Pre-Owned or Certified Pre-Owned? The Difference May Surprise You

Pre-owned isn't just previously used. On the sprawling market for these vehicles, some – but not all -- have an extra inspection process and a further limited warranty, and they go by the industry name of certified pre-owned (CPO). But what's the difference? Answers beget new questions, and World Imports USA is here to help you explore them, with some need-to-know information beforehand, of course.

First, what determines CPO status? Dealerships and manufacturers inspect mostly recent-model trade-ins and vehicles exiting leases, each with relatively low mileage, to determine whether they qualify, which certainly speaks to the high quality of a CPO offering, as the cars and trucks that end up certified are usually, because recent, in prime condition for being used. And, perhaps the strongest testament, should these vehicles become certified and warranted, and a covered component needs work before the typical 12- to 24-month CPO warranty is up, then the manufacturer will repair it.

However, you should also keep in mind that, awesome perks of certification aside, there's no industry standard for CPO qualification. Manufacturers differ on age and mileage eligibility requirements when it comes to their CPO programs, and with add-ons like extended warranty and other new-car-like perks, each values elements differently. The bottom line: it remains important to consider the vehicle features and benefits that matter most to you. Do some thorough model research on websites such as and, and take it with you when it's time for a dealer visit. Jot down the vehicle's 17-character Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and acquire a Vehicle History Report on it from CARFAX. Financing through a dealer? Put a copy of your credit report in your portfolio of research, along with loan pre-approval information, price, insurance and extended warranty quotes, and pricing information if you're planning on trading in. And take a few notes on dealer vehicle inspection as well as any elective test-drives.

Need a few more make-and-model-specific pointers on buying certified pre-owned? Feel free to stop in today, and we'll be happy to share our wealth of knowledge. We can even set you up in the driver's seat of a CPO vehicle for a more personalized experience.


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