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We are not calling about your car’s warranty, but Honda might be. This week, Honda announced a new arm of their Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle program, called HondaTrue Used. Its existing program is expanding to include vehicles up to 10 years old.  The goal is to appeal to younger buyers on a budget, who don’t have the cash for a new car, but want something they can really count on. 

The YouTube generation generation is savvy and a little bit suspicious. They do their research, watch videos, and want to know exactly what they’re getting. Automakers are creating new strategies to get them in the door—and then possibly keep them as customers long-term.

What are the benefits of the new HondaTrue Used program?

HondaTrue Used program details

The new HondaTrue Used program applies to eligible vehicles within 10 years of the current model year. Today, that covers 2012 – 2022 models. The HondaTrue Used program offers coverage for 100 days or 5,000 miles, whichever comes first. This coverage applies to both powertrain and bumper-to-bumper warranty. This is a true manufacturer-backed warranty, so consumers can have faith that it’ll be there when they need it.

Though, only for 100 days after purchase.

Unlike other certified programs that cover Honda cars, there are no mileage limitations—that means the cars could have 10,000 miles on the odometer or 100,000. Regardless of mileage, all used Honda cars go through the same process to be labeled HondaTrue Used. Each vehicle undergoes a 112-point checklist that’s made available for viewing. Any parts in unacceptable condition must be repaired or replaced before the car can be sold.

Bringing in new buyers at a time of unprecedented used-car frenzy

“We wanted to make it easy for new buyers to experience our brand…We really look at this expansion as a critical way to bring in new customers to our brand—kind of a gateway product.”

Dan Rodriguez, American Honda

A used Honda as a gateway drug? Honda’s manager of auto remarketing sure hopes so.

By making the certified-used market more accessible and more attractive to a younger buying market, Honda can try to claim a larger slice of today’s wild used-car market. 

Close up of hands on a Honda steering wheel. The new HondaTrue Used certified pre-owned program can help more drivers get into older model year Honda cars
Interior of a Honda vehicle | Emre Arik via Unsplash

What’s the value of a 100-day warranty?

While 100 days may not be the most reassuring offering and 5,000 miles can pass by in a flash, it’s more than was ever offered on older-model-year Honda cars. Buyers can also be confident that the vehicle received a more thorough inspection.

However, the new program also serves to help Honda compete against its biggest rival automakers and their CPO programs, including Ford’s BlueAdvantage and General Motors’ CarBravo. This extended warranty also helps Honda compete against online used-car sales sites like Carvana and CarMax.

Honda hopes that it will be able to coax budget-buyers in with a HondaTrue Used car, then a Certified car, then, eventually, a new car—all the while accepting the shopper’s current car as a trade-in.

HondaTrue Used vs Certified Pre-Owned programs

Automotive News points out that the extended warranty for older-model-year Honda cars is significantly less impressive next to Honda’s current Certified Pre-Owned program coverage for vehicles that are within five years of the current model. Honda Certified vehicles (2017-2022) receive a seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

There’s also a Honda Certified Plus program, which extends a car’s typical non-powertrain warranty for an additional two years or 50,000 miles—that’s a total of five years and 86,000 miles.

Compared to the HondaTrue Used’s 100-day/5,000-mile warranty for the entire vehicle, it doesn’t seem like that much of a perk. But, new-car shortages continue to drive more and more shoppers to look at used vehicles, and any perk can make or break the sale.

Close up of a headlight on a Honda vehicle with the hood open. The HondaTrue Used program requires a full-body inspection of the vehicle
Vehicle receiving an inspection | Lucho Renolfi via Unsplash

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