Should you buy a certified used vehicle?


No car buyer wants to pay good money for a vehicle only to be lumbered with reliability problems.

So how to do you make a good buy?

If you’re purchasing a used car, you’ll probably encounter the option of choosing a certified preowned (CPO) vehicle.

These cars are typically models that have been thoroughly inspected and reconditioned by a factory-trained mechanic to meet manufacturer guidelines, and come with an extended warranty.

Most automakers offer certified preowned programs, and when someone returns a lease vehicle or trades in, the dealership will consider it for the CPO program. Not all certified cars are part of manufacturer programs, however; the certification and warranty may come from the dealership.

Pros and cons of CPO vehicles

Certified used vehicles are generally recent models and, coupled with their good condition and lower price tag, may be seen as an attractive alternative to a new car.

For the used-car buyer, the inspection and warranty that come with a CPO vehicle provide peace of mind against maintenance issues, and some automakers may offer roadside assistance as part of the program, too.

CPO vehicles are more expensive than other used cars, however, which means they’re not always the best choice, according to Consumer Reports.

“Much of the increased cost for a CPO vehicle comes from its extended warranty. Consumer Reports generally advises against paying extra for this protection because it amounts to a bet that your car will break down,” says the magazine.

Instead, it recommends buying a non-CPO car, having first had a mechanic carry out an inspection to make sure it’s in good condition. In fact, this inspection is something it advocates even if you decide to go for a certified preowned model.

“Use the additional money you would have spent on the CPO warranty protection for a rainy-day car repair fund,” advises Consumer Reports. “If it goes unused, apply it to the down payment for your next car.”

A source for financing and quality cars

When you’re looking to purchase your next vehicle, consider working with a company like RoadLoans that enables customers to find and finance high quality new and used vehicles with ease.

RoadLoans is the direct-lending platform of Santander Consumer USA and accepts applications for car loans from consumers across the credit spectrum.

We work with a national network of dealers who are able to show our customers select cars, trucks and SUVs, all with clean and clear titles, meeting our standards for age, mileage and financing.

And not only can our customers confidently choose a good quality vehicle, they can shop like a cash buyer, loan voucher in hand.

Learn more about our process.

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