Author Topic: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?  (Read 1085 times)

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siamesecat2965

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Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« on: February 13, 2013, 02:43:03 PM »
I'm probably going to be in the market for a "new" (to me anyway) car in the next 6 months or so. I;m too cheap to buy new, so looking at used. I get there are used and pre-certified used, but anyone have any experience or know exactly what's different between the two?


magicdomino

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Re: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 02:50:22 PM »
Better advertising? 

Aren't certified used cars sold by dealerships selling the same make; for instance, Mercedes Benz dealers sell certified used pre-owned Mercedes? 

No experience with them yet.  I have two certified pre-owned* cats though, does that count?   ;)


*That's what the banner on the animal shelter said.   :D

Spring Water on Sundays

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Re: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 03:02:31 PM »
A "certified" pre-owned (CPO) car has passed an inspection by the original manufacturer and may have an extended warranty that a regular used car will not.

For example: A CPO 2007 Volkswagen will have passed a rigorous 112-point inspection (so, it meets 112 different criteria that VW requires for a car to be classified as CPO). It also includes a 2-year, 24,000 add'l mile bumper-to-bumper warranty from the manufacturer. I don't know about other makes of cars, but for a VW to be CPO, it has to be sold at a VW dealership.

A VW that is *not* CPO will have not passed that inspection and doesn't include any extra warranty from the manufacturer (new VW's have a 3-year/36,000 mile warranty so a 2007 would be out of warranty). That could mean a lot of things: it could be a perfectly fine car that just has the misfortune of being sold by a non-VW dealership, or it could have been a buy-back under the lemon laws. You'd have to look at the CarFax to know for sure. It's up to the individual dealership if they want to put any kind of warranty on it.

Personally, I'd go for the CPO - for the peace of mind and extended warranty.

MrTango

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Re: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 03:13:54 PM »
All Certified Pre-owned cars are used.  It just means that someone (whoever issues the "certification") has inspected the car and "certifies" that the car is up to some standard of condition.

Unless the certification includes a guarantee to repair defects or replace the vehicle for a certain length of time or mileage after purchase, it's essentially a worthless piece of paper.

Lynn2000

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Re: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 04:54:04 PM »
My minor contribution: My friend was dead-set on getting a CPO minivan a few months ago--she had a few specific makes/models that were acceptable to her. The idea was that a CPO would mean someone official had checked out the minivan and found it to be in good condition, and that there would be some guarantee of repairs in the future.

However, she looked at several large dealerships over a broad geographic area and couldn't find a CPO minivan in the makes/models she wanted. She was pretty surprised that there were basically NONE available. So, my meager advice is to not count on finding a CPO version of a very specific vehicle--either be flexible on the kind of vehicle, or flexible on the CPO part.
~Lynn2000

beach_bum

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Re: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 05:08:40 PM »
We traded in a 2009 Toyota Highlander last year with low mileage and got nothing in trade.  All because there was one insurance claim on it.  Once there is an insurance claim, a vehicle can no longer be a Certified Used Car, at least with Toyota.  So the dealership sends them off to auction and cannot get as much for them.

We thought that having a dealership do the repairs would mean something during trade-in, but it doesn't.

jedikaiti

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Re: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 05:23:52 PM »
My Mini Cooper was certified pre-owned - meant that the Mini dealership had inspected it, fixed anything found lacking, and bumped up the basic warranty to 5 years / 100,000 miles. Given some of the rotten luck I've had with simply used cars in the past, and the fact that this car has been largely problem-free, I am SO going CPO for my next car.

Hopefully not anytime soon - my Mini is at 111k miles and going strong, I figure I can get 250k miles out of it, easy. :-)
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Phonix

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Re: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 05:31:43 PM »
As others have said, it basically means it has passed an additional dealership inspection. Most of the manufacturers will bump out the warranties on them, i.e. if it is less than 3 years old and has less than 36,000 miles, they bump out the bumper to bumper warranty. They also bump the basic warranty usually, i.e. Toyota's goes from 5 years/ 60,000 to 5 years/100,000. They are all dealership cars, so they tend to be pricier than non-CPO cars. I have had 2. They were/are great cars but they probably would have been anyway, as one was a Pontiac Vibe (a Toyota Matrix in disguise) and the other was a Toyota Corolla. I really liked the warranty extensions. They also tend to be the better examples of the available used cars. Of course, YMMV.

