessary provenance checks.
Mercedes-Benz Approved Used
Every Approved Used Mercedes-Benz comes with a 12-month unlimited mileage warranty. While the car is being repaired, Mercedes-Benz will also pay up to £100 per day towards the cost of a replacement vehicle. You’ll also get roadside assistance for a year, key insurance, MOT test failure cover, seven-day insurance cover, and a free service if one is due in the first 3,000 miles or three months of ownership.
Approved Used MG
All Approved Used MG cars come with the balance of the manufacturer’s warranty (balance of three years and 60,000 miles, or an additional year for older cars with higher mileages). All cars are subjected to a 130-point check, while drivers get a complimentary seven-day insurance policy. All cars come with breakdown cover for 12 months.
Approved Used Mini
Once inspected, all Approved Used Mini vehicles come with a warranty and breakdown package for a minimum of 12 months. You also receive MOT test cover for at least a year (six months in Northern Ireland).
Mitsubishi Approved Used
All eligible Mitsubishi vehicles come with a 12-month unlimited mileage warranty, a 30-day exchange plan if your vehicle has been off the road in a Mitsubishi dealer for at least 14 days, driveaway insurance and MOT cover for up to £750. All vehicles are also entitled to a lifetime health check at the dealership they were sold from.
Nissan Intelligent Choice
The Nissan Intelligent Choice used car scheme includes a warranty for a minimum of 12 months, continuous breakdown cover when the car is serviced at a main dealer, a free courtesy car when the vehicle is in for service or repair, MOT test cover, plus a 30-day/1,000-mile exchange promise. Electric cars are also covered by a battery warranty, with Nissan promising to replace any part of the battery causing capacity loss below nine bars within the battery warranty period.
Peugeot Approved Used
The Peugeot Approved Used scheme includes a warranty of at least 12 months, roadside assistance, MOT test cover up to £750, a 112-point inspection, and a 30-day/1,000-mile exchange programme.
Porsche will provide cover for cars up to their 15th year, with each vehicle subjected to a rigorous 111-point check. The Porsche Approved warranty covers a period of at least 12 months, with any routine servicing or maintenance due within the next three months or 3,000 miles carried out as a matter of course. Porsche will also fit N-rated tyres to a minimum tread depth of 3mm, with the paint refinished to ‘exacting Porsche standards’.
All Renault approved vehicles come with a warranty for at least 12 months, breakdown cover for a year, a 30-day exchange promise and driveaway insurance.
An approved pre-owned Rolls-Royce will come with peace of mind for up to two years. The Provenance package includes a warranty, roadside assistance, MOT test cover and a servicing package for 24 months.
All approved Seat cars come with a 12-month warranty, MOT protection and roadside assistance, plus free insurance for five days. There’s also a 30-day/1,000-mile ‘no quibble’ exchange promise.
Approved Used Skoda
All Approved Used Skoda cars come with a warranty and MOT test cover for 12 months, plus insurance for five days. If you’re buying a car aged three to five years old, Skoda will also give you a second year of warranty and roadside assistance if you purchase using a PCP deal
A Smart Approved used car will have passed a ‘rigorous’ multi-point inspection and come with a 12 months’ unlimited mileage warranty and roadside assistance. Smart will also include MOT test failure cover for vehicles more than two years old.
All Subarus sold via the Proven used car scheme come with a minimum 12-month warranty, breakdown assistance for 12 months and a 30-day/1,000-mile exchange commitment. All vehicles will have no more than 80,000 miles on the clock and will be less than seven years in age from the registration date.
Suzuki Approved Used Car Promise
Used cars purchased through the Suzuki Approved Used Car Promise programme come with a warranty, MOT protection and European breakdown cover.
Used Model S and Model X are covered for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. Used Model 3 vehicles are covered by the remaining balance of the new car warranty.
Toyota Plus used cars come with a minimum 12-month unlimited warranty, MOT test cover, European roadside assistance, car hire and onward travel in the event of a breakdown, and a 30-day/500-mile exchange plan.
Vauxhall Network Q
Vauxhall’s famous Network Q used car scheme includes a 12-month warranty, breakdown assistance for 12 months, insurance cover for five days, and a 30-day exchange pledge. Customers also benefit from discounted servicing, parts and MOTs.
Volkswagen Das WeltAuto
Volkswagen’s Das WeltAuto used car scheme includes a 142-point check, a 12-month unlimited mileage warranty, a 30-day/1,000-mile exchange policy, roadside assistance for 12 months and insurance cover for five days.
Volvo’s used cars are subjected to a 150-point check, software upgrade and come with a 12-month warranty and breakdown assistance for 12 months. You’re also covered by a 30-day/1,500-mile exchange guarantee.