Edmunds Answers



  • Stever@Edmunds 12/05/12 10:41 pm PST

    One thing you can do is go to the Used Cars tab above and appraise the cars you are interested in. After you plug in your zip code, options, color, etc. you'll see TMV numbers. Under them is a Certified Used Car price.

    That's the number you should try to beat.

    Certification is a bit of a joke I think. The manufacturers have a "100 point" inspection for the dealer, but you have to wonder what that really covers. Is checking the tire pressure one point or four? The inspection is probably much the same for any used car they put on the lot.

    Even though the car is "certified" you really should have your own mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection. Lots of stuff can slip through the cracks and the dealer will simply rely on the extended warranty to keep you happy. They won't be concerned with your hassle for having to take the car in to get fixed.

    Some people like having a manufacturer backed extended warranty (and you could probably buy one of those on any newer used car). About the only advantage to going the CPO route is that you may get loaner cars if you do have to take the car in for repair.

  • knowledgepower 12/06/12 10:46 am PST

    What the public doesn't understand is CPO vehilces do have a lot of money invested because manufacturers are tough on dealers as far as inspecting CPO vehicles. They actually charge dealers a fee on each vehicle and that was probably what that one dealer was discounting. The dealer has no room for giving on these vehicles. The average used vehicle on any lot has what may be left of a factory warranty versus a new warranty which sometimes is better than a new vehicle warranty. If the vehicle says 150 point inspection the manufacturer guarantees that has been done versus the sometimes false promise from some Used car dealer that only say it was done. On a CPO you will get what you pay for. I know this because as a Fleet Manager I was told by the current Used Car Manager that he wanted no part of CPO because he didn't want to pay the extra fee and have the vehicle go through the Service Department and be there longer for a stringent inspection. The old school method was to have a few things checked like safety items and a quick wash then put it on the lot. I knew quite a few mechanics at dealerships and I was there while they were inspecting CPO vehicles and they have to check AND repair any problems found .CPO is a good investment.

  • Stever@Edmunds 12/06/12 11:33 am PST

    And yet if you read the forums, people still post about problems they have with their CPO cars. And sometimes it's an issue that should have been found and fixed during the "stringent" inspection, like marginal brake pads.

    Maybe if dealers were uniformly good and reliable I'd be more inclined to agree with all your points.

    This article may help in the decision making process too:

    How to Buy a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle



Top Certified Used (CPO) Experts View More

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1. Stever@Edmunds 630
2. knowledgepower 220
3. MrShift@Edmunds 195
4. karjunkie 130
5. texases 115
6. morin2 80
7. boomchek 70