Pros and Cons of a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Car

When you consider your next vehicle purchase, you may be interested in a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle. The original manufacturer has certified these vehicles and come with many benefits over other used vehicles or even new cars. 

Benefits of a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle 

1- Vehicles Have Been Checked for Problems 

When a vehicle is considered a certified pre-owned vehicle, it has gone through rigorous testing by the manufacturer to ensure that it is up to their standards to be resold. Depending on the manufacturer, there may be restrictions for age and the number of miles on the vehicle before they can be certified. 

Each manufacturer has different classifications for certifying their pre-owned vehicles. Some manufacturers, like Audi, have a 300 point inspection process and limit the mileage and age of the vehicle for it to become certified pre-owned.  

2- Vehicles May Qualify for Warranties 

Depending on the manufacturer, some CPO vehicles come with a new manufacturer’s warranty. Some manufacturers may only guarantee the powertrain for an extended period, while others will cover the entire vehicle. When you are shopping for a CPO, it is important to ask what warranties are available from the different manufacturers to make an informed decision when making your purchase. 

3- Extra benefits from Car Lot or Manufacturer 

Some certified pre-owned vehicles will come with extra benefits when purchased from the car lot. Depending on the car lot or the manufacturer, you may receive roadside assistance, free oil changes, or discounted repairs when you purchase a CPO from that lot. 

4- Knowing the Vehicle History 

When you purchase a certified pre-owned vehicle, you will know the history of that vehicle. The carlot or the manufacturer will run a background check on the vehicle through a program like VINSmart so that they know that the vehicle is good to resell. 

VINSmart background check on a vehicle will tell all the repairs that the vehicle has had since it was sold as a new car. It will also show if the vehicle has been in any accidents. A VINSmart report will also check the title to ensure that it is not a salvage vehicle or one that has been registered as totaled. The report will also verify that there are no liens against the title by any third parties. 

5- Recall Repairs Have Been Made 

If there are any recall notices on a vehicle, the car lot performing the certification will ensure that all recall repairs have been made on the vehicle. Many of these recalls are crucial to safely operating the vehicle, and without those repairs, you may place yourself at risk. All repairs made on the vehicle for recalls will also be documented with the national database so that there are never any questions in the future about recall repairs on your vehicle. 

6- You Save a Lot of Money When You Do Not Buy New 

Buying a certified pre-owned vehicle can save you thousands of dollars. New cars start to depreciate the moment that they drive off of the car lot. When you purchase a CPO, the depreciation has already happened, and you are purchasing a vehicle that is true to its value. Depreciation will be very slow at this point, and you will get the best purchase for your money. 

Cons on Purchasing a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle 

1- Finding the Right Vehicle 

Since many used vehicles will not qualify for pre-owned certification, you may be limited to the type of vehicle you purchase. If you have your heart set on a specific vehicle type, you may have to travel around your area to find that specific vehicle in pre-owned status. 

2 – A certified pre-owned vehicle will cost more than a non-certified vehicle of the same make and model.

On average, a certified used vehicle costs between $1,500 and 2,000 more than the same vehicle purchased from a non-certified lot or private person. 

Should You Buy CPA or From a Private Lot or Person? 

It will most likely be in your best interest to purchase a certified pre-owned vehicle because you are lessening the risk of unexpected problems with the car. When you purchase from a car lot or a private person that does not certify their cars, there is always a risk. 

However, if you have your heart set on a specific vehicle and from a private seller or private lot, you can lessen your risk by having the car examined by a mechanic and running a VINSmart report on the vehicle. A mechanic should be able to spot any obvious problems or inform you of any repairs that may have occurred to the vehicle in the past that may have been the result of an accident. 

When you run the VINSmart report, you will get a full history of the vehicle and a detailed report about the title. This will ensure that the title is free and clear of liens and that it is not a salvaged or totaled vehicle. The report will also indicate if there were any recalls on the vehicle and if the recall repairs were made. 

Buying a used vehicle is one of the easiest ways to save money when buying transportation. If possible, you should always consider a certified pre-owned vehicle so that you do not have to worry about issues with the vehicle that were not disclosed by the previous owner. If you do buy a non-certified used vehicle, make sure that you have the vehicle checked, including a VIN check, to make sure it is worth your investment. 

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