Are you interested in buying a certified pre-owned or used car? It can be hard to distinguish the difference between the two. To make a more informed decision, let’s look at the advantages that each option offers.
Certified Pre-Owned Cars
A certified pre-owned (CPO) car is a used car that is a fairly new model. They are typically less than 5 years old. Used vehicles have to go through a rigorous inspection process before they are considered certified pre-owned. A vehicle can either be certified through the manufacturer or through a dealership. A manufacturer’s certification is more trustworthy than a dealership’s, and the certification process is practiced at national level. Manufacturer certified vehicles also go through more testing and offer benefits such as extended warranties, loaner vehicles, and roadside assistance.
Certified pre-owned vehicles are only available through a franchised dealership unless the used car dealership is offering its own certified vehicle. Most car dealers showcase their updated inventory on their website. The site should clearly distinguish between regular used cars and certified pre-owned vehicles. If you feel like you need more information about any particular vehicle, it is always a good idea to call the dealership.
Benefits of Purchasing a Certified Pre-Owned Car:
- Less expensive than buying a new car
- Rigorous inspection and servicing process
- Peace of mind that vehicle meet high standards setup by manufacturer
Used cars are often sold with extended warranties similar to certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. However, CPOs are more expensive and are usually later models.
If you choose to purchase a used car, be sure to get the vehicle history report so that you know you’re not buying a car that was damaged or in a flood. Most used car dealers provide CarFax or AutoCheck reports on their website. If a report is not available, you can probably find it and purchase it online.
It is also wise to ask family members, friends, and co-workers if they have had any experience with the dealership you’re looking at. Personal experiences are almost always more useful than online reviews. Online reviews can still be helpful if you don’t know anyone who has dealt with that local used car dealer.
Benefits of Purchasing a Used Car:
- Costs less than a new or a certified pre-owned vehile
- Lower registration fees
- Insurance usually costs less than it would for a comparable certified pre-owned
In the end, selecting a certified pre-owned car versus a used car depends largely on how much you are willing to spend. It’s important for you to weigh the advantages against the disadvantages for both types. Select the car that best caters to your needs.
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