Anyone who goes used car shopping is likely to run into a certified pre-owned vehicle, or CPO vehicle. A CPO program is a good way to find an affordable and reliable car, as vehicles are primarily low-mileage lease returns or trade-ins. The concept has been around since the 1990s, when automakers found that returned vehicles were in such good condition, they could be reconditioned and resold instead of auctioned off. If you’re shopping for a CPO car, here’s what you need to know and how you can benefit.

What Is a Certified Pre-Owned Car?

A certified pre-owned car is one that has been thoroughly inspected and reconditioned as part of the car manufacturer’s CPO program. These vehicles undergo detailed multi-point inspections and are selected based on their clean history. Those that have had major repairs or maintenance issues are typically not accepted into the program. In general, CPO vehicles have no more than 60,000 to 80,000 miles on the odometer.

Depending on the dealer, you may find luxury and non-luxury CPO programs, but be aware that not all certified vehicles are manufacturer-sponsored (those offered through a dealer may not have a manufacturer-backed warranty).

What Are the Benefits of a Certified Pre-Owned Car?

The advantages of purchasing a CPO car include:

  • Lower Mileage: Mileage limits mean a car should be reliable for some time. Most CPO vehicles are no more than five to seven years old (some may be two- or three-year returned leases). Combined with lower mileage, this means less wear and tear (depending on whether the vehicle was primarily driven on highways or city streets where driving conditions can strain automotive systems).
  • Generally Good Condition: Each car is inspected for mechanical issues that require repairs. Strict aesthetic standards must also be met. Any damage to the exterior is repaired so the vehicle looks as close to new condition as possible.
  • Carefully Inspected: Vehicles are certified only after a detailed inspection and reconditioning process; all details must be manufacturer-approved before the vehicle can be put on the lot.
  • Extended Warranty/Manufacturer Warranty: Warranty coverage is often included at no extra cost. At Hawthorne Auto Square, we offer a 6-month comprehensive warranty on every vehicle. This ensures our customers have peace of mind and that any unexpected repairs will be covered during the warranty period.
  • Extra Perks: May include roadside assistance, complimentary loaner cars, and routine service such as oil changes. Some CPO programs may even include free trial subscriptions to satellite radio and connected services provided by the manufacturer.

Conclusion: Should You Get a Certified Pre-Owned Car?

The decision is totally up to you. When considering the type of vehicle to buy, you may want to review your budget and think about your preferences. It also helps to consider all aspects of the CPO program to see if it has value for you. If so, you should still have a third-party mechanic check out the vehicle before you purchase it, and obtain a vehicle history report, so you have as much information as possible.

Contact Hawthorne Auto Square

A trusted buy here pay here used car dealer near Los Angeles, we have a large inventory of pre-owned cars representing the most popular makes and brands. Enhanced sanitizing and social distancing procedures are enabling us to protect our customers during the coronavirus pandemic. Our Hawthorne car dealership will help you find the right used vehicle for your needs and budget. To learn about available popular and luxury vehicles, specials, and financing, visit us in person or call 866-707-7664.