Certified Used Cars: Worth More?

Reader question:

I’ve been thinking of getting a certified used car. Is it worth paying more money?

Evan

That all depends on you.

Certified used cars, or certified pre owned cars, also called CPOs, are generally cars that used to be leased, not owned by an individual. Many find them preferable because they’re in a lot better condition than your average used car. This is because the people who were leasing the car didn’t want to get charged a bunch of fees and fines for wear and tear, so they took extra care of it. Also, unlike most used cars, CPOs tend to come with a good warranty, just like a new car. The auto industry loves them, because before their advent they made hardly any money off of used cars. But with the higher prices of CPOs, the manufacturers and dealers are able to make more profit.

But is it worth that extra cash you’ll be forking out? It depends. If you’re after the best price, it might not be. CPOs tend to cost five hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars more than they would if they were just a normal used car. Even without getting a certified used car, you can still find used cars in great condition for much lower prices if you take your time and look hard enough.

On the other hand, if you’re main goal when buying a used car is getting a vehicle that you can depend on, then a certified used car may very well be the way to go. In the used car business, you often play the risk of getting a ‘lemon’, which is a car that seems to run well when you take it out on its test drive, but once you sign the papers and get it home, everything falls apart. These cars often have multiple problems on the same parts within a few months of purchase, and these problems repeat. If you get a certified used car, though, you minimize this risk drastically, because you’ll be getting a car that has been taken care of, serviced frequently, and comes with an extended warranty.

Cheers,

Fashun Guadarrama.

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Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."