Can't Decide between a New or Used Car? Try a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle

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Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


, - September 4, 2019

Needing a car when you have bad credit may leave you thinking that a used vehicle is your only choice. You don't have to settle for a regular used car, however. A certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle is a good middle ground between a new car and used car, and it could be just what you need.

What Makes a Car a CPO Vehicle?

In order to be considered a certified pre-owned vehicle, a car must go through a multi-point inspection with a manufacturer-certified technician, and be refurbished so that its quality is as close to new as possible. As such, not all vehicles qualify to be certified.

Typically, only cars that are around less than five to seven years old with less than around 60,000 to 80,000 miles qualify to be CPO vehicles, although the specifics vary by manufacturer.

Because of these restrictions, many CPO cars are off-lease vehicles. Typically around three years old, these off-lease certified pre-owned cars have many of the safety and technology features found in new vehicles. Another feature of CPO cars is that they come with some form of manufacturer-backed warranty, which can offer peace of mind.

Be aware, however, that not all vehicles that say “certified” in the window are certified by a manufacturer – some are only dealer certified, and dealer-certified used cars are not the same thing.

Dealer-certified used vehicles may not even have any warranty coverage. If they do, it usually only covers parts and service at the dealership where it was sold. The manufacturer-backed warranties that come with most CPO cars allow you to take the vehicle in for service at any dealer for that manufacturer across the country.

Are CPO Vehicles Worth Buying?

Naturally, due to the lower miles, refurbishment, and warranty included with CPO cars, their price tags are higher than those of similar standard used models. Still, certified pre-owned vehicles provide a significant savings over their new car counterparts.

To determine if the extra expense of a CPO vehicle is worth it, you need to consider all your options and your budget very carefully. For example, if you spend a lot of time on the road, the peace of mind that a CPO car provides may be worth the cost.

However, if you don’t drive your vehicle that much, purchasing a reliable used car of a brand known to hold its value could be more suited to you – especially if you're on a tight budget and a bad credit borrower.

If you need more details to decide if a certified pre-owned vehicle is the way to go, you can research options right here in our certified pre-owned section. You can compare cars and get specs on makes and models you're interested in, and you can see how these CPO vehicles stack up against new and regular used cars.

Find the CPO Dealer You Need

If you decide a CPO vehicle is right for you and you have bad credit, you probably need a subprime lender to get you approved for an auto loan. Not all lenders are the same, but a subprime lender is especially suited to work with bad credit borrowers.

These lenders look beyond your credit score to other factors on which to base approval. These factors – such as income, residence stability, and the willingness to invest in your own success with a down payment – help the lender make a determination based on your situation.

Subprime lenders are indirect lenders, and you can't sit down with one to apply for a bad credit car loan. Instead, they work through special finance dealerships. Here at CarsDirect, we work to match you with one of these dealers in your area.

Simply fill out our easy, fast, and free auto loan request form to get the process started today!

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Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


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