A certified pre-owned vehicle is a used car that has been inspected and have passed the threshold of quality by the manufacturer or licensed party. When you are considering a certified pre-owned vehicle (“CPO”), you have to be very careful and read the find print to check the parameters of the certification. We will get into the details about how to protect yourself and buy smart, but first more clarity on the process.
A certified pre-owned vehicle typically comes with similar warranty to when it was purchased new. The warranty is extremely attractive to the individual who is risk adverse, but of course you will pay more for a certified pre-owned vehicle. On average, CPO cars will be higher quality than looking through similar cars in the private sale market. However, the threshold of inspection is not as high as you may expect, so a proper certification does not excuse a proper vehicle inspection by a mechanic at a garage.
Not All CPOs Are Made Equal
There is a big difference between a CPO between a dealer and a manufacturer. Sometimes dealers will try to sell you a “certified car”, trying to imply that it has passed a certified pre-owned vehicle check with the manufacturer. This is an expensive mistake, so make sure get it on paper if the CPO is something you are looking for.
In summary, while CPOs do generally have better quality cars, the certification is not enough to warrant the high price. If you are looking for the best deal, the private sale market will offer similar cars but require slightly more due diligence.
Since we want our reads to get a proper vehicle inspection prior to purchase anyway, we recommend you go for a vehicle with less markup.