To buy a new car or to buy a used car – that is the question. A lot of people don’t know that a third option, a car that balances the luxury of new with the affordable budget of used, exists. A certified pre-owned car (CPO) is a car that has been inspected, refurbished and certified by the manufacturer before it’s sold. Having a used-car that is in excellent condition and certified might seem too good to be true, but if you do your research, you’ll quickly realize that it can be a great investment.
Here are 3 things that you should know about CPO cars before you go into a dealership:
Who certifies the car?
There are two different kinds of certifications for CPO cars. Dealer-certified cars are authorized by the dealership in accordance with their standards. Manufacturer-certified means that the car has met specific requirements backed by the maker of the car. Some examples of manufacturer-certified features include: the model of the vehicle must be 6 years old or less, 24-hour roadside assistance is included, and there is a warranty length of up to 72 months.
Ask the dealership: Is this vehicle a part of the CPO program?
How does a car become qualified?
CPO cars are the highest quality used cars that you can buy. When a dealer receives a used car, it is put through inspection by a factory-certified mechanic. If the car meets the standards, it is then repaired (i.e., brake jobs, front-end services, oil change, etc.) and offered for sale as a CPO vehicle. If you decided that you would like to obtain a qualification for a CPO car, your vehicle will hold better value if you happen to do a trade-in later down the road. This is a great incentive to keep your car running smoothly.
Ask the dealership: Can I see more about the cars history?
What's the catch?
If you decide to have your next car CPO certified, you’ll be paying more for it. Costs can range anywhere from $200 up to $3,000 extra. However, compared to a non-certified car, you’ll be less likely to encounter issues given the measure of inspection. This means that you’ll not only be saving money, but you’ll also be keeping safe on the road.
Ask the dealership: When does the warranty coverage start and what does it cover?
Buying a used vehicle that is certified ensures that its condition is like buying new. In comparison to used-cars that are bought ‘as is’ from a dealership, CPO vehicles are backed up with an extended warranty and subjected to an in-depth inspection that will give you some serious peace of mind.