A red 2021 Nissan Titan Pro-4x is shown off-roading through a muddy river.

Why Would You Want to Buy a CPO Vehicle?

You’ve probably heard of the phenomenon that has been sweeping through dealerships across the nation: Certified Pre-Owned (CPO). But what is a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle, and why would some people willingly pay more for a used car? Drivers looking to get the most for their money will often turn to used vehicles to scoop up a great deal without the heavy price tag of a brand-new car. However, there can be some hesitancy that comes from searching for a used Nissan and just hoping to find something in good condition. If you want more assurance than buying a new vehicle can bring you, but don’t have the budget to spend on something new outright, then you might want to start searching for a certified used Nissan near you.

If you look at the difference in price, a Certified Pre-Owned model is often a little pricer than a used model. So is it worth it? Why should you spend the money on a CPO when you can get a used one for less? We get it, but buyers looking for the perks of a new vehicle without the high cost, or those who are nervous about buying used, often find CPOs not only give them an excellent vehicle for less but also give them peace of mind, a feeling that is often priceless when you really depend on your vehicle to get you to work or get your kids to school.

CPO models are used models that come with similar warranties and benefits to what you’ll get with a new vehicle, but at a lower cost because they have some years and miles on them. People shopping on a budget can get higher trim levels or great extras at a lower price point than buying brand new. Each car manufacturer has its own CPO program, so terms can vary depending on the model you’re looking at. For example, buying a CPO Nissan won’t give you the same benefits as a CPO Ford. So it’s worth it to take your time and look over various CPOs to find one that benefits you.

A certified used Nissan near you, a red 2021 Nissan Rogue, is shown from the side parked at night.

What Makes a Vehicle CPO?

It’s tough to decide if a CPO is worth it if you’re not quite sure what separates a CPO vehicle from a used car. They’ve both been driven, right? Neither is considered “new,” so what makes one a CPO and the other simply just used?

Once again, the specifics depend on the automaker; however, we will look at Nissan’s program to get an idea of what to expect. A Nissan CPO vehicle is one that is less than six years old and has under 80,000 miles on the odometer. If the vehicle is outside of these requirements, it will likely just be sold as used. Though Nissan does have a second certification tier called Certified Select that can include vehicles up to ten years old with less than 100,000 miles, this is not true of all brands.

Many CPOs tend to be former lease cars that have only been on the road for a year or two and have seen light use, so they’re still in great condition. But how do you know it’s still good? All CPO vehicles have to undergo a rigorous inspection by certified brand specialists, with any issues addressed before sale. For Nissan, this is a 167-point inspection for Nissan Certified vehicles or an 84-point inspection for Certified Select models. The car’s history is also taken into account. If it has been in an accident, it won’t qualify.

What else makes a CPO model attractive to buyers is the vehicle’s factory-backed warranty. CPO warranties can be either a bumper-to-bumper warranty or a powertrain warranty. Plus, they often include perks like roadside assistance or allowance for a rental car if yours is in the shop. Since each warranty differs by brand, make sure to check out the fine print, so you know exactly what’s covered and for how long. Drivers can sometimes take advantage of extended warranties but check with your dealer to go over the fine details to ensure you’re getting a deal that works best for you.

CPO warranties can expire either after a certain number of years have passed or you’ve reached a certain mileage. For example, a Nissan Certified model comes with a seven-year/100,000-mile limited warranty, meaning it’s good for either seven years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. Certified Select models come with a six-month/6,000-mile limited warranty.

What’s Good and Bad About CPO?

So far, buying Certified Pre-Owned is sounding like a good deal if you’re searching for a used vehicle that comes with a little assurance. After all, a CPO is lightly used, has been inspected, and comes with a warranty. So, in general, a CPO vehicle carries less risk than buying a used car. Buying a CPO model also allows consumers to get fun extras that might be expensive to purchase brand new but are now offered at a lower price. This could include amenities like heated seats, an enhanced stereo system, or extra safety features.

So are there any downfalls to buying CPO? Like any buying choice, there’s only what’s right for you. If you choose to go with a CPO model, you can expect it to cost more than a typical used vehicle because it comes with all the extra assurances. Also, the selection of CPOs isn’t likely to be as extensive as new and used vehicles, so your options are more limited. Not to mention you have to remember that a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle is still a used vehicle, so it’s not going to be as crisp and perfect as a brand-new fresh-off-the-assembly line vehicle. There might be light wear on the upholstery or scuff marks on the interior that make them lightly used as opposed to brand-spanking new.

A red 2021 Nissan Maxima is shown from above driving at night.

Is a CPO Vehicle Right for Me?

If you’re looking to get into a like-new car without paying that new car price, a CPO model could give you the peace of mind you’re after while also giving you access to some of the latest and greatest features that are often only available on newer models. If you’ve decided to go with a CPO vehicle, it’s time to do your research and figure out which brand fits your needs. As we said before, each automaker offers its own unique conditions when it comes to CPO warranties and extended warranties. Nissan has a pretty great program with two tiers of coverage, so you will have a lot to choose from if shopping for a certified Nissan.

Be aware that while some dealers might be willing to make a deal on a CPO vehicle, there normally isn’t as much wiggle room to negotiate as a regular used vehicle. For a car to qualify as a Certified Pre-Owned, they have to be inspected and meet rigorous standards; this costs a dealer money. So naturally, they want to get the most for their investment. However, it never hurts to try, so if you find a CPO model you’re interested in, it’s worth asking the dealer how much they are willing to negotiate when it comes to the ticket price.

Consider a CPO for Your Next Ride

So, why do some people choose to pay extra for a CPO vehicle? They get a factory-backed warranty and a like-new car with some great features that might not otherwise fit into their budget. If you’re thinking about going used, consider shopping for a CPO model and get a great car at a lower price, along with the peace of mind only a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle guarantee can offer.