Tips, Tricks & Trends

There’s a Reason Certified Pre-Owned Cars Are More Expensive

If you’re shopping for a used car, you’ve probably come across several certified pre-owned cars too. What you may have noticed is that certified pre-owned cars tend to be more expensive than used cars. Have you ever wondered why? If you have, we’ve got some answers for you.

A sign for a used car dealership
A sign for a used car dealership | SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

These used cars must meet some pretty stringent requirements

You might be thinking that dealerships can slap a certified sticker on any used car and call it a day. Fortunately, that’s not true. While many smaller dealerships may offer their own version of used car certification, most automakers take used car certification pretty seriously. 

Take, for instance, Ford. To become certified, the automaker requires vehicles to be less than five or six years old and have fewer than 60,000 to 80,000 miles on the odometer. All models must also undergo a rigorous 172-point inspection. According to U.S. News & World Report, the majority of automakers require much of the same for certification. With so much work going into certifying a used car, it’s no wonder that dealerships tend to charge more for a certified pre-owned car than they would for your typical used vehicle.

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

Warranty coverage that aims to provide peace of mind

But it’s not just a rigorous multi-point inspection contributing to that higher price tag. Most certified pre-owned cars also come covered by a warranty. According to U.S. News & World Report, some of these warranties even last even longer than new car warranties. For example, Lexus offers a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty on its new models. Opt for a certified pre-owned model instead, and Lexus extends that warranty coverage by two years. The automaker also takes away the mileage cap. 

Don’t think that you need to buy a luxury certified pre-owned car to score such comprehensive warranty coverage, though. Choose a certified pre-owned Kia instead, which comes with the remainder of the vehicle’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and enjoy additional, comprehensive coverage for one-year/12,000-miles. According to U.S. News & World Report, that’s the best certified pre-owned warranty the auto industry has to offer.

RELATED: Consumer Reports Reliable Brands for a 2-Year-Old Used Car

You can expect these vehicles to come with plenty of perks

Additional warranty coverage is great. But if you’re after even more perks? There’s much more to a certified pre-owned car than its age, mileage, and multi-point inspection. Shop for a certified pre-owned car, and you’ll find that most come with a free vehicle history report. Automakers like Toyota also throw in additional perks like one year of roadside assistance. Opt for a certified pre-owned Subaru, and enjoy added perks like a $500 owner loyalty coupon, a trial subscription to SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and a one-year trial subscription to Subaru’s STARLINK Safety Plus Package with Automatic Collision Notification.

RELATED: Is it Better to Buy a Car for Sale by Owner?

Is the price of a certified pre-owned car negotiable?

If you don’t want to pay a pretty penny for a certified pre-owned car, Cars.com says that you should be able to negotiate on pricing. However, Cars.com recommends negotiating on the vehicle’s price and not on the interest rate or the anticipated monthly payment. Even if you can score a low financing rate, Cars.com reports that negotiating on the price of a certified pre-owned vehicle is well worth the effort and can save you money in the long run. 

Is buying a certified pre-owned car worth it?

If you’re on the hunt for a reliable used car, choosing a certified pre-owned vehicle can make for a pretty confidence-inspiring decision. While you might pay more for a certified vehicle than you would a typical used car, that extra spend can definitely be worth it.