Arrynne

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Re: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 06:30:41 PM »
If you watch the dealer incentives, you can sometimes get a brand spanking new vehicle for only a little more than certified pre-owned. It pays to keep your options open.

On the other hand, certified pre-owned can give you a very nice warranty.  My first car was a CPO Corolla.  The warranty on a new car was 36000 miles. My car had 35k miles on it, but came with a 100k mile warranty. My last few cars have been new (5 miles on one!), as I was able to get some good incentives on top of fleet pricing.

JoW

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Re: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 10:40:56 PM »
Also about used/pre-owned cars right now - this is not a good time to buy a used car in the US.  The cars that were flooded by hurricane Sandy have been cleaned up and are now hitting the used car market.  It is not possible to restore a flooded car.  Those cars will always be unsafe. 

If there's any way you can afford a new car you should get a new car.  Or keep driving your old car for a couple more years.  Do not buy a car that has been flooded. 

C0mputerGeek

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Re: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2013, 08:13:03 PM »
Used, Pre-Certified have been thoroughly inspected. The major vehicle system of each Pre-Certified car (e.g. brakes, engine, drivetrain, steering, suspension, tires, wheels, exhaust system, vehicle interior, and vehicle exterior) are in "like new" condition.

I have a Used, Pre-Certified Honda Civic. It's a 2005 that I purchased in 2008. IIRC, there was 35,000 miles on the car. It came with a warranty for up to 50,000. I opted to extend the warranty to 100,000. I actually used the warranty - several times - so I am glad I did.

I will say that I had to work to find a Used, Pre-Certified Honda Civic. There weren't that many for sale, and the Pre-Certified Hondas kept getting snatched up.

I will also say that a used Honda, especially a Pre-Certified one, is not that cheap. There was a brand new SUV - it was either a CRV or an element - that was cheaper than the Pre-Certified civic I purchased.

Also about used/pre-owned cars right now - this is not a good time to buy a used car in the US.  The cars that were flooded by hurricane Sandy have been cleaned up and are now hitting the used car market.  It is not possible to restore a flooded car.  Those cars will always be unsafe. 

If there's any way you can afford a new car you should get a new car.  Or keep driving your old car for a couple more years.  Do not buy a car that has been flooded.

Having a Used Pre-Certified vehicle should get you around this. The Pre-Certifieds are inspected and "brought up to snuff" by the dealership, which sells them with a warranty. It would not be cost-effective for a dealership to take a flooded vehicle and pre-certify it.

Firecat

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Re: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2013, 10:45:49 PM »
Our current car is a Toyota that was pre-certified, and we were very glad that was the case. Because after we bought it, when we drove it in the rain, we discovered a leak around (we thought) the windshield. Two windshield replacements later, the dealership figured out it was actually a tiny hole in one of the welds. They fixed it, and we haven't had a problem since.

And because it was a pre-certified car, the repairs didn't cost us a dime. The slightly higher cost of the pre-certified car was pretty much wiped out if you consider what the repair would have cost if the car hadn't been pre-certified.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2013, 02:20:41 PM »
Thank you all for the advice! I've also found, by looking, it seems the CPO cars are newer, while the regular used also include older, higher mileage cars, which I'm not interrested in.

new isn't really an option for what I want, as its more than I want/can afford to pay. I need a slightly larger car, think Camry v. Corolla or Civic, and new is out of my range. My current car is 11 years old, with over 100K, so I really don't want to go through yet another winter with it.

I will defnitely be careful as to what I buy; I'm also leaning towards a CPO since the last two used cars I bought, several years after, had the transmission blow. both were fine when I bought them, and there was no way of knowing this would happen. I'm also going with something slightly more reliable :)

magicdomino

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Re: Used vs. Pre-Certified Used Cars - what's the difference?
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2013, 03:18:58 PM »
There is also the fact that most new cars lose a chunk of their value as soon as they leave the dealership.  If you can get a very good used car, you might as well let the previous owner take the hit on the value.