Author: Curtis Farrell |

The automobile isn’t a perfect mechanism. When you buy a new car, you also get a manufacturer’s warranty for a couple of years. What about used cars? For them, a system that is known as ‘Certified Pre-Owned’ (CPO) exists.

Let’s see how a certified pre-owned car differs from a regular used car.

Certified by Whom?

A certified status means a peace of mind for those buying a used (or ‘pre-owned’ in other words) car. Who is a certification guarantor? Well, that’s an important question because not all certifications are equal for the customer. There are two potential guarantors: manufacturer and dealer. Obviously, the latter may be not the one you want. It is reassuring that manufacturer-backed programs are more common.

what are certified pre owned cars

2016 Acura TLX. Like many other luxury marques, Acura has a certified pre-owned program. © Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Features of Certified Pre-Owned Programs

The actual features depend on the brand. Most of them offer a bumper-to-bumper warranty that begins at the time of your purchase. However, some automakers such as Hyundai have longer warranty terms but their coverage begin at the time of the initial purchase. In the case of dealer’s certified pre-owned program, you can determine the terms and types of coverage by yourself. It is a nice thing because you may not want to pay significant sums for unnecessary features offered by default.

How Certified Pre-Owned Affects the Price?

It is not surprising that certified pre-owned cars cost more than regular used cars. Some luxury vehicles can be very expensive for repairing, so the CPO program is rather justified. That’s why CPO is most prevalent in the luxury segment. If a car you want has a history of malfunctions especially in regard to major components such as the powertrain, a full-fledged CPO warranty is a must-have either from an automaker or from a dealer such as CarMax and other popular franchises.