So you want to find out about certified pre-owned (CPO) cars and the benefits they can give, especially when you’re looking for that second hand car. You’ve probably heard about this term when shopping for your next vehicle and we’re here to help you figure out their pros and cons. Remember, that a certified pre-owned car and a regular used car are still second hand vehicles, so neither aren’t going to be “brand new” per se, so you shouldn’t expect as much.
What does Certified Pre-Owned mean?
A car that has been stamped with the certified pre-owned badge is a used car that has relatively low mileage and hasn’t suffered any major accidents. These cars go under the dealer’s thorough multi-point inspection process and any parts that need fixing are replaced with brand new components. So, essentially, it’s a dealer-approved, refurbished car.
How are Certified Pre-Owned cars selected?
CPO cars are selected based on different metrics depending on the dealership offering them. Most of the time, these are low mileage vehicles with a complete service history, and are only a few years old. The previous owner might have leased the vehicle and had chosen a new one to drive, so the older vehicle turned in gets a refresh and is prepared to be sold off as a CPO car. At times, cars that are dealership demo units or service cars get relegated to CPO status. In the eyes of the dealers, these leased or repossessed cars still hold value, and the chance to make them as attractive as possible to prospective second hand buyers is an opportunity that’s too good to pass up.
What are the benefits of Certified Pre-Owned vehicles?
The most obvious advantage that CPO cars have over regular second hand vehicles is that there’s additional peace of mind with your purchase. The dealerships throw in an extended warranty, and sometimes a few extras such as maintenance vouchers, and free roadside assistance. This is all on top of the inspection and part replacement process that the car went through before being put up for sale, plus a complete set of service records and car history. Also, dealers can give low financing rates and special deals on CPO cars, allowing you to drive off with that nicely specced car with ease.
What are the disadvantages of the Certified Pre-Owned vehicles?
You can bet on the fact that CPO vehicles are always more expensive than a second hand car that’s being sold by a private seller. You’re paying more up front for the inspection, warranty, and various extras in the hope that you won’t have to spend that money on fixing the car down the road. Some dealerships and dealership groups offer their own certified used car programs, but these are not to be confused with manufacturer-backed programs. Different dealers may have varying parameters about what cars qualify, and their inspections may be more or less rigorous than the manufacturer-sponsored CPO programs.
Remember, whether its a certified pre-owned or second hand car from a private seller, you still take a risk by purchasing it. Make sure you bring a trusted mechanic when you inspect the vehicle to ensure that what you’re getting is in proper shape for the price.
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