Both certified pre-owned (CPO) cars and regular used vehicles can be a better choice when you're dealing with bad credit, but they're not the same. While they’re technically used, CPO cars go through a different pre-sale process than traditional used vehicles and include some added perks. Both certified pre-owned cars and regular used vehicles have benefits, so which one is best for you may not be best for somebody else.

Certified Pre-Owned Cars

Certified Pre-Owned Cars vs. Used Cars: Which One Is Best?Used cars gain the CPO title by going through a manufacturer’s certified pre-owned inspection program and meeting all their requirements.

As long as the vehicle is in good condition both inside and out, is less than five years old, meets the mileage requirement, and passes the inspection, it’s eligible to become a CPO car. Keep in mind that each automaker has their own specific CPO vehicle programs and inspections.

CPO cars also come with some form of manufacturer-backed extended warranty, which is something traditional used vehicles can't claim. If you want one of those, you usually have to purchase it separately.

The automaker-backed extended warranty of certified pre-owned cars typically starts from the vehicle’s original in-service date. Plus, many CPO programs offer roadside assistance, satellite radio trials, and free maintenance.

The downside is that because of all these perks and the warranty, CPO cars generally cost more than regular used vehicles.

Traditional Used Cars

Traditional used cars are just what they sound like: they’re used vehicles on dealer’s lots that don’t receive the inspection required by a manufacturer. Used cars typically get inspected, however, so don’t think you’re buying an unreliable model just because it hasn’t been manufacturer-certified.

Even though a regular used vehicle doesn’t go through the same inspection program as a CPO car, it doesn’t mean they’re worse. However, to get the same kind of detailed inspection, you would need to have a certified mechanic look over a vehicle on your own dime.

In addition, used cars aren’t usually covered by a manufacturer-backed warranty. This means you’re responsible for deciding whether or not you want an extended warranty, and paying for it out of pocket.

Looking to Buy a Used Car?

No matter if you buy a CPO vehicle or a traditional used car, finding financing with bad credit isn’t easy. Luckily, we’re here to help you get connected to a dealership that has the lending resources you need.

At Auto Credit Express, we’ve been helping credit-challenged car buyers get the financing they need for over 20 years by connecting them to the right dealer for them. All you need to do to get started is complete our free and quick auto loan request form. Don’t wait any longer, get started right now!