As you shop for a used vehicle, you start to realize how much information ought to go into the decision. For starters, you’ll want to know which used models experts say you should avoid at all costs.
There there are lists of the highest-rated SUVs, cars, vans, and trucks. This information helps steer you toward the sort of vehicle you’d want to drive — and one that might last to 200,000 miles and beyond.
But that all leads to one question: Can you afford it? If you decide to go for a certified pre-owned (CPO) model, you will pay a premium for the peace of mind and service warranty. In a new study by auto search engine iSeeCars, used-car shoppers could end up spending an extra 8% ($2,022) compared to a model without the CPO tag.
That’s a hefty price hike, even for a luxury car. Yet not every CPO vehicle involves such a premium. These 10 models had the lowest price hikes (by percentage) of CPO models sold in 2018.
10. GMC Sierra (1500)
- CPO premium: $646 (2.1%)
A General Motors certified pre-owned model offers a number of incentives you won’t get with a typical sale. According to iSeeCars, it starts with a comprehensive warranty for the first year (or 12,000 miles).
Meanwhile, there is no deductible for repairs, and the powertrain warranty extends to six years (100,000 miles) from the original sale date. That’s quite a package for only a 2.1% ($646) bump in price over the typical used model.
9. Jeep Grand Cherokee
- CPO premium: $560 (2.1%)
There are two things that suggest getting a CPO Jeep is a good call. First, you’re always going to find the Jeep brand among the least reliable in Consumer Reports surveys for any given year. (For 2019, it ranked 22nd out of 29 automakers.)
Second, Jeep vehicles have low depreciation, so they manage to retain a great deal of value after several years in an owner’s hands. In the case of a Grand Cherokee, investing the extra $560 (2.1%) makes sense. If you need repairs, you pay a $100 deductible with this plan, iSeeCars noted.
8. Honda Civic
- CPO premium: $291 (2.0%)
When you’re looking at cars with a lower sticker price, a low CPO premium becomes even more compelling. In the case of a three-year-old Honda Civic, used-car shoppers have paid an extra $291 compared to models without the protections.
If you note the average CPO premium (3.6%), the deal on a gently used Civic looks even better. In fact, no compact car had a lower CPO premium in the iSeeCars data. There is no deductible for repairs, either.
7. Honda Accord
- CPO premium: $322 (1.9%)
Honda’s midsize sedan is another model that will appeal to used car buyers for its low markup (1.9%) and average price bump below $325 — especially when you notice the terms of the brand’s CPO deals.
Besides the one-year comprehensive protection and $0 deductible, Hondas get a powertrain warranty for seven years or 100,000 miles. Even for the Accord that turned up among the most reliable cars of the decade, that extra protection will ease any consumer’s mind.
6. Chevrolet Silverado (1500)
- CPO premium: $529 (1.9%)
Finding a good deal on a used pickup truck is tricky for several reasons. For starters, you can’t tell exactly how hard a truck got worked during its time in the previous owner’s hands.
Going with a CPO model and the included powertrain warranty would be worth a look. In the case of a used Silverado, the truck with the lowest premium, buyers were looking at an extra $529 (1.9%). The same deal as the Sierra (no deductible, one year of comprehensive coverage, six years of powertrain coverage) applies here.
5. Chevrolet Tahoe
- CPO premium: $707 (1.8%)
GM’s reasonable offers for CPO vehicles extended to Chevy’s SUV lineup as well. In the case of the Tahoe, used-vehicle buyers were looking at a premium of a few ticks below 2% ($700).
While both the Tahoe and Suburban saw their reliability ratings rise in recent years, the 2015 redesign year had a few problems. Going with the certified model might be worth the peace of mind.
4. Honda Odyssey
- CPO premium: $420 (1.8%)
Following the latest Consumer Reports reliability survey, the Honda Odyssey joined several SUVs that had their CR recommendations disappear due to operating issues. Prior to that, Odyssey models from the previous generation had rated well in most areas.
Overall, you can’t find much fault with the Honda CPO offer, making an Odyssey another solid buy on the used market. The extra $400 or so you spend should go a long way (seven years for the powertrain, to be exact).
3. Honda CR-V
- CPO premium: $339 (1.7%)
The Honda CR-V has low depreciation and strong reliability ratings, so you really can’t go wrong buying this model new or used. Still, if you go the used route, its very low CPO premium is worth a look.
As with every other Honda, that gets you comprehensive one-year coverage and another seven years of powertrain coverage. For an added $340, that sounds like a sound investment.
2. Nissan Rogue
- CPO premium: $302 (1.7%)
By dollar amount, the $300 or so you’d have to spend on a CPO Nissan Rogue over the typical used model is the lowest you’ll pay for any compact SUV. As iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly pointed out in the study, one reason for that low price is the lack of a comprehensive warranty for the year after the purchase of a used Rogue.
It does provide powertrain coverage for seven years (or 100,000 miles) from the original purchase, but an out-of-warranty repair on something else in that first year might sting.
1. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
- CPO premium: $523 (1.6%)
For the lowest premium on any CPO vehicle on the market, look for a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited from the past 3-4 years. Jeep’s deal gets buyers three months of comprehensive coverage and seven years protection on the powertrain.
When you’re talking about a Jeep from a dark period for Fiat Chrysler (2014-15), you might need all the protection you can get. At 1.6% above the normal used Wrangler price, the decision shouldn’t be too difficult.