What is a Certified Used Car

The term Certified Pre-Owned was coined in 1990 when Lexus and Mercedes-Benz were among the first to offer CPO programs. A pre-owned vehicle undergoes a complete inspection under the manufacturer's supervision at dozens or hundreds of points, worn and faulty parts are replaced and repaired, and the car receives an additional warranty.

If you are deciding whether to purchase a second-hand car or a certified car from a dealership, you will need to consider this question further. Unlike buying a car from a dealership, buying a pre-owned vehicle will save you money.

What Is a Pre-Owned Vehicle?

Many people don’t know what does a certified car mean. For many people buying a brand new car is a pipe dream. But the coronavirus crisis is not a reason to deny oneself the right to have a decent vehicle as we all know, there is no inescapable situation. The optimal solution is to buy a used car. Such cars cost significantly cheaper, and you can pick up a good option in fairly good technical condition.

Pros and Cons of Pre-Owned Vehicles

What is pre-owned: main advantages:

  • Extra equipment. It is customary for the first owner to fit the car with all the essentials like an alarm and a crankcase protector. Some owners have the car soundproofed.
  • The previous owner may give you a cool car radio, custom rims, and floor mats. If you're lucky, even a set of winter tires.
  • Corrected factory defects. The former owner probably fixed all factory defects in the car under warranty from the official dealer. For example, a faulty thermostat.
  • Sometimes factory defects are really dangerous. For example, a defect in the accelerator pedal causes the car to accelerate spontaneously. Toyota recalled more than four million cars in 2009 because of this defect.

The disadvantages of buying a certified pre-owned car:

  • Diagnostic and repair costs. The older the vehicle, the higher the maintenance costs, especially with high mileage. Many parts wear out over three years and your car breaks down more often.
  • Before you sign a sales agreement, have the car diagnosed at a car dealership. The cost of diagnosis is between 1,000 and 5,000 roubles, depending on the extent of the work.
  • If you buy a car older than seven years, do not count on its trouble-free operation. Choose a two- or three-year-old car, then you will not have to spend a fortune on repairs - it will be enough to change oil and brake pads.

What Is a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle?

Of course, while buying you should not neglect personal inspection and checking the history by VIN-code via online services. But the chance of buying a quality car is higher if it is a certified CPO. Most brands exclusively certify their products, but some also work with third-party brands. The type of warranty service depends on the manufacturer: let's say Ford offers 12 months with a mileage limit, and Lexus offers two years regardless of mileage.

What is c.p.o: CPO cars are designed to occupy the price niche between new and conventional used cars. An additional aim of the programs is to attract buyers for new cars.

What to Expect from a CPO Car?

The auto industry hasn't adopted a unified certification standard, but all manufacturers’ main requirements are similar. As a rule, these are modern models up to five-six-seven years old with mileage in the region of 80,000 miles with a trouble-free history.

A suitable copy is checked by mechanics according to technical points: usually, they are more than a hundred, sometimes - several hundred, sometimes even 1000. In the latter case, it's more of a marketing ploy than a necessity, because many inspection points will be insignificant and will tell nothing about the real condition. There are requirements for each point in the manufacturer's program - parts not meeting the criteria are replaced or repaired by the dealer who certifies the car.

The terms and conditions of the warranty vary. A typical offer looks like one year from the date of purchase, but within 12,000 miles of mileage over that period. If the original factory warranty period has not expired, the second owner may receive the remainder in addition to the term under the CPO program.

In addition to the basic bumper-to-bumper warranty, manufacturers may make longer service commitments on individual components and systems: powertrain, transmission, electrics, and air conditioning.

In general, a certified used car is more reliable than a hand-bought one. Nevertheless, a buyer should be careful: inspect the car carefully before the deal and check its history through a specialized VIN decoder.

Pros and Cons of a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle

  • Profitable price. You can buy a two or three-year-old car with the characteristics of a new model for 30-40% cheaper, this is the most significant advantage.
  •  It is not necessary to buy expensive original parts to repair a used car.
  • Servicing a used car is cheaper - it can be done at the dealership pre-owned cars or car service.
  • Often there are accessories from the first owner - mats, "music", alarm system, carter protection, noise isolation, seat covers, discs, set of tires, and sometimes even on the discs, etc.
  • There is no need for hull insurance (if there is no credit).
  • The increasing age of the car reduces the risk of theft.

How Does a Luxury CPO Program Work?

Like basic programs, luxury CPO programs can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. How a luxury CPO program works. To qualify for the Luxury CPO Program, a vehicle must be six years old or newer and have less than 75,000 miles driven. All used cars are inspected at more than 100 points. All items must be strictly adhered to. The only reason CPO programs exist is to increase the residual value to make leasing more attractive - luxury car manufacturers are in the business of leasing (not selling).

Frequently Asked Questions about certified used car

What does a certified car mean?

The term "certified used" was coined by corporations to find a more favorable alternative to marketing products than just "used."

Why would a used car not be certified?

Structural damage sustained in an accident usually disqualifies a car from being eligible for a CPO, but the decision can be reversed if the vehicle is repaired.

Is it worth buying certified pre-owned cars?

Yes, because it allows you to invest money and not face fraud rationally.

What is the difference between a certified car and a used car?

Used cars are sold by unofficial salons, resellers, private individuals - the vehicles change hands and are fully inspected by the manufacturer.

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