If it's not Kia, it's Hyundai taking the top spot in the most recent CPO program awards this time in Edmunds.com's latest ranking of all car brands.

Financing a certified used car with bad credit

While a growing number of credit-challenged consumers who apply for a vehicle loan are being approved for a new car, many of these borrowers are still choosing used cars.

From a purely financial point, this decision makes sense because the average new car loses between 15% and 30% of its value as soon as you drive it off the lot. When you combine that with the fact that the current crop of late model vehicles are more reliable than ever, it's easy to see why it's far more cost effective financing a 2- or 3-year-old used car than a brand-new one.

But once that decision is made, buyers then have to decide whether they want to finance a regular used car or a certified used car.

Certified used cars

Certified used cars (the industry calls them certified pre-owned or CPO) are a market segment that falls somewhere between new cars and traditional used cars.

To begin with, a manufacturer certified used car (the only "true" CPO vehicle) has to meet certain age and mileage requirements. The franchised dealer then performs a manufacturer-required inspection, replacing worn and broken parts specified by the manufacturer to qualify it for factory-backed warranty (service contract), thus making it a certified pre-owned vehicle.

The costs of inspection, required replacement of warn and defective parts plus the service contract typically make CPO vehicles more expensive than regular used cars. But given the peace of mind these warranties bring, it's easy to see why more buyers are opting for CPO vehicles.

Edmunds.com Best Certified Pre-Owned Car Programs

With that in mind, back in November of 2015 Edmunds.com published its annual rankings of the top 10 best certified used car programs, and the winner is: Hyundai

According to Edmunds, "A typical non-luxury CPO car only has seven years of powertrain coverage from the original date of purchase: Hyundai betters that by three years. The bumper-to-bumper coverage is also better by a year on average, and the roadside assistance term is exceptional. In other words, apart from corporate partner Kia, no company has a better CPO warranty than Hyundai. It is worth noting that Hyundai's original new-car warranty is not transferable, so buying CPO is the only way to get it when buying a used Elantra, Sonata, Tucson or other Hyundai vehicle."CPO, Hyundai

The rest are as follows:

  1. Kia
  2. Lexus
  3. Volvo
  4. Honda and Mazda (tie)
  5. Porsche
  6. Jaguar and Land Rover (tie)
  7. Buick


The good news is that many vehicles from both Hyundai and Kia, Edmunds.com's top 2 CPO programs, are also known for their affordability, even when new, making them a good buy to begin with.

The Bottom Line

While consumers, especially those with poor credit, need to decide if the extra cost fits within their budgets, the latest information from Edmunds.com should help borrowers considering a certified used car.

One more thing: If you're considering one of these cars but realize your credit might be a problem, we want you to know that Auto Credit Express specializes in placing borrowers who have tattered credit with dealerships that can offer them their best chances for an auto loan approval.

So if you're ready to begin the process, you can start now by filling out our online auto loan application.