A Certified Pre-Owned silver 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 Rally Edition is shown from the front at an angle while driving though a city at night.

The Truth Behind Certified Pre-owned Vehicles

If you’ve ever been car shopping in your lifetime, whether it was for yourself or someone else, chances are you’ve heard the term Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) thrown around on the dealership lot. Instead of buying just any old used car, the salesperson probably explained that by choosing a Certified Pre-Owned car, you’d be getting way more bang for your buck. If you’re intrigued by the world of CPO vehicles, you’re not alone, and when it comes to finding a new car, there’s no denying that used cars are difficult to even keep on the lot of most dealerships. By buying a Certified Pre-Owned model, it’s believed that you’re getting an elevated version of a used car, but is that entirely true? What else can you expect when you shop for a CPO and which program is the best in the industry?

A Better Car for Less

Everyone knows that if you don’t want to be limited by just a few new arrivals in a dealership’s inventory, shopping used is the way to go. Different makes and models, various features, and so much more await when you choose to shop used, and you’ll get even more for your money when you shop from the CPO lot. Certified Pre-Owned vehicles are held to higher standards than traditional used cars. For one, CPO vehicles must meet the strict requirements set forth by that particular brand. This means that the vehicles in the selection are newer models, averaging about six years old and newer, with limited miles on them; Chevy’s CPO program, for example, limits its Certified Pre-Owned vehicles to 75,000 miles or less.

Right away, the CPO lot allows drivers to choose from near-new models, which showcase updated technology features, modern styling, and plenty of more alluring features that today’s drivers are looking for in their vehicles. They have also been rigorously tested to ensure their quality, having to pass a multi-point inspection process and undergoing all recalls and refurbishments necessary to deem them worthy of CPO status. CPO vehicles also come with a clean vehicle history report, which delivers the peace of mind drivers need when traveling anywhere.

You get all of this for far less than you’d pay for a brand-new vehicle, which is why CPO vehicles are so highly sought after by consumers. Finding the ideal vehicle based on features, trim level, exterior elements, and more is possible when you shop CPO, making this the top way drivers are currently obtaining their vehicles. So, when the salesperson says that you can get a better car for less when you shop CPO, it’s true, as you can keep more of your hard-earned money in your wallet and drive a car you can trust. Drivers are able to have it all when they choose a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle.

A red 2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is shown from the front while parked off-road.

Top-Notch Warranties (& Other Perks)

When buying used, it’s pretty much a given that what you see is what you get and if a problem should arise, you’re stuck dealing with it. Little do many drivers know that CPO vehicles come with their own set of great warranties to add more assurance to your travels. Chevy, for example, includes two factory-backed warranties with their CPO vehicles—a Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty and a Powertrain Limited Warranty. Although the terms of the warranties will vary, based on the brand in question, you’ll typically find that CPO vehicles will be covered under some form of warranty program.

Chevy’s CPO warranties cover everything from engine components to drive systems and virtually everything in between. There are limitations, as with any warranty program, but with a $0 deductible, you can’t beat this particular set of warranties found on every Chevy CPO vehicle. You’ll also find that you get even more when you choose a CPO car, including roadside assistance, complimentary maintenance services, satellite radio, and much more, just for driving a Certified Pre-Owned car. In some cases, you get more when you buy a CPO vehicle over a brand-new model that’s just rolled off the delivery truck.

Buying used has its risks, especially since many of the models on the used lot aren’t covered under any type of warranty. Buying new may not be an option since many new vehicles come with expensive sticker prices. This is why CPO vehicles are the stars of the show when it comes to getting more for your money when shopping for a vehicle. Choosing a vehicle that’s covered, should something go wrong, alleviates a lot of the stress that can go along with shopping for a used car. Drivers want to know they’re protected, and CPO vehicles ensure just that.

The Best CPO Programs

If you didn’t realize how prevalent CPO vehicles are on a dealership’s lot, you may have a better idea now, based on everything you’re able to enjoy with a CPO car. It’s also no surprise that virtually every automaker has its own dedicated CPO program, which makes owning a particular brand of vehicle within closer financial reach. There are some programs that are better than others, especially when it comes to getting more quality and value with your purchase.

We talked a lot about Chevy earlier, and it’s no secret that its CPO program is exceptional. In addition to the near-new vehicles offered in the program, all with low mileage, all Chevy CPO vehicles must undergo a 172-point inspection process to ensure their integrity. Luxury brands like Buick and Mercedes-Benz also have similar requirements. Brands like Subaru offer vehicles five years old and newer with less than 80,000 miles on the odometer and a 152-point inspection process. Other top CPO programs include Acura, Audi, and GMC, as reported by J.D. Power.

When looking for a CPO program you can trust, you must first trust the brand. You’ll want to look at the details, explore the warranties, and check the fine print to ensure that a particular CPO car is worth the hype. Not every automaker offers CPO vehicles, which can come as a surprise to many drivers, but those who do are some of the best around. Sticking to the top options listed above is the industry’s best-kept secret for success.

A red 2019 Buick Regal GS is shown from the front at an angle while driving.

A Certified Pre-Owned Is Certified Satisfaction

Not every driver knows how beneficial it is to shop from the Certified Pre-Owned inventory, especially when savings and value are top priorities. You’re certainly able to maximize your budget while enjoying a selection of cars that meet strict protocols set forth by legendary brands. Most of the time, buyers tend to go to one of two places on the lot—the new arrivals section or the used lot, but it may be worth your time to explore the exceptional CPO lot during your search. Whether you’re in the market for a new car now or a few years down the road, keep CPO vehicles in mind. They’re essentially just like new cars, only they’re more affordable, you have a better selection, and they come with more benefits than brand-new models.

So, there you have it. The truth about Certified Pre-Owned vehicles. No, it’s not a scam, and yes, it really is the perfect way to buy a car. The next time you pass by your local car dealership, pay attention to what’s showcased on the CPO lot. You may find that from luxury vehicles to hard workers, family haulers to off-roaders, there’s something for every driver and every budget in the CPO lineup.