Certified Pre-Owned vs Used Cars

What's the Difference Between Certified Pre-Owned & Used Cars?

Trusting that a used car won't break down on you is usually the chief concern when buying pre-owned cars. But with a little know-how, you can make a great car buying decision and end up with a car that meets your needs. 

The best thing you can do? Ask questions.

Smart shoppers ask questions about the pre-owned cars they are interested in buying. Even smarter shoppers refuse to buy a vehicle until they see a car history report. 

If you're car shopping at a dealership, you cut away a lot of the issues of buying used. If it turns out a used car has major mechanical issues right after you drive it off the lot, a reputable dealer will usually cover the repair costs or refund your money to make it right. But most dealers don't even have damaged vehicles on their lot since most dealers closely inspect and require a history report with trade-ins. 

Sites like Craigslist and eBay offer pre-owned cars at great prices, but there's no way to guarantee the car will hold up. And private party sellers are not obligated to uphold their reputation for future business like dealers. 

The main difference between used and certified pre-owned cars is that a certified ore owned is guaranteed to be a long lasting ride. It's hand-picked by the dealer to receive a seal of approval, and it's meticulously tested for mechanical flaws. A certified pre-owned is also under a special warranty from the manufacturer.

What is a Pre-Owned Vehicle?

A pre-owned car is exactly as it sounds. It's any car that is not brand new from the manufacturer. 

However, just because a car is not brand new does not mean you should settle for less. A reputable dealer like Beaverton Hyundai will provide a car history report with any vehicle sold off the lot. That's usually not the case when buying from a private party owner. 

When buying off a 3rd-party site like Craigslist or eBay, you have no idea what type of condition the car is actually in until you bring it to a mechanic. You might be getting a car that will need repairs a week after you drive it home or if lady luck is on your side, it might be a great car. Buying from a private party is a gamble, to say the least.

Traditional pre-owned vehicles offer a lot of value since they can cost thousands - even tens of thousands - less than brand new vehicles. Pre-owned cars are priced based on condition or depreciation values. Over time, a used car will experience some wear and tear, but that doesn't mean all used cars are junk.

Many used cars are in near pristine condition. If the original owner took good care of it, you can sometimes get a beautiful looking car that still operates like a dream. Even if it's not a perfect car, reputable car dealerships will only sell vehicles that are safe to use and in fairly good condition.

What is a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle?

A certified pre-owned vehicle means the car is certified by the dealership. At Beaverton Hyundai, only select used vehicles can be selected to become certified pre-owned cars. The vehicle must be:
  • Less than 5 years old with less than 60,000 miles
  • Accompanied with a clean, non-branded title
  • Able to pass a comprehensive 150-point inspection by Hyundai specialist
  • In addition, a certified pre-owned car offers better insurance than your run-of-the-mille pre-owned vehicles
  • Investing in a CPO means you, the customer, is investing in the dealer. And if the dealership puts its seal of approval on a certified pre-owned, it means the dealer's reputation is riding with that car. 
In other words, the dealership wants you to be a happy customer with the car that was handpicked for quality. And if for some reason the car has a major mechanical issue, the certified pre-owned vehicle is under a special manufacturer warranty.

At Beaverton Hyundai, we fuse together the manufacturer's certification - by Hyundai Motor America - with other aspects which align with our own unique certification standards. Combined, there's a ton of value between Hyundai Motor America's certification and Beaverton Hyundai's, including:
  • Continuation of 5-Year / 60,000 mile warranty since model year
  • Reinstatement of the 10-year / 100,000 mile powertrain warranty
  • Comprehensive 150-point inspection
  • CARFAX vehicle history report
  • Rental car for any travel interruption reimbursement for repairs covered under warranty

Decisions, Decisions

A regular pre-owned car usually costs less than a certified pre-owned vehicle, but with CPOs you get the peace of mind that your vehicle is going to last many years. Used cars vary in condition - from like-new to nearly broken down - whereas the certified seal of approval ensures the car is still operating at maximum efficiency.

There isn't a right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between pre-owned and certified cars. The certification adds a lot of value in case the car needs repairs, since the warranty covers most mechanical issues. Buying a traditional used may cost less, but it can also mean more time at the shop later on.

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