Understanding CPOs and Why They’re the Perfect Choice

Does your current vehicle seem to be approaching the proverbial and literal end of the road? In that case, it may be time to start seeking a replacement. If you’re looking to save a chunk of money, you could opt to avoid new cars and pursue a used option.

If you’ve started your research, you’ve surely come across a dealership’s certified pre-owned car options. What are these? We elaborate on their benefits below, but they’re essentially used vehicles that have been backed by the manufacturer. This provides the buyer with some added confidence that they won’t be stuck with a lemon, and if they do run into any issues, they’ll know that the brand is there to help.

Alternatively, buyers may be stuck if they purchase a regular, standard used car. Dealerships may offer their own warranties or protections, but they surely aren’t as extensive as those offered by the manufacturer. If you’ve purchased from a private seller, you may not even be able to reach them if you run into any issues. There’s clearly more risk with this route, and that’s why many customers prefer certified pre-owned alternatives.

Of course, these vehicles tend to be more expensive than their used counterparts, so it’s important to understand the differences before you make a commitment. Before you do make a commitment one way or the other, see why certified pre-owned cars may be right for you.

What is a CPO?

Certified pre-owned cars separate themselves from standard used cars because of their reliability. These vehicles have gone through an extensive test by the manufacturer, proving that they provide all of the attributes that customers expect from these respective rides.

This is an especially important advantage for consumers. Used cars are usually plenty adequate, but drivers can’t always trust them. While the exterior may look nice, there may be some extensive issues with the car’s performance. There may also be some underlying damage that’s hidden by clever, quick fixes. Who knows? A customer may even come across an unreliable lemon.

Certified pre-owned cars allow potential buyers to take a deep breath and trust that these vehicles will perform as they should. The car has been meticulously inspected by a reliable mechanic, and the 100+ step checklist means that every nook and cranny is scrutinized.

Predictably, many of these certified pre-owned cars come via trade-ins, which means drivers can also expect fewer miles. Not only will customers be avoiding an inadequate car, but they can also rely on their purchase for years to come.

Best of all, manufacturers are so confident in their testing procedures that they’ll often attach a limited warranty to the purchase. Customers may also be able to negotiate a roadside assistance plan, dealership perks (like free oil changes or inspections), and even exclusive financing options. Therefore, in the rare event that there is an issue with the vehicle, the customer will still be protected.

Of course, you’ll want to check that the warranty isn’t close to ending. For example, a warranty that lasts until 100,000 miles wouldn’t have much value if there’s more than 90,000 miles on the odometer. When negotiating a deal for a certified pre-owned car, make sure the dealership attaches a new warranty to the vehicle instead of an outdated agreement.

How Much Do They Cost?

Of course, since there are so many advantages that accompany purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle, customers should also expect a higher price tag. These prices will surely be higher than their used counterparts, and they can often rival the values of new cars.

Some reports indicated that manufacturers will boost the price at least 5% if a vehicle has been certified. There’s also a premium that accompanies these vehicles, as drivers can expect to dish out at least $500 on taxes (this number exceeds $2,000 if you pursue a luxury car).

Overall, you’d be hard pressed to find a certified pre-owned vehicle that is less expensive than a regular used counterpart. If your finances are a concern, you’ll want to explore all of your options before committing to any particular used vehicle.

How Do CPOs Differ from Regular Used Cars?

The difference between certified pre-owned cars and used vehicles is obvious. The non-certified vehicles have not been backed by the brand, so customers can’t be as confident that the vehicle is going to last. These cars could ultimately be just as enticing as their CPO counterparts, but there’s still no guarantee. Thanks to the lack of definitive reliability, used cars are often less expensive than certified versions.

Meanwhile, customers may also find that a particular car is dealer-certified instead of manufacturer-certified. This is an important difference to account for. Dealership-certified vehicles may be just fine, but the process certainly isn’t as trustworthy as the one executed by the brand.

Dealerships presumably have a shorter checklist when testing these vehicles, and their financial incentives may not be as enticing. Before you dive into a purchase, it’s important to explore the terms of an agreement. If you’re still questioning the vehicle’s ability, you could also visit your own trusted mechanic. This way, an extra set of eyes can provide additional guidance.

There are clear benefits to both routes. Ultimately, if you’re really struggling with finances, it may be best to opt for a standard used car. There’s really no saying how much money you could save by opting for this route, as CPOs often have a fixed value. If you’re looking for the cheapest car possible, you’re not going to find it from a certified pre-owned car.

Otherwise, there are no reasons not to pursue these CPOs. They’re more reliable than their used counterparts, and customers often have higher-quality options to choose from. If finances aren’t an issue, you’ll still be saving a chunk of money by pursuing a certified pre-owned car instead of a new car. Best of all, you’ll know that you’re ultimately protected if the car runs into any issues down the road.

By now, your mind should be made. Instead of opting for the unreliability of a used car, opt for a certified pre-owned car and drive with ease.