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A Better Way to Buy a Used Car with Poor Credit

The expansion of their certified used car program gives problem credit buyers at select Chrysler dealers a wider selection of certified used cars to choose from for an auto loan
A Better Way to Buy a Used Car with Poor Credit
What we know

Car buyers with questionable credit are now able to pick from a larger number of certified used cars from different manufacturers at many Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat dealers – that is, those that also offer auto loans from subprime lenders.

At Auto Credit Express we’re aware of these recent changes because we’ve been helping applicants with bad credit searching for online car loans find those dealers that can offer them their best chances for car loan approvals. We’re speaking, of course, about Chrysler’s enhanced certified used car program that the company rolled out nearly a year ago.

Certified used cars

Most manufacturer-sponsored certified used car programs (the manufacturers themselves refer to them as “certified pre-owned” or CPO programs) work this way: If a trade in, lease return or auction purchased vehicle meets certain age and mileage limits (including a clean vehicle history) it can be inspected. Following the mandatory replacement of worn, broken or defective parts, dealers can then sell them with a manufacturer-backed used car service contract.

These certified vehicles can then be sold at a premium over non-certified used cars because of the costs involved in the inspection, replacement and reconditioning process as well as the expense of the service contract.

What the service contract does or does not cover and what additional perks are included also varies widely by manufacturer. But until last summer one thing was certain: in order buy a specific certified used car model, you had to visit the franchised car dealer that held that particular new car franchise.

That all changed when Chrysler announced its Diversified Certified used car program.

Chrysler Diversified Certified used cars

According to the company, under the Chrysler Diversified Certified program “All competitive-make pre-owned vehicles will be subjected to a thorough certification process and come with a 5-Year/60,000-Mile Maximum Care (full mechanical) Warranty from original in-service date, as well as Certified Pre-Owned program benefits such as towing, roadside assistance and more.”

To qualify for the program, eligible vehicles will have to have less than 48,000 miles on the odometer and be a 2009 model or newer.

The program began in March of last year at all Fiat studios, with Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck dealers joining the program in May.

Advantages to car buyers with less than perfect credit

We know most credit-challenged car buyers will choose a used car because they’re more affordable. Since new cars depreciate in value and a higher percentage of this depreciation occurs in the first couple of years, the price paid for a newer used represents a much better value when compared to buying new.

Making the process even easier and more transparent is the fact that Kelley Blue Book’s web site at kbb.com now lists the values for both certified and non-certified used cars giving buyers an even better idea if the one they’re considering matches up to similar vehicles and making even easier for used car buyers to tell if the vehicle they’re considering is priced fairly.

The Bottom Line

While the vehicle mileage limits of non-Chrysler vehicles in the Diversified Certified program are fairly low, it would be outstanding if this marks the beginning of a new type of certified used car program: programs that result in a wider selection of certified used cars at all new car dealerships. This move could benefit all car buyers – but especially those with credit issues.

One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the fact that Auto Credit Express matches consumers with car credit problems with new car dealers that can offer them their best chances for approved car loans.

So if you’re ready to reestablish your auto credit, you can begin now by filling out our online car loan application.

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