Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A popular certified pre-owned vehicle, a red 2020 Nissan Versa, is shown driving on a highway.

7 Reasons to Choose a CPO Nissan

If you’re looking to save money on your next vehicle purchase, then you’re likely considering both used and certified pre-owned vehicles. There are many major car brands out there known for making vehicles that perform well for years and years, and miles and miles. Deciding between your favorite brand’s used or certified pre-owned (CPO) models can be difficult, though, and not everyone even knows the difference.

Understanding the discrepancies between these two types of cars is important to making a solid investment. So, before diving into which manufacturer you should shop, let’s do a quick refresher on used versus CPO vehicles.

Used vs Certified Pre-Owned

A certified pre-owned vehicle is a used car, but it is subject to certain standards and requirements to get that certified pre-owned label. Typically, it will be one of the manufacturer’s newer models—think within the last six years—and it will have low mileage. Certified pre-owned vehicles also go through a rigorous inspection by qualified technicians, and have to meet specific safety and performance standards before going on sale.

You can pick up a certified pre-owned vehicle from a dealership selling vehicles both new and used from that same manufacturer. For these reasons, it will come with a factory-provided warranty, should anything be wrong with the vehicle.

A used car is just that: it’s used. It might have gone through a thorough inspection, but it might not have. You’ll usually get it directly from the seller—the last person who owned and drove it. In many cases, sellers of used cars tune up the car just enough to make it attractive for resale. They will not go through all of the trouble a dealership does to make sure a car is in peak condition before going to the next owner. You won’t typically get any sort of warranties on a standard used car purchased directly from the owner. Also, the owner might not be able to negotiate on the price as much as a dealership would, since they’re just selling the one car.

All of these differences are important to point out because certified pre-owned vehicles do tend to come with a higher price tag than a used car—but for good reasons. The slight increase in cost can be well worth it for the guarantees that come with a certified pre-owned vehicle.

A blue 2020 Nissan Kicks is shown from the rear driving on a city highway.

Why Nissan Makes a Great CPO Vehicle

Now that I’ve covered the differences between a used and certified pre-owned vehicle, let’s talk about one of the best car brands to buy pre-owned: Nissan. There are many reasons to consider a certified pre-owned Nissan. Let’s break them down.

They’re Reliable

Nissans have consistently ranked as highly reliable cars. In fact, some can go as many as 200,000 to 300,000 miles without any major issues. If you consider typical usage, this means some Nissan drivers can enjoy 20 years behind the wheel before paying for any major repairs. It’s no wonder you often see decade-old Nissans on the road.

You Get a Great Warranty

A certified pre-owned Nissan will come with an excellent warranty. A typical warranty will cover up to seven years or 100,000 miles. So, you have plenty of time to become familiar with your vehicle and make sure there weren’t any overlooked issues in the CPO inspection. And, if you do find an issue, you have that warranty to back you up. In many cases, you can purchase an extended protection plan if you want long-term peace of mind and the support of your dealership.

You Save on the Car & on Fees

Buying a certified pre-owned vehicle means savings in multiple ways. It’s important to know that your car insurance company sets your monthly premium rate based on many factors, and one of those is the sale price of your car. Paying more upfront means paying more over the years in those insurance premiums. Furthermore, your vehicle registration cost is also partially dependent on the cost of your vehicle. Paying full price on a new car also means paying higher prices at the DMV. Buying pre-owned means repeated savings where it counts.

Skip the Depreciation Period

The majority of depreciation in a vehicle’s value happens in the first three years. But, since certified pre-owned vehicles can be as old as six years, you can easily purchase one that’s past that initial depreciation period. Buying a new car and selling it a few years down the line usually means taking a major loss. However, if you buy a certified pre-owned Nissan that’s four or five years old, you could potentially sell it at the 10-year point (or longer) and still get a pretty good price for it compared to your initial purchase price.

Get a CARFAX History Report

You will get a CARFAX History Report with your certified pre-owned Nissan. This will provide details about previous owners, previous accidents, mileage, title history, what the vehicle was used for, and other detailed information that gives you a scope of the car’s health. This report usually comes at a cost to car owners but comes complimentary with a certified pre-owned Nissan.

A mechanic is shown inspecting a certified pre-owned vehicle.

Enjoy a Detailed Inspection

Pick up a CPO Nissan from your local Nissan dealer and you’ll be certain that it went through a detailed inspection, conducted by technicians who are well-versed in Nissan parts and systems. Nissan technicians perform a rigorous, 167-point inspection that checks systems like the airbags, engine, fuel, electrical components, suspension, tires, and more. Upon purchasing your vehicle, the dealership will give you a run-down of what sort of maintenance and repairs were performed on the vehicle. You can feel confident that there won’t be any surprise issues in the weeks and months following your purchase.

Many Models to Choose From

Nissan has a generous variety of vehicles to choose from, from trucks to SUVs to sedans. Even its higher-end models and trims fall within what’s considered a budget-friendly price range, so its certified pre-owned vehicles can boast particularly attractive price tags. From the Nissan Pathfinder for adventurers and road trippers to the Nissan Sentra for those needing a fuel-efficient and nimble city commuter vehicle, the brand offers models for nearly every lifestyle. Nissan is also known for a handful of particularly stylish vehicles like the Murano and the Rogue. They have an elegant, sporty look and feel but still boast a low price tag—especially when you buy CPO.

CPO + Nissan = A Great Deal

Buying a used vehicle can be nerve-wracking for many reasons. When you buy directly from the seller, you don’t always know if they’re being upfront about the vehicle’s history and you don’t have the support of a dealership. You might drive away to find out you bought a lemon—one that was tuned up just enough to look appealing, while hiding significant issues. Buying a car is a big investment and it’s important to feel confident about your purchase.

A certified pre-owned vehicle goes through a detailed inspection, comes with an excellent warranty, and offers with the support of a dealership that is knowledgeable about the manufacturer. It also comes with a CARFAX history report and a thorough rundown about any technical work on the car. Meanwhile, Nissans have a reputation for being highly reliable vehicles that can run for hundreds of miles before facing major issues. Overall, a CPO Nissan isn’t the cheapest way to buy a car, but the assurance and quality can’t be overstated.