Buying a used car is always a risky proposition so one of the alternatives is to purchase what is commonly known as a Certified Pre-Owned car. Many of the automobile manufacturers devised a great marketing ploy that they call a Certified Pre-Owned car some years ago to make the consumer feel that they were getting a good deal when they bought a used car. Now there is some merit to buying this type of used car because it includes a warranty and it has been inspected, but it is still a used car. Therefore I will cover the questions to ask when buying a Certified Pre-owned car that you must get the answers to during the car buying process.
Who is Certifying the Vehicle?
You know that it’s a pre-owned or used car because it is not brand new so you don’t need to be told that it’s a used car that’s obvious. What I am referring to is the practice of used car dealers buying an extended warranty for a vehicle and slapping a “Certified” sticker on the windshield and then calling it a “Certified Pre-Owned” car. A true certified car can only be certified by the manufacturer and not by anybody that buys a warranty and a window sticker. You can only buy a real certified pre-owned car from a dealership that sells the same brand of car brand new and there are no car dealer fees for a true certified car. So you can see that this is an important question to ask when buying a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle.
What Makes it a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle?
When a car, truck or SUV is truly manufacturer certified it is required to go through a process of inspection and performing the required servicing and repairs along with researching any previous recalls or issues that the make and model may have and correcting them according to manufacturer specifications. An authentic certified pre-owned car is warranted by the manufacturer therefore all of the work, inspections and repairs must be done by a dealership and technician that is approved by the automobile manufacturer. You may even run across a new car dealership that will sell a used car as a certified car, but it may not be certified buy the auto maker and it is really no more than a used car with a third party warranty rather a manufacturer backed warranty. That is why it is critical to know the answers to the questions to ask when buying a certified pre-owned car.
Can All Used Cars Become Certified Pre-Owned Cars?
The simple answer to that question to ask when buying a certified pre-owned car is no. Only used cars that meet certain requirements can become certified cars. Those requirements restrict the amount of miles a car has and the age of the vehicle along with a clean history report. Manufacturers require that a used car history report either from CarFax or AutoCheck depending on the auto maker be included in the certification process and free of major accidents or title problems. A certified vehicle may have been in a accident, but it cannot be a major accident that required the vehicle to be rebuilt or overhauled. A minor accident is acceptable as long as only two or three panels were repainted and if any more work than that was done because of an accident it does not meet the car makers requirements and not able to become certified.
What is Included or Covered on a Certified Pre-Owned Car?
Buying a certified pre-owned car should include some perks or benefits besides peace of mind that you are getting a good vehicle. These benefits should include a comprehensive extended warranty for at least one year and a drive train warranty that lasts for 100,000 miles or 6, 7, or 8 years from the original in service date (whichever comes first). Many manufacturers also include a roadside assistance benefit for at least one year which can be extended by the purchaser. Another benefit of buying a certified vehicle is that most manufacturers require is that the vehicle must have all the original equipment such as floor mats, two or more keys and any factory installed options. I am sure you can see the importance of knowing the questions to ask when buying a certified pre-owned car. Therefore you don’t have to worry about a dealer removing anything from the vehicle rather than repair or replace it to reduce costs to them.
Is it Wise to Buy a Certified Pre-Owned Car?
You can see that there are benefits and cautions about buying a certified car, but if you get the right answers to the questions to ask when buying a certified pre-owned car you can make sure that you are getting a good vehicle and a major auto manufacturer to stand behind your purchase. You can’t ask for much more than that when you are buying a used car.