That new-car smell is intoxicating, but it comes at a steep cost. Cars depreciate pretty rapidly, and a big chunk of that decline occurs in the first year of ownership. This means that while a new car brings certain emotional rewards, it offers diminishing value when viewed purely from a financial perspective.
That’s why used cars are a smart choice. With these vehicles, depreciation works in your favor, since you, as the buyer, benefit from the lower resale value that it brings. But used cars carry certain drawbacks that tarnish their appeal. As previously owned vehicles, they come with some question marks regarding reliability. And they lack the reassuring warranty coverage that you get with a new car.
If you’re looking for a used car that offers many of the benefits typically associated with a new vehicle, give some thought to a certified pre-owned model. Sold at dealerships, manufacturer-backed certified pre-owned programs provide many of the advantages that come with purchasing a new vehicle.
Below are three reasons why your next used car should be certified pre-owned.
1. Certified pre-owned vehicles are rigorously vetted. One of the scariest things about purchasing a used car is that the overall health of the vehicle can be tricky to determine. You can learn a lot by having a mechanic inspect the car, and you can purchase a CARFAX Vehicle History Report to learn more about its background and ascertain whether it’s been in a serious accident. But with their complicated electrical systems and cutting-edge amenities, vehicles these days are more complex than ever, and it sometimes takes an extremely long and extensive inspection to suss out potential problems.
If you’re purchasing a manufacturer-backed certified pre-owned model, you can rest easy knowing that the vehicle has been carefully vetted. Automakers know that their reputations hinge on the quality of these vehicles, and each model in a manufacturer’s certified pre-owned program must meet certain high standards before being considered for inclusion.
The older a vehicle is and the more mileage it has, the more likely it is to develop problems. For this reason, age and mileage are the first two things automakers consider when deciding which vehicles to add to their certified pre-owned fleet. With Acura’s program, a vehicle must be six years old or younger with less than 80,000 miles to qualify for inclusion. Hyundai requires its certified pre-owned vehicles to be five years old or younger with less than 60,000 miles.
The vetting process doesn’t end there. For inclusion in the program, vehicles must pass a thorough inspection. At Ford, the inspection covers 172 areas. Ford’s technicians inspect components such as the car’s body panels and bumpers. They evaluate the vehicle’s handling, and they look at the performance of amenities such as the car’s rearview camera, horn and infotainment system. Certifed pre-owned vehicles in Acura’s program are subject to a 182-point inspection.
For additional peace of mind, automakers such as Hyundai provide a free CARFAX Vehicle History Report with all certified pre-owned models.
2. Certified pre-owned vehicles come with generous warranty coverage. New cars come with warranty coverage that can shield you from financial responsibility if a part fails and needs to be repaired. Manufacturer-backed certified pre-owned programs offer the same assurances to put your mind at ease.
Ford’s certified pre-owned program offers a seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and there’s also a 12-month/12,000-mile comprehensive limited warranty that covers items such as the air conditioning system and various technology components. Hyundai’s certified pre-owned vehicles come with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
3. Certified pre-owned vehicles come with appealing perks. Certified pre-owned models come with perks usually associated with new cars. These include services such as free towing in the event of a breakdown, emergency fuel delivery and emergency lockout assistance.
Ford’s program offers towing assistance for up to $100 for warranty and non-warranty problems, including accidents. And Hyundai offers perks such as 24-hour roadside assistance and a rental car for covered repairs.
Extra Peace of Mind with Your Used Car Purchase
Buying a certified pre-owned model gives you a chance to reap the financial benefits of a used-car purchase.
While these models often are slightly more expensive than used cars purchased from a private party, they’re much less expensive than purchasing a brand-new vehicle. Check out our Used Car Deals page to find the best incentives on your next certified pre-owned car.