Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Is Buying a Certified Used Vehicle Worth It?

First, lets define what a certified used vehicle is:

A certified used vehicle is one that:
  • The original manufacturer warrants the vehicle.
  • Has low mileage, usually under 50,000 miles.
  • One hundred plus inspection points and any problems corrected.
  • Has a warranty that extends beyond the original warranty.
  • Vehicle is usually less than 3 years old.
Types of Certified Pre-Owned car (CPO) or Certified used car:

1. Manufacturer Certified Used Car

Includes a national warranty supported by the original manufacturer and has a 100+ inspection with parts replaced that does not meet factory specifications.  The original purchase date starts the warranty period.  An authorized dealership will repair work during the warranty period.

2. Dealer Certified Used Car

Includes a warranty supported by the dealership that sold the vehicle.  It may or may not provide warranty work at a repair facility that is not the original dealership.  Therefore, if your vehicle breaks down cross-country, you will have to ship it back to the original dealership unless the contract allows an independent repair shop to perform the repair service.

Pros of certified used vehicles

  • Customer has an affordable alternative to a new vehicle purchase.
  • The manufacturer and/or dealer support the warranty of a used vehicle.
  • Provides the customer with assurance the vehicle does not have any problems.

Cons of certified used vehicles

  • The cost is more than a private party.
  • Customer service only as good as the dealership providing the service.
  • Actual "in use" vehicle history of previous owner is unknown.
  • The price may not be lower than a comparable new vehicle.
  • You may forfeit the depreciation cost.

Is buying a certified used vehicle worth it?  That depends on the availability of the model(s) you choose and the price.
Compare the price differences between a new vehicle, private party vehicle and the certified used vehicle, then decide for yourself.  However, it is best to have an automotive consultant or mechanic to advise and inspect the vehicle before purchasing, (even if it is a certified vehicle.)

Maximum value in purchasing a used vehicle

You can save a significant amount of money by using the following method:
  • Research on the internet the actual vehicles you may want. 
  • Try to find vehicles from private parties with supporting maintenance and repair records.
  • Have the vehicle inspected by an automotive service consultant and/or a competent mechanic before purchasing. 
  • Always inspect a vehicle in the daylight; dusk, or nighttime can hide many flaws.
  • Purchase an extended warranty from a credible company using the internet reviews.
Next topic:

How to help determine the root cause of your vehicle's problem when repair shops cannot determine the problem.

I have started my own automotive consulting company to provide you with automotive information to save you money in purchasing, maintaining, and repairing your vehicle.
The following services are provided:

  • On-site used vehicle pre-purchase inspections.
  • Do-it-yourself used vehicle inspection (must bring to Moreno Valley).
  • Assistance in selling your used vehicle for the maximum selling price.
  • Automotive consultation by email
  • Vehicle location service to locate the vehicle of your choice 
  • Negotiation service to purchase used vehicle or reduce repair price
  • Stranded vehicle transportation service
  • Discount parts prices through local part departments
For service, please contact me at:
Premier Car Inspection Services
Alston Gray


  1. Hi, nice post. Well what can I say is that these is an interesting and very informative topic. Thanks for sharing your ideas, its not just entertaining but also gives your reader knowledge. Good blogs style too, Cheers!

    - The certified used auto boston

  2. Layne, I appreciate your sincere comments and feedback. Have a nice day!