If you're on the fence between buying a used car and investing in a new car, a certified pre-owned vehicle (CPO) may be a viable third option to consider. These cars typically cost a little more than "regular" used cars, but they come with a lot of the same perks that accompany a new car purchase.

Not All Used Cars are Equal

While it is possible to find a non-certified used car that runs well, looks good, and will reliably serve your needs, if a vehicle is certified, you are paying for additional peace of mind. What you should know, however, is that there are two classes of CPOs: Manufacturer certifications and cars that are certified by dealers. And it is more advantageous to seek out a pre-owned vehicle that has been certified by the manufacturer.

  • Certified pre-owned vehicles are generally 5 years old or newer. You will know that you are buying a relatively recent model that has probably been driven less than 80,000 miles.
  • CPOs come with full inspections. A manufacturer certified pre-owned vehicle has been inspected by a factory-trained technician.
  • CPOs are covered by warranties. Exactly what these warranties cover (and for how long) varies from vehicle to vehicle, but every certified automobile comes with some type of guarantee, which eliminates a lot of the worry and hassle that may come with "standard" used car purchases. If the vehicle has been certified by the manufacturer, the warranty will be honored at any authorized dealer of that car, but dealer issued warranties may only be accepted by the particular dealer that sold you the vehicle.

Don't Fall Victim to CPO Temptation

The whole concept of certified pre-owned vehicles was originated by luxury car companies (Lexus and Mercedes-Benz), and choosing one of these cars over a brand new car will allow you to buy a more expensive model for less money. However, you should still stick to your original budget. While it may be very tempting to buy that luxury vehicle because it seems like a bargain compared to its original sticker price, it could still be more than you can afford in the long run.

Weighing the Cost

So, if you're drawn to having the peace of mind that comes with a brand new, worry-free vehicle, but want to stick to a budget that is more conducive to a used car purchase, a certified pre-owned vehicle may be right for you. Of course, ultimately, the car you choose should be the best car that you can realistically afford, so don't rule out the regular used car option until after you have done the math.

Let Us Help With the Numbers

For the easiest car buying experience possible, consult the experts at Auto Credit Express. We will take all of the guesswork out by matching you with the right dealer. This dealer will approve you for a loan amount that fits your budget before you shop for the car, and even if your credit is damaged, we can find a dealer who can work with you. Just fill out our fast and secure application to start today.