How to Buy Certified Used Car: Price and More

How to buy certified used car: Price and More

There is a certain appeal to buying second-hand vehicles. If we look at the overall idea, the pros of buying a used car trump any possible cons. But, the main dilemma of buying a used car from individual sellers or local dealers is that there is no warranty. They do not give you any warranty on the flip side if something goes wrong with any part of the car. To avoid his problem, knowing how to buy a certified used car is very important.

With the rise in demand for used cars, there is a growing need for certified used cars. As these dealers can provide various warranty packs and offers, buyers can get extra assurance that their investment is not wrongly placed. But choosing a certified car and buying it with the best possible deal requires some skills. And as the availability of certified previously owned cars is not the same as ordinary cars, the task can become a bit tricky.

What is a Certified Used Car?

Certified used cars are also known as Certified Pre-Owned cars. These cars are secondhand vehicles sold by flagship stores and authorized dealers. These dealers have a brand image to uphold. And so they provide extra facilities to the buyer. Most well-known brands have their separate lots to sell certified used cars that they acquire in different ways. A CPO car is acquired by the dealer in various ways:

  1. The car was traded in for a newer model and still is in mint condition.
  2. The car can be bought at an auction and has been repaired and reconditioned.

Whatever way the car came to be in the dealer’s possession, the main point of a car being sold as a Certified Pre-owned Car is that it is in good condition. The used cars undergo various tests and inspections to check their state, condition, age, mileage, and accident history. When the car measures up to the expectation, then it can be sold in the CPO vehicle program.

Finding out the pre-owned cars’ worth is very difficult as there is no fixed factory invoice available. Each car has its own unique shortcomings and repairs. CPO programs ensure the security of the certified pre-owned vehicle with added warranty coverage. So the car purchase process becomes less of a luck-based worry and more of an assurance of quality.

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How to Buy a Certified Used Car

Buying a used car is always tricky. There are a lot of aspects you need to consider. And when looking for certified pre-owned vehicles to buy, the process becomes a bit more complicated. Not all your local dealers have authorized access to sell certified used cars. So it can become a hassle pretty quickly.

Step 1: Do Your Research to Find a Car

As CPO vehicles are not that common to find, the first step is to find an authorized dealer who has a certified pre-owned program. In most cases, the manufacturers and branded dealers sell their own traded-in and previously owned vehicles. In the lot, the CPO cars are set aside in most cases in a separate section.

Step 2: Choose a Car

After you find a good dealer, you need to choose the car you want. In this part, the main point is to choose something that has the most features you need and is also within your budget. Next, it is important to understand the type of warranty they are offering. Sometimes the time limit is calculated from the period of the previous owner’s buying point. So make sure to ensure when the warranty period begins.

Step 3: Verify the Car’s Condition

The dealer will state the condition of the vehicle. But it is up to you to check whether the assumptions are true or not. The easiest and most straightforward way is to take it on a test drive. Through a thorough test drive, we can often gain some semblance of understanding through the engine’s sound, smoothness of the ride, and gear changes. Another sure way of checking is to get the car evaluated by an expert. You can also look over the car’s inspection report and reconditioning history.

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Step 4: Check the Documents

The documents for a used car are different for a new car. A reconditioned used car requires a new title. Also, you need o check the accident history, VIN information, etc., to be careful. A detailed vehicle history report can give you a complete idea of how the car’s life has been. It increases the chances of a more successful negotiation.

Step 5: Negotiate a Perfect Price

Dealers spend money to get a car certified. So when buying a CPO car, you have to keep in mind that these will definitely cost more than an ordinary car. You are paying for the warranty as well. But negotiation is a huge part of the buying process. There are many ways to successfully control a negotiation process that you can read up on. Also, you can increase the cost of an increased warranty.

Where to Buy Certified Used Cars From?

These days, anything you want to know or find is just one search away. And even though you might want to buy or sell a used car, the process can be completed as a completely online process. There are different ways of finding a good used car. But if you are specifically looking for certified cars, then you have to dig in a little deeper. There are some specific manufacturers who have a striving business in selling CPO cars.

  • There are franchise dealerships that mostly resell their own models in the flagship stores with proper certification. They often provide roadside assistance as well.
  • Online dealerships can become a very popular source for certified used cars. Websites like TrueCar, Carvana, Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, etc.
  • Rentals also sell CPO cars. But the problem with rental cars is that these cars might have more mileage under their belt and might not be the best of choices.
  • Aside from these, there are some local used car dealerships that also include certified cars on their roster.

Are Certified Cars Worth It?

After all these discussions, the first thought that probably comes to your mind is: are they worth it? Obviously, these cars cost quite a lot more than normal used cars. And if you are lucky, an ordinary one might not cause you any trouble making a lot of expenses. So why bother buying a car at extra cost? The answer is simple. The choice is not for everyone. Before buying the car, you have to decide:

  • Do you want a used car but also want the security of a warranty?
  • Do you want to reduce the hassle of taking the car to a mechanic for inspection after buying the car?
  • Do you want to avoid any expenses for any damaged part of the car after buying it?
  • Do you want to pay a bit more money for better security in quality?

If the answer to all these questions is positive, then you will gain in buying a CPO car even if it costs more. But you have to keep in mind that buying a certified car does not mean it will be perfect in quality. There is no guarantee, just a warranty to help you reduce any extra expenses from minor repairs. And a car is made of hundreds of different parts; not all are repairable under warranty.

Buying a certified used car can provide you with a better value. It will also be easier to ensure good insurance policies for the car. There are different warranty packages available in most cases. It is important to know that not all damages will fall under warranty security. But the value works for those who do not want to take any risks or want to depend on luck.

Many franchise dealerships have certified used car business


Buying a certified used car can be expensive, but this cost is acceptable to people who want a better value for the car, as the overall ownership cost reduces with the extended warranty. On the other hand, it can be categorized as either pure luck or expertise if you buy an ordinary car and it turns out to be a good quality vehicle. But that gamble does not attract everyone.

Because of the lack of security in buying used cars, many of us have to contemplate for a long time about our choice. And if you do not know about cars, it becomes even more stressful. So the presence of a warranty can reduce a lot of the load. Whether you prefer to buy a CPO car completely depends on you. If you think it is worth it for you, then go forward with it. But be sure to follow all the procedures.

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