The Difference Between Certified Pre-Owned Cars & Used Cars

The Difference Between Certified Pre-Owned - bc Post

Are you in the market for a used car and want to avoid purchasing a lemon at all costs? Then it’s time to change your search from “used” vehicle to “certified pre-owned”! The experts at SureSale explain the difference between the two and show how certified pre-owned vehicles represent the best deals in the car business.  

Benefits of Purchasing Used/Pre-Owned

The biggest reason consumers purchase used/pre-owned vehicles is depreciation, which starts the second a new car goes off the lot. As time passes, the depreciation of a vehicle levels out.  Smart consumers take advantage of this and save themselves a lot of money!

The downside to purchasing a used/pre-owned car is that the vehicle is no longer new. Buyers are unaware of a vehicle’s history, the maintenance it received, and how the previous owner drove. With any used/pre-owned vehicle, there is always a level of concern about its past and, therefore, its future.

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vs. Used

Certified pre-owned (CPO) programs give consumers peace of mind when navigating through the used-car market. Almost all manufacturers offer CPO programs that are backed by the factory. Unfortunately, that is not the same for non-CPO used cars.

There are several advantages to having a certified pre-owned distinction, some of which include:

Clean Cars: Every CPO vehicle is exceptionally cleaned at the time of purchase and must meet certain standards of age and mileage. A vehicle that is too old or has too many miles will not be considered.

Standards for Conditions: Every CPO vehicle must meet the standard criteria for condition. If it shows major damage or has mechanical issues, it’s a no-go.

Reconditioning: If needed, CPO vehicles go through a reconditioning process that includes repairs to the exterior, interior, and mechanical components.

Comprehensive Multi-point Inspections: A CPO vehicle must pass a comprehensive inspection process that checks hundreds of parts and systems to ensure they meet the minimum requirements of a CPO.

Extended Warranty: Owners of CPO vehicles enjoy warranties that either transfer or extend what is remaining on the initial purchase. This includes the miles covered, the months remaining, or both the bumper-to-bumper warranty or powertrain warranty.   

Incentives: At no extra charge, CPO vehicles typically come with an in-depth vehicle history report (such as a SureSale report!), roadside assistance programs, and more.

Cost Advantage to Purchasing a Used Vehicle

While we are biased towards CPO vehicles, used vehicles do have one major advantage. They are typically a lot less expensive than CPO. Car buyers must consider the benefits versus the extra cost and decide which option is best.

Certified pre-owned cars have been given substantial service and reconditioning, they carry superior warranties, and have undergone more thorough inspections, and therefore, provide car buyers more peace of mind.

Have confidence in your car-buying decision with a SureSale report!

At SureSale, we can’t stress the importance of having a thorough inspection and history report prior to purchasing a used or CPO vehicle or purchasing a vehicle from a SureSale dealer.

Just look for the SureSale logo on websites such as CarGurus,, and AutoTrader. If you’re at a dealership, simply look for a SureSale sticker on the car and scan the QR code to immediately view a SureSale vehicle quality report on your phone.