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Difference Between Certified Pre-Owned and Used

Today, car dealers succumb to this new methodology, selling pre-owned instead of used cars. It’s quite similar to what companies use terms like downsizing instead of firing. It sounds nice that way and it takes the sting out of buying a car that isn’t new. In fact, you can even get a certified pre-owned vehicle of your choice. But are pre-owned cars a good choice? The answer is a maybe. For many people, pre-owned cars have become great alternatives to buying a new car altogether. Now, with certified pre-owned cars on the horizon, people tend to tip in the direction of certified used cars.

Well, the main reason to choose a certified used car over a new one is obviously the cost. Any used car is obviously pre-owned, but not all pre-owned cars are considered certified. They can be of great value, if maintained properly. These vehicles, whether a hatchback, sedan or a SUV, are usually a few years old with considerably low miles and have gone through strict, thorough inspections and backed by extended warranties by the manufacturer. So, the question remains: should you buy a non-certified used car or a certified pre-owned car? To make the decision easier for you, we break down some notable differences comparing the two categories.

 

What is a Non-Certified Used Car?

The answer could lie in the cost and the rigorous inspection process. Any used car is, obviously, pre-owned. But that does not necessarily mean that all pre-owned cars are considered certified. A pre-owned vehicle is a secondhand vehicle that might have had one or more than one previous owners. Standard used cars usually have not been given a “seal of trust” kind of badge, meaning they might not have been thoroughly inspected by a certified mechanic or a dealer. But they typically cost a whole lot cheaper than new ones, even cheaper than certified ones. In fact, used cars offer a lot more bang for your buck than buying new ones. They are usually a few years old with low miles under the hood and they may or may not offer extended warranties like their certified counterparts.

 

What is a Certified Pre-Owned Car?

Unlike a standard pre-owned car, a certified pre-owned car is typically offered for sale by a recognized car dealer and backed by the vehicle’s original manufacturer, with warranties that extend beyond the initial coverage of the vehicle. They are thoroughly checked prior to sale by certified technicians. The qualified vehicles get a few years limited warranty coverage and some vehicles even come with a detailed history report, fresh oil, a new filter, and sometimes, a full tank of gas. The original manufacturer uses their dealership to inspect the vehicle and they use a checklist to determine if the vehicle is worth certifying. And if the vehicle passes all the tests, it will earn the certified badge and an extended warranty.

 

Difference between Certified Pre-Owned and Used

Terminology of Certified Pre-Owned and Used

Both pre-owned and certified pre-owned come under the category of used cars and they are affordable alternatives to buying new cars. Any used car is pre-owned, but not all vehicles that are pre-owned are considered certified. Used vehicles are typically sold by an individual or used car lot or local car dealers. While both can save you a great deal of money over new ones, they do not necessarily offer the same warrant coverage.

A certified used car, as the name suggests, comes with a certified badge which guarantees the vehicle’s credibility against the standard used cars.

Multi-Point Inspection in Certified Pre-Owned vs. Used

Certified pre-owned cars have gone through strict, thorough multi-point inspections step-by-step starting from looking at the vehicle’s detailed history report to make sure it has not been stolen or wrecked before put on sale. The original manufacturer of the vehicle is responsible for the multi-point inspection process and they use their dealership to inspect the vehicle that would include everything from checking the brakes, suspension, and transmission to steering and other components. If the vehicle passes all the tests, it will earn the certified badge. The vehicles are usually manufacturer certified or dealer certified.

Cost of Certified Pre-Owned and Used

The main difference between a standard used car and a certified pre-owned car, apart from the rigorous inspection process, is the cost. While both fall under the category of used cars and both are great alternatives to new ones, the non-certified used cars certainly save you a great deal of money over their certified counterparts. In fact, used cars offer a lot more bang for your buck than buying certified ones. They are less expensive and buyers do not have to put down as much money as they would for a certified pre-owned car.

Extended Warranty in Certified Pre-Owned vs. Used

Standard used cars are usually a few years old with low miles under the hood and they may or may not offer extended warranties like their certified counterparts. However, unlike a standard used vehicle, a certified pre-owned vehicle is typically offered for sale by a recognized car dealer and backed by the vehicle’s original manufacturer, with warranties that extend beyond the initial coverage of the vehicle. The certified vehicles get extended warranty coverage, a limited bumper-to-bumper warranty, and some vehicles even come with a detailed history report. Plus, they may also get added benefits such as roadside assistance, manufacturer-backed warranties, and so on.

Certified Pre-Owned vs. Used: Comparison Chart

 

Summary of Certified Pre-Owned vs. Used

In a nutshell, any used car is obviously pre-owned, but not all pre-owned cars are considered certified. Because used cars are considerably less expensive, you do not have to shell out extra cash as you would for a new car. So, used cars, both certified and non-certified, offer great deals on savings but the downside of buying a non-certified used car is the uncertainty about its mechanical condition. A standard used car might look good on the outside and have low mileage, but it could have potential mechanical problems that would require future maintenance. Fortunately, this is not the case with certified used cars. They are offered for sale by a recognized car dealer and backed by the vehicle’s original manufacturer, with warranties that extend beyond the initial coverage of the vehicle.

 

Sagar Khillar

Sagar Khillar is a prolific content/article/blog writer working as a Senior Content Developer/Writer in a reputed client services firm based in India. He has that urge to research on versatile topics and develop high-quality content to make it the best read. Thanks to his passion for writing, he has over 7 years of professional experience in writing and editing services across a wide variety of print and electronic platforms.

Outside his professional life, Sagar loves to connect with people from different cultures and origin. You can say he is curious by nature. He believes everyone is a learning experience and it brings a certain excitement, kind of a curiosity to keep going. It may feel silly at first, but it loosens you up after a while and makes it easier for you to start conversations with total strangers – that’s what he said."

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References :


[0]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/154852508@N08/34864730926

[1]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Toyota_Avalon_XX40_P4250806.jpg

[2]Gitman, Lawrence J., et al. Personal Financial Planning. Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage, 2013. Print

[3]Gray, Michael E. and Linda E. Gray. Auto Upkeep. Ozark, Missouri: Rolling Hills Publishing, 2018. Print

[4]Fix, Lauren. Lauren Fix's Guide to Loving Your Car. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2008. Print

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