The Inside Scoop on Certified Pre-Owned
Certified pre-owned (CPO) cars have become a very important option for buyers looking for a high-quality vehicle at a lower cost than a new car. If you’re looking for a way to get the benefits of a new car without the immediate depreciation you’d experience when driving a new car off the dealership’s lot, you owe it to yourself to explore this unique purchasing option.
CPO vehicles are different. They’re not the type of used cars you might find on Craigslist. Rather, CPO vehicles are relatively new and of low mileage. The cars are typically acquired at closed auctions for dealers of specific brands or they were sold as new by the dealership that’s now offering them as certified.
When these 1- to 6-year-old vehicles return to the dealership, the dealer’s CPO team takes extra steps before offering them for sale again. The first step is a document search. The dealer checks that the vehicle has not been in any serious accidents and that it was fully maintained by the original owner.
Next, the dealer conducts a careful inspection of the vehicle—anywhere from 150 to 300 different inspection items are examined—and then corrects any issues. As well, any needed maintenance is performed, and worn items such as tires or brakes are replaced if needed. The exterior is detailed and the interior is given the full spa treatment. Once complete, the vehicle can officially be called certified pre-owned. It’s then granted special warranty coverage backed up by the manufacturer.
Each automotive brand has its own certified warranty. Typically, non-premium brands offer a one-year “bumper-to-bumper” warranty and a multi-year drivetrain warranty on CPO cars. For luxury brands, expect significantly longer warranty terms.
In the end, CPO programs allow buyers to drive almost-new vehicles that look as if they just rolled off the showroom floor yet have already depreciated. And with a warranty that’s little to no different than that of a new car, CPO vehicles give you peace of mind you won’t find in any other used vehicle.