It's important before going to the dealership, to understand what exactly you want and what benefits - or downsides - you should expect. This is true for all car purchases, but it is essential to understand this before seeing used or pre-owned cars. What's the difference between "Pre-Owned" or "Used" and "Certified Pre-Owned" or "CPO"? Can you trust that you're getting the best deal? How are you protected? The first thing to understand is how the dealership got the car in the first place. Used cars, without the certified label, can arrive on the lot in many different ways. At dealerships that primarily focus on new cars, most used cars were offered as a trade-in for a new vehicle during a (somewhat) recent purchase. They've been on the lot for 2 days to 6 months, and they are likely in a very similar condition as to when the previous owner traded it in to the dealership. Used cars go through the shop for whatever minor maintenance may be necessary to make it ready to be on the lot, but very little additional cost was put into it. There's not usually much of a warranty on used cars and it's important to remember that you get what you pay for.
Certified Pre-Owned vehicles arrive on the lot in a variety of ways. Some are selected from a large pool of vehicles, and selected specifically for their “ceritifi-ability.” Only the best qualify. Another great source for certified inventory is lease returns, since these are usually well taken care of and maintained by the dealership. Some, but not all, lease returns qualify. Whatever the source, Certified Pre-Owned vehicles are the best of the best. All wearable parts must not have significant wear. At Mazda, there is a 160 point CPO inspection.
One of these “points” is tires. All tires must have the majority of usable tread left. If they don’t, the tires are replaced. The expectation that must be satisfied is that certified vehicles are better. Because of tires, and 159 other “points of inspection”, they are.
The second advantage to certified vehicles is that they come with a more generous warranty and/or service package and can, often times, acquire more premium financing options. Every Certified Pre-Owned Mazda comes with a 100,000 mile warranty, roadside assistance, and a comprehensive vehicle analysis presented at the time of sale.
The idea is that certified vehicles provide guaranteed peace of mind. But, peace of mind usually comes at a cost. Certified vehicles are still within the usual spectrum of Pre-Owned NADA or KBB pricing; but, they lean a bit on the higher side, since they include so many perks and assurances. Certified Pre-Owned vehicles are not usually the lowest priced option at the time of purchase, but they promise a lower total “cost to own” and a more care-free owner experience that makes them the smart choice for a lot of people. Have questions? Let me know. I'm happy to help you decide and then find your next car. To find out more about Roger Beasley Mazda South's Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, go here: Roger Beasley Certified Pre-Owned Overview