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June 16, 2021
If you’ve ever started shopping for a new or used car, chances are you heard the term “Certified Pre-Owned.”
Compared to brand new cars, CPOs can save you a lot of money on a great quality vehicle. However, the included warranty, inspection, and repairs will cost you significantly more than a standard used car.
What exactly is a certified pre-owned vehicle and is it worth buying?
Which option is right for you? Buying a new car or a used car.
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Certified pre-owned vehicles are used cars that are certified by the manufacturer. The manufacturer backs the certified pre-owned vehicle with a factory warranty. These vehicles are newer, generally around two to three years old. Additionally, they have low mileage, and many programs require fewer than 50,000 miles. Each manufacturer has unique CPO eligibility rules.
Franchised dealers sell CPO vehicles, only ones from their manufacturer. For example, a Honda dealer only sells Honda CPOs. The dealer certifies the CPO based on the manufacturer’s requirements. While the dealer handles the inspection and repairs, the CPO is fully backed by the manufacturer like a new car.
Professional technicians inspect CPOs on 100+ maintenance areas. Any major repairs will be handled before selling. Several top CPO programs also provide Carfax history reports to prove the vehicle history.
Here’s what you can expect from a CPO program:
CPOs and used cars are both pre-owned, but the two are very different. For one, a CPO includes a full inspection as well as repairs prior to sale. Most used cars do not include this, and you, as the buyer, must pay for an inspection.
Additionally, CPOs include additional warranties (extended factory warranty and bumper-to-bumper warranty) that used cars do not. Many CPO programs also include a host of additional features, like roadside assistance, discounted maintenance services, and more.
CPOs have strict requirements, which means that most used cars do not qualify. Because of this, you can expect a CPO to have fewer miles, fewer years driven, and better warranties than used cars.
Despite the many benefits of CPOs, there are also some cons, such as:
To ensure you get the best deal and vehicle for your family, follow these guidelines when buying a CPO car:
Most manufacturers have a CPO program. Here are some of the top programs to consider:
Lexus is a great choice for luxury CPOs. With a Lexus CPO, you get:
Hyundai offers an excellent CPO program for extending the original warranty. Their program includes:
Ford’s CPO covers many additional components that many others do not. Here’s what their program entails:
Certified pre-owned cars come with many benefits that make them a great alternative to brand new cars. Compared with other used cars, they give the buyer peace of mind. However, car buyers should carefully read the warranty requirements to determine if they are feasible for them. Additionally, you can find a great used car with the proper research. Check out our comparison of the top used car online platforms.
Ultimately, CPO cars can be worth buying, but they are not always. It’s crucial to carefully research all of your car buying options before deciding on a CPO.
Even though it's rare, it might be worth looking into leasing a used car.
Yes, just like with any car purchase, you can (and should) negotiate the price of a CPO car.
Buying a CPO can save you a lot compared to buying a new car. This option is ideal for models that have not changed much recently.
Compared to buying a used car, buying a CPO may not always be worth it. Another used car with the same mileage and year that’s not part of the CPO will be far less expensive. Furthermore, you are limited to cars within a few years old, which are more expensive than older vehicles. Paying for your own pre-purchase inspection can help save a lot of money on a used car.
CPOs can be worth the additional cost compared to a used car, but they are not always. Make sure to research the CPO price on KBB and Edmunds to ensure you are getting the best deal. Additionally, consider alternative options like getting a used vehicle inspected prior to purchase or buying a separate warranty.
CPO vehicles cost more than other used vehicles because they underwent an extensive inspection and necessary repairs prior to sale. They also meet the manufacturer’s strict requirements for age and mileage limits. Furthermore, CPO vehicles include extended warranties that used vehicles do not have.
Most manufacturers have a certified pre-owned program. Some of the top programs to consider include:
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Posted in Car Buying Tips |