Should You Buy Certified Cars


Should You Buy A Certified Vehicle?

You’ve seen the signs lining the car dealerships, you hear people talking about it, but you still aren’t quite sure entirely what makes a vehicle Certified Pre-Owned.

Used cars lots in Lexington, KY have used cars, everyone knows that, so what specifically qualifies a car to be ‘certified pre-owned’ and are they a better deal?

What is CPO?

To be certified pre-owned, or CPO, the used vehicle had to pass specific tests and meet certain requirements designated by the automaker to ensure a quality vehicle is being sold. Also, a certified pre-owned car must be backed by the manufacturer. A lot of dealerships that don’t offer these programs can swear that they would never sell anything less than wonderful, but the bottom line is there is nothing say that car is in sellable condition. Of course, you can always check yourself, but what if you don’t know what you are looking for? Having that ‘certified pre-owned’ sticker is a guarantee that the cars you’re looking at already meet those requirements and will allow you breath a bit easier. But there are plenty of reasons why buying certified pre-owned is beneficial.

Let’s take a look and see what they are!

The Market for Certified Pre-Owned is Now

With the popularity for two to three-year leases, newer model years are being turned into certified pre-owned.

Leases make great CPO’s because their low mileage and minimal damage done. Plus, because the car doesn’t technically belong to the driver, they are often more careful with spills and overall cleanliness of the car.

Newer model trade-ins have been making a comeback in the automotive industry as well. Consumers are trading in their cars that aren’t old just to rotate and keep getting the brand new model.

Because of these two things, there are more cars available to be certified pre-owned than ever before. With more options than ever to choose from, now is the right time to be looking through certified pre-owned inventory.


Only the Best Vehicles Qualify

To qualify as CPO, used cars have to pass tests put together by the dealership or automaker. Therefore, the cars they will choose are already going to be in good shape. Dealerships are not going to waste time and money on a vehicle that isn’t going to pass. So, more often than not CPO cars are going to be late model, low mileage vehicles with a clean history report. The one thing these cars will have in common is low risk and high rewards. This also increases their ability to be sold at a higher price. The newer it is the vehicle is the less used it is and that’s what people will want to see. They will also be willing to pay more for that quality. Brands will have very specific requirements they need each vehicle to meet. These requirements vary brand to brand. For instance, Chevy won’t have the same requirements that BMW has and for good reason.

Each brand offers different coverage for specific parts.


To become certified pre-owned, the vehicle has to pass a number of tests and meet requirements set forth by the manufacturer.

Age and mileage requirements along with a thorough inspection from the dealership with standards set by the manufacturer complete the inspection.

Certified programs usually include anywhere from 150 to 200 inspection points. These are thoroughly examined, but do remember they are still used.

Once a car has passed and is now deemed CPO, an additional warranty is added to the car which adds to its value.


Don’t Be Fooled

However, not all cars that go through the inspection pass. The cars that don’t pass do not get the CPO warranty.

This can sometimes be confusing as not all dealerships claiming to carry CPO have all CPO cars. Even if those not certified pre-owned say ‘certified’, it may not mean the same thing or it may carry a different warranty.

Check with your dealer and ask very specific questions if this is a concern for you. Some dealerships will hope to confuse the buyer into thinking they’re getting a CPO, which dealerships sell at a higher cost, even if it’s just an extended warranty.

Low-Interest Financing

One of the perks of buying a used car is the obvious lower price. Remember, there is no immediate depreciation so you know you are already going to pay less than a brand new car. While the CPO car won’t cost as much as a brand new car, in most cases it will come with the same low interest rates of a brand new car. The CPO car comes with less risk because it qualifies for extended guarantee which offers both protection and peace of mind. Because of this, your monthly payment will also decrease which allows you to put more money down initially. It also keeps the price of the car down because a low interest rate means it is more affordable vehicle and therefore, more likely to sell.

What to Watch Our For

While the reasons to buy CPO are strong, there are certainly some things to watch out for, as well. Certified Does Not Mean Certified Pre-Owned.Only manufacturer-franchised dealers are allowed to sell CPO’s. We’ve all seen a variety of used cars at a host of brands dealerships and that’s okay as long as they’re not ALL being sold CPO.

For example a used car lot can sell as many used cars from as many brands as it allows. However, if it is a dealership with a used car lot, it can only sell Chevy brand cars as CPO because it has to be qualified by the manufacturer. Also, always remember that no matter how ‘new’ a car is, it is still a used car and will never be brand new again. While CPO does verify its quality, most of its value is still just perceived. So much of what you are paying for is peace of mind. Some people question whether CPO is all that different from a used car on the same lot that is not CPO.

Ultimately, you have to use your head and instincts to decide if CPO is a better deal for you or not.