Used vs. Certified Pre-Owned—Which Vehicle Should You Buy?

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Back in the day, car buyers only had to choose between new and used. Now, shoppers who decide to forgo new vehicles need to make another choice—used or certified pre-owned (CPO). If you were to opt for car that is not new, which should you choose? Understand what makes these two options similar yet different.

 

Choosing What Isn’t New

Used and CPO vehicles are the same in the sense that they are not brand new. They have been driven—and possible abused—before. All of them are secondhand automobiles.

If you choose to buy a used or CPO car, you need not worry too much about depreciation. Because depreciation is greatest in the first year of ownership (as much as 18 percent), the original owner is the one who had absorbed most of it. Since the original owner has paid off the most depreciation, your losses will be comparatively minimal.

 

Opting for Better than Used

While all CPO vehicles are used, not all used vehicles are CPOs.

Certified pre-owned is a different breed of used automobiles. Yes, they are no longer new, but they passed specific standards set by the manufacturer. These start as low-mileage vehicles that are not too old and are in relatively good condition. More often than not, automobiles that are considered for certification are those that have minor issues. Considerable damage and mechanical problems render vehicles unfit for the certification process.

Once a used vehicle passes the manufacturer’s standards, it undergoes a makeover: the automobile gets whatever service it needs to be almost as good as new. It will be refurbished as necessary. After the makeover, it will be inspected. The vehicle has to pass a thorough inspection process before it will be sold.

As for non-certified used cars, they are often sold as is. The dealer may spend for cosmetic work or other repairs, but the job is surely not as comprehensive as the refurbishment process CPO cars go through. While some non-certified used autos are still in great shape, potential buyers still have good reason to be apprehensive about the vehicle’s future.

 

Paying for Peace of Mind

Because CPO vehicles are restored in top-notch condition, they are more expensive than non-certified used vehicles. The additional expense will depend on the kind of car to be purchased. For basic models, the difference may be a hundred dollars or more; for luxury types, the difference will be hefty.

The higher price that comes with CPOs is worth paying if you want peace of mind. The fact that the vehicle was reconditioned and improved according to manufacturer standards gives any buyer the reassurance that he or she will be safe when using the car.

The price also comes with a different kind of reassurance, one that comes in the form of a warranty. Just like brand new cars, CPOs are covered by warranties. These either extend the original warranty or add to it. Note that some non-certified used cars are still covered by the original warranty.

 

Determining Which Vehicle You Should Buy

We at Atlanta Auto Approval Center hope that you carefully consider the options before you make a decision. Certified pre-owned seems to be the better option between the two, and in most cases, it is. But remember that CPO vehicles are still used; certification doesn’t guarantee that the vehicle won’t have problems in the future. Moreover, you should pick an option with your budget in mind. If all you can afford is a non-certified used car, you shouldn’t stretch your budget just to get a CPO car.

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