Pros and cons for buying a certified pre-owned car

couple buying a used car

Buying a used car can save you thousands of dollars, often allowing you to choose a what would have been a more expensive vehicle normally outside your price range. Buying a used car has its downside, though, ranging from mechanical issues to the need for a lemon law attorney in San Francisco. Here are some pros and cons to consider before buying. 

Pro: A Warranty is Included

One of the best parts of buying a new car is that you get a warranty. This gives you peace of mind and alleviates the worry in case something does go wrong. Most used vehicles don’t come with a warranty, but a certified pre-owned vehicle does. The warranty varies by the manufacturer’s certified pre-owned (CPO) program. So, be sure to understand the details of your coverage.

Pro: A Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle is Thoroughly Inspected

Under the CPO program, all vehicles must pass an inspection of over 100 different checks. This includes the safety systems, electrical and mechanical systems, as well as the exterior, interior, and suspension system. Because the car is under warranty from the manufacturer, you can be sure your vehicle is safe and has passed all of its inspection checkpoints.

Pro: More and Better Financing Options

A lower interest rate could end up saving you thousands of dollars over the course of a car loan. Many financial institutions offer lower interest rates on certified pre-owned vehicles that are similar to those you could get with a brand-new car. Shop around for the best interest rates and terms before making your purchase, just as you would with any new vehicle. 

Con/Pro: Slightly More Expensive vs. Peace of Mind

The peace of mind that comes with purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle does come with added cost compared to a non-certified vehicle. The thorough inspection, repairs, extended warranty, and any upgrades such as new tires or brakes will come with a higher price-tag, but not having to worry about these things are worth the cost alone.

Con: It’s Still a Used Car

Regardless of how well taken care of the ride is, certified pre-owned vehicles are still used cars. Even though the inspection should find any obvious major or minor issues, it is likely that some car parts and systems will wear out faster than a those on a new or newer car. It’s a good idea to get a third-party inspection, allowing them to find out if anything might need replaced sooner rather than later.

Do Your Research

Before you decide to make your purchase, it’s important to weigh all your options. New cars are most expensive, but you know what you’re getting and are fully covered by manufacturer warranty. Used cars that aren’t CPO are less expensive and it’s hard to know how it’s been maintained. Most non-certified used vehicles also do not come with a warranty.

Buying a certified pre-owned vehicle will be more expensive than other similar non-certified cars, but they are fully inspected and come with a warranty in case something does go wrong, such as figure in a car accident resulting in personal injury. You’ll save thousands of dollars over purchasing a similar car that’s brand new and you’ll have more peace of mind than buying other non-certified used cars.