There’s no doubt that when you’re looking for an affordable vehicle, your best option is to shop used. Depreciation rates are higher for cars than almost anything else you could spend your money on, so it makes sense to let someone else’s wallet take that hit. Of course, there are pitfalls to buying used as well. It’s hard to find out exactly what a vehicle has been through, and if you aren’t careful you could end up with any number of unforeseen problems. There’s a way to avoid the usual risks when shopping for a used car, though, and still benefit from the reduced price of used models. Certified Pre-Owned vehicles are by far the safest choice, allowing you to dodge the initial value depreciation of your new-to-you car, while also guaranteeing a standard of quality that ensures your peace of mind.
Mileage & Models
The first thing that most people look at when browsing used cars is mileage. Mileage is an indicator of how much work a car has put in, and a relatively viable way to measure its lifespan. With the number of used cars on the market, though, it can get tiring searching through model after model and finding only vehicles on their last legs. That won’t happen when you shop certified pre-owned, because the strict mileage standards for CPO vehicles act as a filter to deliver you the best options available.
The age of a model is also factored into the selection process, with most CPO programs only selling models from the last ten years. Often times the cut-off point is much sooner, but no matter the case, the longevity of a vehicle is important in the selection process. Not only is that a nice thing for a prospective buyer to hear, shopping for used cars is much easier when every option is a sensible one, and when you’re not spending substantial portions of time pruning the impractical ones.
There aren’t many logical reasons to buy a car brand-new. You’ve likely heard the facts about new cars, how depreciation hits hard and fast the moment you drive it off the lot, so it should come as no surprise that most people consider buying new a bad investment. Depreciation hits a car heaviest during the first five years that it’s on the road, so if you purchase a vehicle that’s been driven for even half that time you’re saving yourself a great deal of money.
While it’s definitely a huge advantage, avoiding the initial depreciation of a vehicle isn’t the only cost benefit of buying certified pre-owned. Most manufacturers offer special financing deals, some even exclusive to their certified pre-owned models, and by utilizing them you stand to save thousands. Due to the security inherent in a CPO purchase, many banks or credit unions will have no problem providing you with pre-approved financing, at the same or similar rates they would if you were buying a brand new vehicle. If you explore your options before visiting the dealership and arrive with alternatives for financing, you’re giving the dealer an incentive to beat the deals you’ve already found, and likely getting yourself a better financing deal than you would have otherwise.
Most people would agree that the biggest risk you run when buying a used car is that you could end up with a flurry of unexpected and expensive mechanical problems. Stories about falsified history reports are a dime a dozen, and it’s not uncommon to encounter a car that looks brand-new hiding some grisly damage beneath the surface. If you ever find yourself stuck with a vehicle like this, you’ll be forced to either pay out of pocket fixing an untold number of issues or go without transportation until you can secure an alternative. You might feel like buying used is always a gamble, but with a certified pre-owned vehicle you can let those worries shrink over the horizon in your rear view mirror.
Before a car can be labeled a certified pre-owned vehicle, extensive inspections need to be done to ensure that it meets a certain standard. Due to the extended warranties offered with CPO vehicles, dealers are invested in these inspections as well, so you can feel comfortable knowing that proper attention has been paid to every CPO vehicle you consider. Every manufacturer has slightly different guidelines as to how these inspections should be done and what kind of standard needs to be upheld, but the most significant requirements are usually the same. Anything that might indicate a major accident in a vehicle’s history is usually enough to disqualify it immediately, from obvious things like an accident in its history report down to unseen issues like cracks in the frame.
Sure, certified pre-owned vehicles cost a bit more than their non-certified counterparts, but with that certification also comes purchase security and the comfort of knowing you won’t be met with any unwelcome surprises later on down the road. You’re paying for not only that peace of mind but also the assurance from the manufacturer that the vehicle performs as well as it originally did when it first left the lot new.
While the inspections that a used car must undergo before becoming a CPO vehicle deliver comfort and assurance that the vehicle is in top condition, the warranties provided in tandem are the dealership’s way of putting their money where their mouth is. They have confidence in the quality of their merchandise, and they’re willing to bet on it. Some people might worry that even thorough inspections might miss critical details from time to time, but with a proper warranty, there’s no reason for that to be a problem. On the off chance an issue is overlooked, having a warranty will prevent it from assaulting your wallet in the same way that it would if you were to discover the issue in a car bought from a private seller.
There are a few possible types of warranty that you might be offered, and both the length of the protection and the components covered can differ depending on what car you’re considering. In order to get the best possible coverage, it’s important to be conscious of the warranties that come with each prospective vehicle and ask as many questions as necessary to get a full view of each available option. As long as you land a half-decent warranty, though, you won’t have to worry about any surprise repair costs for a while.
In Conclusion – Certified Pre-Owned
Private sellers can be a hassle, and unless you’ve got a good deal of mechanical knowledge then there’s no way to be sure that you’ll get what you pay for. When you’re shopping for certified pre-owned vehicles, you know exactly what you’re getting, and you can rest easy knowing that you won’t get stuck with any surprise issues. For some people, the slight increase in price might not seem worth the added security, but anyone with a used car horror story under their belt will probably tell you otherwise. No matter how you choose to look at it, there’s no denying the fact that affordability and purchase security go together like peanut butter and jelly, and that’s a sandwich certified pre-owned vehicles can definitely deliver.