Here are the Major Benefits of Buying a Certified Pre-Owned Car

When shopping for a car, you might be torn between buying a new or used one. However, a certified pre-owned (CPO) car can split the difference between the two. A CPO car is a used car that is thoroughly inspected according to the manufacturer’s specifications and comes with an extended warranty for peace of mind. And while CPO cars can cost a little more than their non-CPO counterparts, there are some other major benefits to buying one that goes beyond the warranty.

There is less risk involved when purchasing a certified pre-owned car

A pedestrian walks past a certified pre-owned car sales lot
A pedestrian walks past a certified pre-owned car sales lot. | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

RELATED: How Do Used Cars Become Certified Pre-Owned?

While buying a certified pre-owned car doesn’t mean that it will be almost new again, it does come with less risk. According to Cars.com, “CPO vehicles usually have strict mileage and age eligibility requirements, must pass a multi-point inspection, and typically include bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties.”

For example, Honda’s certified pre-owned vehicles must be five-years-old or newer and undergo a 182-point inspection, and come with a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from the original sale date. The HondaTrue Certified cars also come with a 12-month/12,000-mile basic warranty while the HondaTrue+ cars (2021-2022) come with a 24-month//50,000-mile one. Buyers even get two free oil changes.

However, just remember that not all CPO programs are the same as some have different warranty lengths and inspection requirements.

You can save a lot of money when buying a certified pre-owned car

Certified pre-owned cars for sale in Alhambra, California
Certified pre-owned cars for sale in Alhambra, California. | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

It’s no secret that new cars cost more today than ever before, however, buying a certified pre-owned can save you some money. Cars.com reported that the average cost of a CPO car in the first quarter of 2022 was $30,916, while the average cost of a new car was $35,915. As you can see, going with a CPO car can save you an average of $5,000 over buying a new one, which is great considering the current dealer markups for new cars across the board.

CPO cars have lower financing rates

Another perk of buying a CPO car is that you may get a better financing rate. According to Bankrate, the average finance rate for a new car is around 1.9 to 4.99%. However, some automakers like Buick, Ford, GMC, and Honda are currently offering 0.9% financing on select CPO cars for up 36 months. That lower percentage rate can lead to a lot of money saved over time.

There are also other additional benefits

In addition to an extended warranty, a rigorous inspection, and a lower interest rate, buying a CPO car has other smaller benefits. Some benefits include complimentary roadside assistance, free oil changes, a free satellite radio trial, and courtesy transportation services.  

Some automakers have a CPO exchange policy

A Ford certified pre-owned car on a sales lot.
A Ford certified pre-owned car on a sales lot. | Getty Images

Another large perk when buying a CPO car is that some automakers include an exchange policy. For example, if you don’t like your Acura, the automaker offers a 7-day/300-mile exchange policy. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz offers buyers a three-day/150-mile exchange policy and GM offers a three-day/150-mile exchange window for their certified cars.

Ultimately, there are plenty of benefits when purchasing a certified pre-owned car and the extended warranty is only the beginning. By going with a CPO car over a new car, buyers can save a lot of money in the process with some added peace of mind.

RELATED: Don’t Make This Mistake If You’re Buying a Certified Pre-Owned Car