You’ve probably heard the hype about “Certified Pre-Owned” Hondas, and maybe you haven’t given the topic much thought. Unlike many gizmos and gadgets on the market, a whole vehicle isn’t the type of thing most people impulse buy. There’s usually lots of careful research involved, many comparisons, checking in with the experts – both online and within your circle of family and friends – plenty of budgetary considerations, and sleepless nights weighing the pros and cons of each option that has caught your attention. But then the time to buy a car actually comes, and you’re suddenly searching the internet for a “certified Honda dealer near me.”
When you need a new car, there’s often an impressive time crunch involved, too. Therefore, let’s take a moment to prepare for the long game and the inevitable need for a new vehicle before the stress sets in. What is a Certified Pre-Owned Honda? Where do I find one of these vehicles? Do I even want a Honda? While we might not have a definitive answer to the last question, since everyone has different needs, budgets, and styles, we can clear up some of the mystery on the topic of Certified Pre-Owned vehicles and where to find them.
What Exactly Is a Certified Pre-Owned Honda?
First, you need to be able to identify a Certified Pre-Owned Honda from a used Honda. At first glance, this is generally very difficult to impossible. If there is extensive body damage or the Honda in front of you was very obviously manufactured in the 1970s, it is definitely not Certified Pre-Owned by Honda, no matter what anyone is trying to tell you. However, if you’re looking at very recent models, the differences may be invisible from the outside.
So how does a vehicle become “Certified Pre-Owned” by Honda? There are actually two levels of certification. A HondaTrue Certified vehicle is one that is between one and six years in age and that has between 12,000 and 80,000 miles on the odometer. A HondaTrue Certified + vehicle is less than a year old and has fewer than 12,000 miles on it. But age and mileage are just two of the considerations taken into account when certifying a pre-owned vehicle.
In order to be advertised as Certified Pre-Owned by your local certified Honda dealer, each vehicle must undergo a Honda-mandated 182-point inspection, inside and out. This inspection is conducted at dealerships by Honda trained technicians. If there are certain points where the vehicle is found to come up at less than Honda’s specific high standards, the parts or components are reconditioned or replaced using Genuine Honda Parts. Following that, all regular maintenance is brought up to date, and the results of the inspection are sent to Honda for its official certification.
There are some definite advantages to purchasing a Certified Pre-Owned Honda. For example, both HondaTrue Certified and HondaTrue Certified+ vehicles include a seven year or 100,000 mile warranty on the powertrain. Those purchased within the New Vehicle Limited Warranty period originally offered by Honda will also have extended coverage of non-powertrain features. For HondaTrue Certified vehicles, that extension is four years or 48,000 miles, with Certified+ vehicles extending to five years or 86,000 miles. Certified vehicles purchased after the New Vehicle Limited Warranty has expired will still be protected by one year or 12,000 mile non-powertrain warranty.
Additionally, Honda will extend complimentary roadside assistance for the remainder of the warranty and provide two complimentary oil changes that may be redeemed in the first 12 months or 12,000 miles of ownership. On top of this, some certified Honda dealerships will offer their own additional warranties or extended roadside assistance coverage as a courtesy to their customers.
How Do I Find a Certified Honda Dealer Near Me?
A lot of dealerships around the country advertise “Certified Pre-Owned” vehicles. Unfortunately, not all of those are certified by the manufacturer. Some dealerships offer their own certification program. These may be very high-quality vehicles that have undergone a rigorous inspection and reconditioning process; however, they do not come with the factory support and warrantees that accompany a true manufacturer Certified Pre-Owned vehicle.
Therefore, it’s important to do your homework when it comes to finding a Certified Pre-Owned Honda dealer near you. There are two good ways to double-check the details. First, Honda offers a centralized website that features all currently available Certified Pre-Owned vehicles. Since the manufacturer has to sign off on each vehicle’s inspection, it is aware of each and every vehicle in the program.
Next, check out the dealership’s website. You’ll likely find a section labeled “Certified Pre-Owned” along with “Used” vehicles. Take some time to look at the details of each vehicle. The dealership will specify whether it’s a HondaTrue vehicle or dealership certified. Additionally, the dealership will generally take the time to share the CARFAX report or inspection report for each Certified Pre-Owned vehicle.
Lastly, pay attention to the age and mileage of the vehicle. Remember that HondaTrue Certified vehicles will be less than six years old and have fewer than 80,000 miles. Anything older or more experienced than that is a tell-tale sign that it’s certified by someone other than the manufacturer.
Why Should I Consider a Certified Pre-Owned Honda?
It seems like there are two types of drivers: those who swear by Honda and those who aren’t sure what the fuss is about. It’s generally accepted that there is a car for every driver out there, and some drivers just haven’t considered a Honda. So why would you consider a Certified Pre-Owned Honda? In a nutshell, proven reliability. Honda has won award after award for the overall dependability of its vehicles, from the traditional Civic and Accord to rising stars like the Passport and HR-V.
Most recently, Honda has swept several prestigious awards that demonstrate why drivers are so loyal to the brand. Kelley Blue Book has awarded Honda the 2020 Brand Image Award for the Best Value Brand, which is reserved for the brands that demonstrate that their drivers will get the most out of their money with vehicles that are dependable for the long run, efficient, and safe and enjoyable to drive. Honda was also awarded Kelley Blue Book’s Best Overall Brand award for 2019. Also in 2019, the Honda Civic has received the Model Loyalty award from IHS Markit. This award is based on buyers who repeatedly purchase or lease vehicles from the same manufacturer, make, or model.
Honda was also ranked as the top Mainstream Brand at ALG’s 2020 Residual Value Awards. In order to receive this important industry decoration, a manufacturer’s vehicles must continue to retain a high percentage of value over a period of three years. This value is measured by the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price at time of purchase, compared to the same vehicle’s value after three years of regular driving, along with the total cost of ownership over that period. ALG recognized the Honda Accord, Fit, Odyssey, Passport, and Pilot as the leaders in their respective segments. When it comes to brand loyalty, Honda drivers are often life-long fans, and the awards received by the brand reflect that this is not just the opinion of thousands of drivers.
If your search for a “new” used car is lurking in the near future, perhaps the time has come to search for a certified Honda dealer near you to find a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle. Take your time gathering the facts, comparing vehicles, and getting the details you need to choose the best vehicle for you, your budget, and your driving needs. While Certified Pre-Owned vehicles often cost more than used vehicles, the difference in price is truly reflected in the extended warranties, full inspection, and peace of mind, knowing that your vehicle has been personally certified by the manufacturer as a quality vehicle for you and your family.