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A blue 2020 Honda Pilot is shown from the side parked next to a lake.

Shopping Certified Pre-Owned: HondaTrue Has Your Back

When shopping for a new car, there are several different decisions to weigh. Everyone wants to find the right balance between price and quality, and a lot of times, this means buying used. Of course, there are risks associated with used car shopping. Unless you’re a mechanic, it’s difficult to tell what issues a car may have just by looking at it, even if you do pop open the hood. There’s no worse scenario in car shopping than buying a lemon, and they’re difficult to spot. That’s why shopping at a Certified Pre-Owned Honda dealer can be one of the safest ways to shop for a used vehicle.

When dealing with Honda, there’s already a level of quality that you can expect. They’re well-known for crafting reliable vehicles that run mile after mile with little to no hiccups. Opting for a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Honda takes that security one step further. Not only are you guaranteed a used vehicle that has passed a thorough inspection and gone through a reconditioning process, but your purchase is protected by a warranty. Non-certified used cars usually don’t have warranties, which is why buying one can be so risky. Getting a Certified Pre-Owned Honda eliminates this risk, so you can shop for your next car with peace of mind.

What Is a CPO?

A CPO, or Certified Pre-Owned vehicle, is a used vehicle that is held to a specific standard as determined by the automaker. Each automaker has its own guidelines that determine the eligibility of its CPOs, but most programs will set a model year and a mileage limit and require the vehicle to pass an inspection and undergo a reconditioning process. A lot of CPOs come with both a powertrain warranty and a non-powertrain warranty. As the name implies, the powertrain warranty covers components related to the powertrain. This includes the engine, transmission, transfer case, and drive axles. The non-powertrain warranty covers everything else. It’s also referred to as a comprehensive or bumper-to-bumper warranty. Keep in mind warranties cover manufacturer defects, not damages related to accidents or normal wear and tear.

A silver 2021 Honda Accord is shown from the front driving on a city street after leaving a certified pre-owned Honda dealer.

What Are the Benefits?

There are a number of benefits to purchasing a CPO. For starters, they’re likely to be in better shape than the other used inventory offered at a dealership due to the requirements they must have met in order to qualify as a CPO. A CPO will be gently used, void of mechanical issues, and reconditioned to get it in shipshape prior to hitting the selling floor.

Aside from the higher quality you benefit from when purchasing a CPO, there are also a number of protections in place to ensure a risk-free purchase. Several CPO programs come with a money-back guarantee, so if you’re not happy with your purchase and you decide that within a specific time frame, you can return the vehicle and get refunded. CPOs are also backed by factory warranties, so if there’s an issue that comes up that is determined to be a manufacturer error, the dealership will take care of the repairs for you. Some automakers require a deductible to be paid, while others do not.

What’s more, a lot of automakers offer transportation benefits through their CPO program, so if the vehicle is in need of covered repairs, they’ll take care of a rental car for you. Finally, most CPO programs come with Roadside Assistance as well, so in the event of a breakdown, flat tire, etc., you’ll be able to get help through your CPO program.


HondaTrue is the name given to Honda’s CPO program. HondaTrue has multiple levels to it, which is pretty unusual as far as automaker’s CPO programs go. The three tiers are HondaTrue Used, HondaTrue Certified, and HondaTrue Certified+.

The first, HondaTrue Used, is for vehicles ten years old or less with any amount of mileage. They come with powertrain and non-powertrain warranties, both of which last for 100 days or 5,000 miles from the time of the CPO’s purchase.

The next level up is HondaTrue Certified, which are CPOs that are no more than six years old with fewer than 80,000 miles on the odometer. HondaTrue Certified CPOs come with a powertrain warranty that lasts for seven years or 100,000 miles from the vehicle’s original sale. Its non-powertrain coverage builds on the New Vehicle Limited Warranty that’s included when a Honda is purchased new. If still in effect, the warranty is extended to four years or 48,000 miles. If said CPO is no longer protected by the New Vehicle Limited Warranty when the next buyer purchases it, the non-powertrain warranty will last for one year or 12,000 miles after its purchase as a CPO.

The third and final tier of Honda’s CPO program is called HondaTrue Certified+. It exclusively applies to vehicles one-year-old or less with no more than 12,000 miles. The included powertrain warranty lasts for seven years from the vehicle’s original sale or until it has been driven 100,000 miles. The non-powertrain warranty, on the other hand, lasts for five years from the original purchase or until the vehicle is driven 86,000 miles.

Aside from the warranties, there are some other benefits to the HondaTrue CPO program. The purchase of a HondaTrue Used vehicle includes one complimentary oil change within the first year of purchasing, and HondaTrue Certified and HondaTrue Certified+ vehicles come with two complimentary oil changes within the first year of ownership. All three tiers have a three-day money-back guarantee, so the vehicle can be returned within three days of purchase if you’re unhappy with it. Also, should the vehicle require repairs that are covered by the warranty, Honda does not charge a deductible, so you’ll be fully covered. Roadside Assistance is part of the package, as is 90 days of free access to SiriusXM radio. Additionally, every Honda that qualifies for their CPO program has passed a 182-point inspection, so 182 different parts of the vehicle were checked and found to be in good running order.

An orange 2020 Honda Fit is shown driving on an open highway.

How Honda’s CPO Program Compares

HondaTrue stands out from other automakers’ CPO programs for several different reasons. The 182-point inspection is quite rigorous compared to other inspections, which are often more in the 150-point range. Toyota, for example, uses a 160-point inspection for their CPOs. Also, the different levels of Honda’s program make it unique. While most automakers just have one type of CPO with one option for warranty plans, Honda has three different levels of quality and protection for consumers, allowing them to have more flexibility and variety while shopping. The complimentary oil changes are a nice touch as well; plenty of automakers don’t offer that with their CPOs.

A Cut Above

Honda has made it a mission to take care of its customers. This care takes the form of their high-quality, affordable vehicles, and it also translates to the benefits that can be reaped from their comprehensive HondaTrue CPO program. It takes the guesswork of used car shopping, meaning less stress for you. If you’re interested in the benefits of buying a CPO, look no further than your local certified Honda dealer. There’s no safer—or savvier—way to shop for your next vehicle.