10 Reasons I Bought a Certified Pre-Owned Car

Advice From Ten Satisfied CPO Buyers

When you're in the market for a used car you have a few options. You can buy a car from a private seller, a used car dealer, or like millions of Americans every year, you can buy a Certified Pre-Owned car, truck for SUV.

For many shoppers, the CPO option makes the most sense. Certified Pre-Owned cars, trucks and SUVs are offered by automakers on the very same dealer lots as their new cars. And these Certified Pre-Owned or CPO programs offer buyers a long list of advantages over the purchase of a new car or a used car from an individual or an independent used car lot.

Today most brands offer certified pre-owned programs, however, the concept was created by luxury automakers like Mercedes-Benz. Over the last few decades these programs have grown in popularity because they offer car consumers an extensive selection of nearly new cars, trucks and SUVs that have been inspected by the dealers mechanics who fix any mechanical issues with the vehicle. Plus, CPO vehicles also feature a warranty.

To learn more about Certified Pre-Owned vehicles and why they've become so popular, we interviewed a dozen satisfied CPO customers to find out why they chose a CPO vehicle.

They Only Offer Cars in Excellent Condition

"After doing some research online I realized that the certified pre-owned programs of major automakers screen their vehicles very carefully," says Todd, a salesman in Los Angeles. "They only offer low mile examples from recent model years so the cars are always in excellent condition. For instance, the Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned program, which I used to purchase my SUV, only accepts cars six years old or newer that have been driven less than 74,500 miles."

Clean Vehicle History Reports

"I liked the fact that the cars in CPO programs must have a clean vehicle history report to qualify," says Lauren, a working mom in New Jersey. "That basically means the cars have to be accident free. Cars that have been in accidents and have had major repairs are rejected."

"This was very important to me for my own peace of mind," she says. "My father told me that he once buying regretted buying a used car from a guy he didn't know. Although the car looked good with shiny new paint, it turned out it had been in a big accident. It had been repaired, but not all that well, and eventually my father started having problems with the car. Most certified pre-owned programs offer a free vehicle history report. Buyers should read it thoroughly."

A Comprehensive Inspection

"I don't know anything about cars, so buying a car from an individual was scary," says Antonio, a small business owner in Valencia, California. "I didn't want to end up with a lemon. But Certified Pre-Owned cars are inspected thoroughly. Before I bought my certified pre-owned Mercedes I read on their website that the program gives each car and SUV a comprehensive 165 point inspection that covers the entire vehicle, even its suspension, electronics, steering, engine and brakes. If the car passes the inspection, it gets a full service including an oil and filter change."

Extended Warranty Coverage

"For me it was the warranty," says Mike, a programmer in Austin, Texas. "That's why I chose to buy from a CPO program. When you buy a used car from an individual its warranty may have already expired. That seems pretty risky. But all certified pre-owned cars, trucks and SUVs come with a warranty. For instance, my Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes is covered by any remaining portion of the Mercedes-Benz four-year/50,000 mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Then, the CPO Limited Warranty provides comprehensive coverage for another 12 months with unlimited miles. This means the vehicle comes with up to 5 years of unlimited mileage coverage. That's pretty cool."

24-Hour Roadside Assistance

"We were buying a car for my daughter," says Donna, a mom in Massachusetts. "She had just gotten here license and it was going to be her first car. Safety was very important to me. That's why we bought a CPO vehicle. Most certified pre-owned programs include free 24-hour roadside assistance. Should something go wrong I know she won't be stuck on the side of the road. It's a wonderful security blanket.

Exceptional Value

"I'm in the car business," says Gunther. "So I know a thing or two about getting a good deal. Value is a huge benefit of certified pre-owned programs. Since they're sold at the same dealerships as new vehicles, buyers can benefit from monthly deals and special financing like low annual percentage rates. Over the term of your car loan, they can potentially save you thousands of dollars. Many dealers will also sweeten the deal with an offer of complimentary maintenance, including oil changes, tire rotations and inspections, for a predetermined amount of dealer visits over a certain amount of time. These perks can save you hundreds of dollars during the ownership of the vehicle."

More Affordable Than a New Car

"I was shopping new cars," says Julie, a waitress in Santa Monica, California. "But then I realized how much more car I could buy for the same money with the certified pre-owned program. Because CPO vehicles have already depreciated, they're far more affordable than an equivalent brand new car, truck or SUV. That means your money goes further and your budget may allow you to step up to a fancier car, maybe even a luxury brand, like Mercedes."

Easier to Shop CPO

"I just found that shopping for a CPO car was easier. Favorable deals are usually listed on any dealer's website along with its inventory of vehicles," says Phyllis, a stay at home mom in suburban Chicago. "Each listing has important information about each car and there are a ton of photos, including shots of its interior. After I found the car I wanted I even negotiated the deal over text and email. It was all pretty stress free."

Some Offer an Exchange Privilege

"I was having trouble deciding if I wanted a car or an SUV," says John, a young father in Las Vegas. "I didn't know what to do. Then I realized that the CPO programs of some automakers, including Mercedes-Benz, come with an exchange policy. Each CPO Mercedes car or SUV comes with a seven-day/500-mile Exchange Privilege. If you're not satisfied with the vehicle in that time, you can exchange it for another CPO vehicle of equal or greater value if you agree to pay any price difference. I chose a Mercedes C-Class sedan figuring if I didn't like it could bring it back and exchange it for an SUV. But I kept the car. I love it. It turned out that a car was right for me after all."

Peace of Mind

"I wasn't comfortable buying a used car from a stranger," says Martha, a retired bookkeeper in Santa Fe. "Who knows who you're dealing with on Craigslist? You hear these horror stories. It can be dangerous. And I don't mean you can get scammed, although that's possible too, I mean it can be physically dangerous. For me, buying a certified pre-owned vehicle from a reputable car dealer was just much less stressful."