What is the Difference Between Used and Certified Pre-Owned?

If you’ve convinced that pre-owned models offer more value than new vehicles, you might be wondering, “What is the difference between used and certified pre-owned vehicles?” Naturally, both used and CPO models qualify as pre-owned, but only the latter has passed a manufacturer-designed inspection. Here are the main differences you should keep in mind while comparing CPO vs. Used vehicles:

  • Certified pre-owned vehicles must pass extensive multi-point inspections. Although we check all of our models for qualify, choosing to buy used implies a greater risk.
  • If you choose a CPO vehicle over a used model, you’ll probably be paying extra for peace of mind and low mileage.
  • CPO vehicles often come with manufacturer-backed warranties and other benefits. Most used vehicles do not.

What to Know About Buying a Used Car

Any model that has been driven by one or more owners is referred to as a used vehicle. For this reason, used cars, trucks, and SUVs vary in significant ways. Almost all used models are available for a lower cost than new vehicles, but some may even drop below $10,000! Aside from the lower starting cost, drivers who choose a used vehicle will lose less money to depreciation.

Here’s what you should know before you decide to purchase a run-of-the-mill used car:

  • It’s always a good idea to thoroughly inspect the used model you’re considering, whether you come to a dealership in Geneva or you visit a private seller in St. Charles. It may be a good idea to take the vehicle to a mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection.
  • Ask questions about the vehicle’s history to find out where, how, and how often it’s been driven. Remember that a car with lots of highway miles will fair better than one with the same amount of city miles.
  • What qualifies as good mileage? Although used vehicles tend to have more miles than CPO cars, today’s models can last for more than 200,000 miles with proper care. Ask about the used vehicle’s maintenance history, too!
Used car sales in row

What to Know About Buying a CPO Car

Certified pre-owned is a subset of the “used” grouping which collects the most dependable used vehicles for resale. Qualifications will vary between manufacturers. Still, in order to qualify as CPO, a pre-owned vehicle must generally:

  • Be within five or six years of the current model year.
  • Possess fewer than 100,000 miles
  • Pass a multi-point, manufacturer-designed inspection
  • Come with a limited warranty of some sort

If you decide to buy CPO, you can trust in the vehicle’s history and its future performance! They almost always have higher price tags than other used cars, but it’s worth it if you want to drive with confidence.

Car sale salesman passing key to consumer

Compare CPO vs. Used Vehicles in Person!

Next time someone asks you, “What is the difference between used and certified pre-owned?” you’ll know exactly what to say! However, you don’t have to wait for that moment to start searching for the perfect used car. 

Not sure where to look first? You’ll find an incredible selection of pre-owned vehicle specials right here with the Haggerty Auto Group, your source for dependable cars near Carol Stream. Contact us today to set up a test drive in your favorite!


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