Certified Used Cars vs Used Cars: Which is Better?


Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) cars and regular used vehicles may be a better choice when dealing with bad credit, but they are not the same. Although technically used, CPO cars go through a different pre-sale process than traditional used vehicles and include some additional benefits. Both certified used cars and regular used vehicles have advantages, so the one that’s right for you may not be for someone else.

Certified Used Cars

Used cars earn the CPO designation by going through a manufacturer’s certified used vehicle inspection program and meeting all of their requirements.

As long as the vehicle is in good condition inside and out, is less than five years old, meets mileage requirements, and passes inspection, it is eligible to become a CPO car. Keep in mind that each automaker has their own specific CPO vehicle programs and inspections.

CPO cars also come with a form of manufacturer-backed extended warranty, which traditional used vehicles cannot claim. If you want one, you usually have to buy it separately.

The extended warranty backed by the automaker of certified used cars generally begins from the original in-service date of the vehicle. Additionally, many CPO programs offer roadside assistance, satellite radio trials, and free maintenance.

The downside is that due to all these benefits and the warranty, CPO cars usually cost more than regular used vehicles.

Traditional used cars

Traditional used cars are exactly what they sound like: they are used vehicles on dealer lots that do not receive the inspection required by a manufacturer. However, used cars are usually inspected, so don’t think you’re buying an unreliable model just because it hasn’t been certified by the manufacturer.

Even if a regular used vehicle doesn’t go through the same inspection program as a CPO car, that doesn’t mean it’s worse. However, to get the same type of detailed inspection, you will need to have a vehicle examined by a certified mechanic at your own expense.

Also, used cars are usually not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. This means that you are responsible for deciding whether or not you want an extended warrantyand pay it out of pocket.

Looking to buy a used car?

It doesn’t matter if you are buying a CPO vehicle or a traditional used car, find financing with bad credit is not easy. Fortunately, we’re here to help connect you with a dealership that has the loan resources you need.

AT Auto Express Credit, we’ve been helping struggling car buyers get the financing they need for over 20 years by connecting them with the right dealership. All you have to do to get started is fill out our quick and free form car loan application form. Don’t wait any longer, get started now!


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