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Certified Pre-Owned Cars: A Reality Check

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 9,975
edited May 2017 in Editorial
Certified pre-owned (CPO) cars are popular with buyers who want to minimize the risk of buying a used car. They also can typically get more car for their money with a CPO vehicle than they can with a new car.

To be a CPO car, a vehicle needs to meet specific age and mileage requirements. It then must go through a thorough inspection at the dealership. If a car passes, it gets an extended limited warranty and will carry a higher price than a non-CPO model. Many people feel comfortable in paying that premium, though, because of the peace of mind a CPO program gives them.

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Comments

  • danish170danish170 Posts: 0
    edited January 2015
    The certified pre owned cars facility is really very good and very much helpful for the normal people that they can afford more CPO cars with their existing money rather than new car. So, it is really going to be a favor for the new people. