How to Buy a Certified Used Car


Certified Pre-Owned vehicles are a great option for those looking for a quality car without the price tag of a new car. These vehicles have several advantages, including extended warranties and lower overall costs. To find a quality certified used car, you just need to follow a few steps.

3 steps to buy a certified used car

Certified Pre-Owned vehicles are generally sold at a lower price than new vehicles. They can also come with factory warranties and the peace of mind that comes from a reputable dealership.

Step 1: Do your research

You’ll want to have an idea of ​​what you need in a car before you even start shopping. Choose a vehicle that will meet your needs and fit your budget. You can do this by researching prices and important features, like whether cars have a rear view camera, seat temperature controls, how big they are and more.

Step 2: Buy it

There are many places to find certified used cars, although inventory may be low in today’s market. After narrowing down your choices, it’s time to shop around. You can shop online, at physical dealerships, or a combination of both. Check out all the options available and compare what they offer.

Step 3: Check your certification

Each certified pre-owned vehicle will come with a certification report that details the vehicle’s history. This report will give you a complete overview of the life of the car, including any previous accidents or mechanical issues.

Where to buy a certified used car

Certified Pre-Owned vehicles can be found at various dealerships.

  • Franchised dealers. If you want to drive a certain brand, check out car dealerships belonging to specific car brands.
  • Rentals. Dealerships specializing in older rental cars, such as Hertz or Enterprise, also tend to be a good option for purchasing CPO vehicles.
  • Online dealers. The internet is a great outlet for CPOs. Check out sites like Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, and TrueCar.
  • Used car dealerships. You will also find certified used vehicles there.

The Benefits of Buying a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle

There are several benefits to buying Certified Pre-Owned vehicles.

Extended warranty

A Certified Pre-Owned vehicle may come with a warranty that provides additional protection for a period. The warranty will likely include a powertrain limited warranty covering engine, transmission and driveline components, and a bumper-to-bumper limited warranty covering body and interior components.

Discount Rate Advice: Check the duration of the vehicle warranty and ask for warranty exclusions. Look for a list of components that are not covered by the CPO warranty. If the vehicle has electrical components that require high maintenance, such as brake and tire wear sensors, ask the dealer if the warranty will cover replacements.

Best Value

Another benefit of buying a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle is that it will generally reduce the overall cost of the vehicle. Indeed, the vehicle has been checked by the dealer and comes with some kind of warranty. Both of these can result in lower cost of ownership.

You won’t have to worry about potential future mechanical issues or repair costs as much as you would with a used car that isn’t certified. This will allow you to focus more on the vehicle itself and less on potential hidden issues.

Exchange programs

Depending on the manufacturer and dealer, you may be able to return the car within a certain time frame if it does not meet your expectations. This is however not available for all CPO vehicles, so check with the dealership before logging in if you want this feature.

What to pay attention to

If you are considering buying a used vehicle, you must be prepared to take your time in order to obtain a quality vehicle.

Be patient

Used vehicles are in high demand right now. It could take you several months to find the perfect car, so be patient and keep looking for the right vehicle.

Do your research

Check that the vehicle you are considering has the features you want and compare prices with similar vehicles in your area. You can also compare vehicles and find local dealerships using tools like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds.

Have it inspected

Having a vehicle inspected by a mechanic before purchase is one of the best ways to ensure you get a quality vehicle, even if it is a CPO. You can also view the vehicle history report using the vehicle identification number (VIN).

Take a test drive

When you take the car for a test drive, note how it handles and if anything seems out of place. Ask for a test drive at night, if possible, to get an idea of ​​the performance of the headlights. Remember that since you are looking for a used car, you will have more room for negotiation.

Next steps

Deciding to buy a certified used car involves research and planning, but with a little patience you can get a solid car at a great price. Once you’ve found the right solution, qualify for financing before you sit down to finalize the purchase. Arriving with an aligned loan will give you even more room for negotiation.

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