What Should You Do When You See a CPO You Like?
When you shop for a used car one of the most impressive and sought after designations is that of a Certified Pre-Owned model or CPO. This is supposed to give you a vehicle that’s been put through a lengthy inspection process and made certain that every part of the car has passed the inspection to be great for you to drive. The problem for you as the consumer is that the inspection isn’t enforceable as an actual action and the only thing you’ll be guaranteed is an extended manufacturer’s warranty, which is typically only on the powertrain.
This extended warranty and in some cases added included maintenance visits, are of some value to you when you buy a CPO vehicle and if that value is enough for you to still purchase the vehicle that’s great, but you need to have a car inspected on your own as well. It’s not that your dealership is trying to pull the wool over your eyes, in fact the vehicle could have been put through a full inspection and be in great shape but this inspection doesn’t give you coverage to have items repaired when something breaks.
What you should do with a CPO vehicle is the same things you would do with a vehicle that’s sold to you as a used model. This means taking the vehicle for a full test drive, with our without the salesperson, and having a separate mechanic check out the vehicle by performing their own inspection to give you an idea of whether or not the vehicle will be good for you to drive for a long time. This may seem like a redundant action because the dealer was supposed to do an inspection before selling you the vehicle, but there’s a reason for you to take this precaution.
A CPO inspection is only an inspection to satisfy the manufacturer. This is used to allow the vehicle to be sold to you at a higher price than if it was considered a used vehicle and not one that’s a CPO model. There are some CPO vehicles on the market that haven’t been inspected in the way they should have been in order to be sold, but this really doesn’t matter because the inspection isn’t for you, the consumer, it’s for the manufacturer. The only guarantee you have with a CPO is a vehicle that comes with an extended warranty.
There’s nothing wrong with buying a vehicle that’s been marked as a CPO, in fact, I advise it so that you can have the extended warranty and a few free maintenance visits, but you need to keep in mind that it’s a used vehicle. Take it for a test drive, have it checked out, find out what an independent mechanic feels is wrong with the vehicle before you decide to purchase it from the dealer. With your own inspection done, at least you’ll have the information you need to make the right decision for you.