There are many different types of used cars out there these days. There are the used cars that you can buy from private parties and the used car sales that are available at car lots. A new addition to this group is the certified pre-owned vehicles that manufacturer dealerships are now selling.
Buying a used car always has its drawbacks. You do not necessarily know what you are getting yourself into. If you are purchasing the car from a private party, you have to take their word on how the car has performed in the past and the reason that they are selling it. When at a used car lot you already know someone turned in the vehicle because either it was too old or not to their liking in some fashion.
Car dealerships that have certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles usually carry the same type of vehicle that the manufacturer of the dealership makes. This means Honda usually only has certified pre-owned Hondas to sell. This is because most manufacturers go through an extensive checklist before certifying their vehicles. Maker specific mechanics are the best at going over the car and making sure that it is in the best condition to re-sale.
CPO's are usually a bit more expensive than the run of the mill used car. This is due to the detailed check of the vehicle and extra warranties given to the vehicle when it is sold as used. The manufacturer supposedly only certifies cars that are in excellent shape; even through they are not brand new. The warranties vary on CPOs so make sure you understand what you are getting.
The idea of certifying vehicles and re-selling them on manufacturer dealerships lots began in the 1980s by Mercedes. Other luxury carmakers soon followed suit. It is easy to see why luxury vehicles started this trend since the owners of these types of cars usually put little mileage on their vehicle and generally take excellent care of the interior and exterior. After seeing how well this venture worked nearly all other manufacturers have entered into this form of sells.
The manufacturer's certification of vehicles allows you to buy a car with many options that you may not have been able to afford on a brand new vehicle. Many people buy used cars because they know that as soon as they drive off the lot the new vehicle depreciates. With a previously owned vehicle, that depreciation amount has already been accounted for. The extra amount you might be paying now is for the certification process but it is not nearly as costly as a new vehicle.
Manufacturers hope to give their customers a better sense of confidence in the used vehicle by the consumer knowing that the vehicle has been checked over by expert mechanics and found to be in good working order. The manufacturer then boasts about their assurance in the vehicle by warranting parts of it for a specific period of time or amount of miles.
A buyer needs to be careful when shopping for a certified car. Since there is no legally defined term for certification, some car lots might assert that their vehicles are certified. Without a regulatory body overlooking dealerships, some sales representatives can get away with saying this by just adding a service contract to the cost of your car. One needs to look for a manufacturer certified pre-owned vehicle to find one that the carmaker has qualified in this way.
When getting a CPO make certain to ask questions and read the fine print. Question the sales representative about what was inspected as part of the certification process. Ask about what the warranty will fix and if there is a requirement to use a certain service department. Find out if there is any type of deductible that you will have to pay. It is especially important to find out how long the warranty will last, see if it is a certain time or certain amount of miles. You might also want to find out if you can buy an extended warranty to cover the various car components after the manufacturer's coverage ends.
Buying a used car can be fraught with issues. To take away some of the concerns or doubts one might decide to purchase a certified pre-owned car. Buying a car this way can allow you to get full loaded car for a reasonable amount and the certainty that it will last you more than a few days. You will drive away with the peace of mind knowing that the used vehicle you purchased comes with extra securities.