One of the most common concerns regarding the car buying process is whether to buy new or used, since each option carries with it a number of benefits and drawbacks. New cars have the latest in entertainment and safety technologies, while older models might be lacking. However, used vehicles are more often than not a far less expensive option.
What many motorists fail to realize is that there is a third option, set firmly between the traditional new and used selections: Certified Pre-Owned (CPO). These vehicles possess many of the same advantages as both new and used vehicles, making them an attractive option for many drivers.
Certified Pre-Owned advantages
CPO vehicles have the benefit of possessing some of the same advantages that make both new and used vehicles attractive avenues for drivers to pursue. According to Warren Clarke of the New York Daily News, CPO models often have a more value-oriented pricing than their new vehicle counterparts. As such, you won’t have to spend as much money upfront on a CPO model, while still netting some of the same benefits that a new model provides.
One such advantage is that CPO vehicles often come with a warranty. According to John M. Vincent of U.S. News, Certified Pre-Owned models from a variety of automotive brands carry warranties that cover them until they reach up to 100,000 miles, a mileage most CPO models are far removed from when drivers purchase them. What’s more, Jeff Youngs of J.D. Power points out that these same CPO models undergo a rigorous inspection process before they even earn the CPO title. This can alleviate some of the financial risk in purchasing a used model.
Certified Pre-Owned disadvantages
Of course, while carrying over several of the benefits from new and used models, CPO vehicles can often adopt some of their drawbacks as well. While a CPO models might be less expensive than new vehicles on average, they also tend to be pricier than your traditional used vehicle. Additionally, Clarke highlights that customization is nearly non-existent for CPO models, with drivers needing to purchase new to shape their vehicle the exact way they want. Vincent adds that while CPO models do indeed offer advantages that most used models cannot, they are, by definition, still used vehicles. As such, they will probably still lack the latest in-vehicle technology that you’ll be able to find in brand new models.
Steps in locating and purchasing a CPO vehicle
Once you determine whether or not to go with a Certified Pre-Owned model, it is important to determine where you plan to purchase that model from. Ronald Montoya of Edmunds states that it is important to purchase a CPO vehicle from the same automaker that assembled it in the first place. This has practical advantages, as the original automakers know what to look for during the vehicle’s inspection.
Montoya goes on to explain that it is important to scope out the CPO program of each automaker to determine what brand you would like to purchase your vehicle from. In addition to the different vehicle models that each automakers offer, these companies will also provide their own unique warranties with each of their CPO vehicles.
If you want to avoid struggling to choose between a new or used vehicle, a Certified Pre-Owned option might very well be the right choice for you.