The Difference between Used and Certified Pre Owned Cars

March 15, 2013

If you are considering a certified pre-owned auto you are probably wondering just how it differs from a regular used car and is the certification worth the extra money. When shopping for a high quality used vehicle it is important to understand the differences between a certified vehicle and a regular used car.

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Certified Vehicles

A certified pre-owned car is a vehicle that has been put through a certification program by the manufacturer of the vehicle. It is usually a fairly rigorous inspection and if the vehicle passes the certification process it is given an extended warranty. If the car is found deficient in any area it is often reconditioned to bring it up to certification standards.

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Toyota Example

An example would be Toyota's certified program. If you purchase a Toyota Certified pre-owned vehicle you get the following warranties. Toyota also offers new car financing rates on its certified vehicles as well.

  • 3-Month/3,000-Mile Comprehensive Warranty
  • 7-Year/100,000-Mile Limited Powertrain Warranty
  • 7-Year/100,000-Mile Roadside Assistance
  • 160-Point Quality Assurance Inspection
  • CarFax Vehicle History Report

Is It Worth It?

Certified vehicles will be sold at a premium. If you are buying a small to mid-size vehicles this can translate into at least $1000 difference in price. It is important to consider all of your options when looking for a used vehicle, do your research and make the best decision for your particular situation. In the case of certified pre-owned vehicles the peace of mind that the inspection provides in conjunction with the extended warranty will often make the extra money well worth it.

Used Cars

If you decided to pass on the certified pre-own vehicle and stick to a basic used car it is important that at the very least you get a car lemon report on the vehicle you are considering. can provide you with a detailed report on the history of the vehicle. You will need the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) so be sure to jot that down on any vehicles you are seriously considering. It is also a good idea to look into a used car warranty as well.

When looking for a used car there are a lot of options out there. A certified pre-owned car is a vehicle that has been carefully inspected by the manufacturer and is sold with an extended warranty. The peace of mind and extended warranty is often worth the price of a certified pre-owned vehicle.