Clearing Up Basics of Certified Preowned Cars

Within the world of used cars, the term “certified preowned” has begun to take on a very exclusive feel. Also called CPOs, these cars are generally more expensive and considered the highest standard for a used car.

At Auction Direct USA, we have a wide selection of certified preowned cars along with other used vehicles. We’ve found that many of our customers don’t fully understand what this term means when we use it, and what standards a CPO vehicle is being held to. Here’s a primer on some of the basics here.

Certified Criteria

As the name suggests, CPO involves someone certifying the vehicle in question. This certifier is using a set of standards or criteria to carry the CPO label. Where many folks become confused is in which set of standards is being used.

At a brand-name dealership, the manufacturer sets CPO standards – each vehicle of its make will have its own criteria. Ford has a 172-point inspection, for instance, and many manufacturers also include a mileage factor. Chrysler, for instance, requires that a vehicle is under five years old and has fewer than 75,000 miles for it to even be considered as a CPO vehicle – and this is before the rest of the inspection.

Independent Programs

Independent used car dealerships have also developed their own CPO programs by devising a set of standards that can be applied across all makes of vehicles. These standards and applied processes will be different from a manufacturer, but if the dealership holds itself to high standards in general, the quality here will be just as high. Good independent dealerships should be willing to share their standard for certification with you, so you can determine if their CPO vehicles are good enough to justify raised prices.

Best Alternative to New Car

As long as you’re using a reputable vendor, a CPO vehicle is the highest-quality option available as an alternative to a brand new car. They meet a rigorous set of standards, and are very close to new in many cases – but with a lower price tag. As long as you’ve done your research on the standards applied, you can feel confident you’re getting a great car when you shop CPO.

For more on certified preowned cars, or to learn about any of our used car selection, speak to the pros at Auction Direct USA today.