It seems that every major automaker has a Certified Pre-owned Program (CPO) for used cars it manufactured. The automaker will work its network of authorized dealerships to acquire, inspect and re-sell these used models as certified pre-owned vehicles, just like Ford does with its Certified Pre-Owned Ford dealers. However, while most of these programs are similar in scope and effect, Ford has taken a unique approach, signaled by the fact that it has named its program the Ford Blue Advantage. This specific name is telling buyers that no other CPO program is quite like the one offered by Ford.
Ford has actually broken down its Certified Pre-Owned vehicles into two categories: Blue and Gold. This allows Ford to offer a much wider variety of CPO vehicles than other manufacturers since most Certified Pre-Owned programs only have a single tier of vehicles available. Ford is looking to put together a winning formula with its Ford Blue Advantage Blue and Gold categories and has done a remarkably good job covering its bases. While there are many similarities between the Blue and Gold categories, there are also some key differences that you should be aware of.
What Is Ford Blue Advantage?
On its face, Ford Blue Advantage is the Certified Pre-Owned program for Ford vehicles. Ford lays out specific guidelines for local authorized dealers to source used Ford cars, trucks, and SUVs, have them inspected, and then sell them as CPO Ford vehicles, backed by a number of benefits like extended warranties and other perks. The key difference is that Ford has broken its program down into two groups, one Gold Certified and the other Blue Certified. This ends up giving drivers more options and choices when buying a CPO Ford car, truck, or SUV than with the CPO programs offered by other automakers.
What Is the Difference Between Gold and Blue Certified?
Right off the bat, the main difference between the two Ford Blue Advantage categories is vehicle age and mileage. In order to qualify for the Gold Certified program, the Ford model must be no more than six model years old. This currently means that the vehicle had to be made on or after the 2016 model year. It also must have fewer than 80,000 miles on the odometer. In contrast, a Blue Certified CPO Ford vehicle can be up to ten years old. So, while you won’t find a 2012 Ford Mustang available under the Gold Certified program, you may find one as a Blue Certified CPO model. In addition, the vehicle must have fewer than 120,000 miles to qualify for the Blue Certified Program.
All vehicles that qualify for the Ford Blue Advantage program undergo a multi-point inspection before being made available for sale to drivers like you. The inspections differ on whether the used Ford vehicle is going to be certified Gold or Blue. The Gold Certified vehicles are given a more thorough, 172-point inspection, while the Blue Certified vehicles will have to pass a 139-point inspection.
The two inspections have much in common, but there are a number of key differences. Both will have a VIN inspection to confirm the vehicle’s ownership and provenance, and all service recalls will be performed. However, Gold Certified models will also have any outstanding scheduled maintenance performed, a vehicle history obtained and inspected, and a vehicle emissions test performed.
The Gold Certified vehicles will also have a more extensive road test, with a more comprehensive inspection of the interior, exterior, diagnostics, powertrain, and other key vehicle functions than ones eligible for the Blue Certified program. This is partly because the Blue Certified program involves older cars, trucks, and SUVs that are expected to have greater wear and tear. It also has to do with the respective Ford factory-backed warranties that come with each Ford Blue Advantage CPO vehicle.
Ford CPO Warranties
When you buy a Blue Certified Ford CPO vehicle, you will get a 90-day/4,000-mile comprehensive limited warranty. This will cover most items on your Ford CPO car, truck, or SUV that may go wrong during your first few months of ownership and provides a better guarantee than traditional used vehicles, which are often sold “as-is” with no warranty.
The Gold Certified program has a pair of warranties that are much broader than the Blue Certified program offers. The first is a 12-month/12,000-mile comprehensive limited warranty. This will cover the same things as the 90-day/4,000-mile warranty on Blue Certified vehicles, just for a longer period of time. The second is a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, which covers key features like your Ford’s engine and transmission. These can often be the most costly repairs on an older vehicle, so it will give you some added peace of mind when buying a Gold Certified Ford CPO vehicle that doesn’t come with a Blue Certified model.
Common Features for All Ford Blue Advantage Vehicles
When you buy a CPO Ford model under the Ford Blue Advantage program, you will receive a complimentary CARFAX vehicle history report. This will give you all you need to know about the specific Ford you are buying, including prior ownership, whether the vehicle was ever stolen or declared a total loss, and any open recalls. This will give you the knowledge you need to make an intelligent purchase and give you full transparency in the transaction.
Ford also includes a full tank of fuel, a fresh oil change, and new wiper blades on all Ford Blue Advantage vehicles. This means that you are ready to roll as soon as you pick up your Ford CPO vehicle at the dealership.
One thing that can really come in handy is the complimentary 24/7 roadside assistance included with the purchase of a Ford Blue Advantage car, truck, or SUV. This means that you can get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, Ford will reimburse you up to $1,000 for travel expenses if any breakdown occurs over 100 miles from your home. You can also get up to $75 if you need to take alternate transportation to reach your destination and rental car reimbursement for up to $35 per day for ten days while your Ford vehicle is being serviced or repaired.
If you need to get your Ford CPO vehicle serviced, you can go to any Ford dealership in any of the 50 states. This is a great benefit for drivers who plan to use their Ford CPO car, truck, or SUV to tour the United States. You can’t know when your car might get a flat tire or need some other non-routine maintenance. Having access to this network of skilled Ford service centers means that you are covered no matter where you may roam.
If you love music, then you are sure to enjoy the free 3-month trial of SiriusXM that comes on every Ford Blue Advantage vehicle that is equipped with satellite radio. That means that you will have access to over 150 channels of music, talk, comedy, sports, news, and entertainment, most of which are commercial-free. SiriusXM broadcasts throughout the United States and Canada, making it the perfect soundtrack to a family road trip.
A final benefit of buying a Ford Blue Advantage vehicle is the FordPass Reward Points that come with the purchase of any Ford CPO model. When you buy a Blue Certified vehicle, you will receive 11,000 FordPass Reward Points, while buying a Gold Certified model will give you 22,000 points. These can be used to pay for scheduled maintenance visits and other rewards from Ford.
Ford Blue Advantage Gives You the Blue and Gold
As you can see, the Ford Blue Advantage program is fairly unique. It gives you two different tiers of eligible vehicles and benefits, something that distinguishes it from CPO programs from other automakers. By giving drivers a choice between the basic Blue Certified and more comprehensive Gold Certified programs, Ford has created a program designed to serve a larger number of potential buyers. It has also allowed for a broader number of used Ford models to be covered by its CPO program than most other automakers.