Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

Erasing Risk

Taking the Risk Out of Buying a Used Car

It is a fear that many potential car owners have: you’re looking at a used vehicle, thinking that it is in perfect condition, only to discover later on that it is a lemon. Whether you’re facing minor defects or major, costly repairs, you never know what to expect with a used vehicle. You may think that everything is on the up and up, everything with the chassis and engine may look perfect, and the seller may have the sincerest of intentions, but unless you know for certain what condition the car is in, you’re taking a risk.

This is a risk that many people assume just comes with the territory when you are looking for a used vehicle. After all, the potential savings you’ll experience with a used option should outweigh any potential defects or issues. At the very least, you should know what you’re getting yourself into from the start, right? Not so fast.

While there’s a lot of risk that comes with buying a used vehicle, there are things you can do to minimize the chance of buying a lemon or something that requires extra attention. In fact, there is no reason why you have to settle for the major risk in the first place. If you want a used car buying experience that is virtually risk-free with the guarantee that you will be purchasing something that actually works as expected, there is a better way.

That way is through a certified pre-owned program.


Understanding What a CPO Program Is

Certified pre-owned programs are a unique offering that many car manufacturers and dealerships provide for their own models. For example, companies like Toyota, Ford, Chevy, and Nissan all have a CPO program that extends nationwide. The idea of such a program is simple: take slightly used brand vehicles, check them over for issues and defects, make any necessary repairs, and put them up for sale with an extended warranty.

Quite often, when you’re looking at vehicles through a certified pre-owned program, you’ll be looking at options that are only a few years old with less than 50,000 or so miles on the engine. Each company differs, but CPO vehicles typically go through some sort of certification inspection and repair process. This means that qualified mechanics will look the vehicle over from bumper-to-bumper to identify any potential problems and address them before they become major issues.

In total, the entire process is more than the average used vehicle will go through. This gives you, the customer, more peace of mind when looking at a potential vehicle, knowing that it has been seen by a variety of skilled professionals before it reaches the showroom floor.


The Typical Buying Experience

It is helpful to compare a CPO buying experience with the usual process of looking at and purchasing a used vehicle. If you’ve ever experienced this process before, chances are you understand just how difficult buying a used vehicle can be. The risks are high, there is a lot of ambiguity in the car’s history, and very rarely will you find that perfect option you are 100% confident in.

The worst-case situation with buying a typical used vehicle is the dreaded lemon. You buy something that looks great and functional upon initial inspection only to discover that it is barely running by the time you get home. Unless the dealership or private owner accepts a refund or the state has some kind of lemon protection law, your options are very limited.

This often leads people into a financial hole. In order to get the lemon up and running, more repairs and service will be needed. This means costly bills and extra time required before you have something that will be in the condition you initially expected it to be in. While a worst-case scenario, buying a lemon is, unfortunately, an all-too-common experience. This is the exact reason why so many people prefer buying new instead of saving some money with a used vehicle.


Experiencing the Benefits of a CPO Program

Since it is impossible to know what kind of condition any used vehicle will be in, the better route is to buy through a certified pre-owned program. You can experience the same savings that you would with another used vehicle with the additional assurance of the inspection process all certified pre-owned vehicles go through.

These vehicles are often newer and in better condition than their used counterparts. Being inspected and serviced by a brand dealership also ensures that any repairs or replacement parts that are installed are the real deal. You won’t have to worry about finding new issues with the CPO vehicle when you have the assurance that everything has been taken care of by the dealership and manufacturer itself.

All it takes is a little bit of research and guidance to get the full benefits of a CPO program. Having someone familiar with the guidelines, rules, and certification process of each program can help as well. Visiting a local dealership to see what they have to offer is a good place to start to experience the benefits of a certified pre-owned program.


Exploring Your Options Today

In the end, you have nothing to lose by checking out what the CPO program of your choice has to offer. Since all major car manufacturers have such a program, you can stick with whatever brand or company you are loyal to or most familiar with. If you happen to be shopping around for a new vehicle and don’t know the particular make or model you’re interested in, looking at the particular certified preowned program specifics can help you make the final decision.

The best thing about a good certified pre-owned program is the assurance you will get when it comes time to buy that next dream vehicle of yours. When you feel like it’s time to buy a used vehicle, there is nothing like the CPO safety. Go out and see what a certified pre-owned program can offer you regarding your next vehicle purchase.