Certified pre-owned vehicles are the best-of-the-best used cars because they have to meet certain standards in order to become certified.
Buying a used car is a great way to save money and get you a higher-end and more luxurious model than your budget may allow if you buy new. But what does certified really mean, and is a CPO vehicle right for you? Take a look.
Is Certified Better Than Just Used?
Certified pre-owned vehicles are usually later model used cars and have lower mileage. Many manufacturers have mileage limits for their certified used vehicles. For instance, in order to be a part of the Mazda CPO program cars can only have up to 80,000 miles on the odometer and can only be up to 6 years old. Before earning that certified title, it goes through an extensive inspection process.
A typical used car doesn’t have any restrictions on mileage or age, and although it is usually inspected by the service technicians at the dealership, it’s not as thorough as the one required for certified pre-owned vehicles.
Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles Come with Warranty Coverage
If you’re looking for some extra peace of mind when buying a used car, you’ll appreciate the limited warranty that comes with it. Most CPO programs not only offer the remainder of the factory warranty but also have an additional limited warranty. There are even some programs that will extend the powertrain warranty for their CPO vehicles. These extra warranties will mean that if you run into any issues with the vehicle that are covered, you won’t have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses to get them fixed.
Depending on the age of a non-certified used car, you don’t have any warranty protection, or you have to purchase an extended warranty if you want coverage.
There are Other Bonus Goodies
Some of the best certified pre-owned vehicles add extra goodies to the deal. It’s not unusual to drive away with a CPO vehicle that has free maintenance for a set number of years or miles, complimentary loaner cars if yours is in the shop, and 24-hour roadside assistance during the warranty period. In most cases, they also come with a free Carfax or Autocheck report, so you can look at their history. While this is a good benefit, many car dealerships will also offer a free Carfax on any of the used vehicles on their lots.
Yes, There Are Some Drawbacks
Certified pre-owned vehicles are not right for everyone. If you’re looking for the lowest price possible for your used car, you might not find it with a CPO. Since they are the cream of the crop, they tend to come with a higher price tag than other used cars on the lot.
It’s important to keep in mind that certified pre-owned cars are still used cars. They have some miles on them, so you’ll want to take a full test drive and do your own inspection. If possible, you can even have your own mechanic take a look at it to confirm its condition.
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