Car & Electronics

10 Things To Know When Buying A Certified Pre-Owned Car

Most of us know that getting a new car is probably the worst investment you can make. As soon as you turn the key and start your car – the price plummets. So, what are your alternatives?

Well, there are used cars you can buy, but that comes with its own set of disadvantages – many of which you’re all too familiar with for us to even get into it. And then there are certified pre-owned cars.

Certified pre-owned cars – that sounds reassuring, doesn’t it? It sure does to us, and since you’re here – it probably does to you, too.

While we’re on the subject of why you’re here, we’re assuming you’ve explored your options and have opted out for a certified pre-owned vehicle. And, if we’re right about that, here are some things to know when buying a certified pre-owned car that might be useful to you.

1. What is a Certified Pre-Owned Car?

A true certified pre-owned car (later on referred to as CPO) is a used car sold by a franchised new car dealer like a Porsche or a Volkswagen.

These vehicles are the crème de la crème of the used cars. They’ve been driven minimally, they’re usually less than two years old, and before they were put up for sale – they’ve been thoroughly inspected by top-of-the-line mechanics.

Basically, this allows you to get a used car without ever wondering was it tampered with in any way.

2. You’ll Get A Warranty

Another thing to keep in mind is that you will get a warranty when you buy a CPO car. Even though they’re used, dealerships will offer various warranties like they would if you were shopping for a new one.

Now, warranties will vary from brand to brand and dealership to dealership. At some dealerships, you’ll get a year-long warranty with a mileage cap, which is not bad. However, some other brands might offer you a two-year warranty and unlimited mileage.

It all depends on the brand, so keep that in mind.

3. You Might Even Get Trip Insurance

Even though these cars are relatively new and in great shape – accidents happen.

For that reason, some CPO programs offer you something called trip or trip-interruption insurance.

Essentially, what these insurance policies cover are unexpected failures and incidents if you’re far away from home – usually 150 miles or more. You might get cash benefits, daily benefits, or in some cases, even rental car coverage in case something happens while you’re on the road.

4. You Should Feel Free To Shop Around

CPO cars will be valued in between used and new cars. However, that shouldn’t stop you from shopping around because these prices aren’t fixed.

As you’ll notice if you take a look at some of the major pricing guides – the same car might be valued less in some places, even if it is in better shape – so take advantage of that.

If you don’t know where to look or shop for good deals, maybe Discoveryautogroup might be able to help?

5. You Can Only Get A Current Generation Vehicle

Another neat thing about getting a CPO car is that you’re guaranteed to get the latest-generation vehicle.

Now, that may not be important to many buyers, but that’s something to keep in mind. If you love the feeling of driving around in the latest and greatest of a certain series – then CPO’s the way to go.

Also, as long as the car’s being made – you’ll always find spare parts in case something goes sideways.

6. Despite The Cost – It’s A Low-Risk Purchase

Don’t get it twisted – you’ll still pay a premium price for a CPO vehicle. It won’t be as expensive as a new car, but you’ll certainly notice the difference between a used and a certified pre-owned car.

However, we feel like that’s a worthy investment. After all, the car’s been inspected by the best mechanics in the field, so you’re not assuming much risk like you would if you were to buy a regular used car.

7. You May Ask For The Inspection Report

Just because the car’s been inspected doesn’t mean that you don’t get to check up on it.

In fact, we’d encourage you to ask for the inspection report and go through it all by yourself. That is, if you know what you’re looking for.

If not, a close friend or a mechanic could give you a helping hand analysing the report.

8. Feel Free To Test Drive The Car

New, CPO, or used – always test drive the car.

The worst mistake you can make is not to sit in the car and drive it before you buy it. You must make sure the car suits you.

A test drive will be a great way for you to assess the car, see how it feels and handles, and more.

Once again – never buy it before you test drive it!

9. Despite All Insurances – Visually Inspect The Car

One of the things that may fly under the radar is the aesthetics of the car.

While there’s no doubt about the technical faultlessness of the car, there could be some issues with the looks. After all, these cars have been driven around, so there might be a scratch here and there, maybe even a small ding that’s been fixed. Also, the interior could be worn in certain places, so don’t be scared to look.

Make sure you do a thorough visual inspection of the car – both inside and out!

10. Negotiation Is Not Off The Table

The last thing to know about before you purchase a certified pre-owned car is that negotiations are not off the table. There’s always a deal to be made when shopping at the dealership.

From moving a few things around with a warranty to outright asking for discounts for whatever reason – you might just get yourself a better deal. You just have to try.

Dealers will try to upsell you, so it is your duty to try and counter them. If you just haggle for a bit and ask to speak to the manager – who knows what you may end up driving away in?


At this point, you’re probably already browsing the dealership, so we’re only leaving you with one thought.

Keep these tips in mind when you go shopping, and we promise you – you’ll end up with a great deal on an even better car!

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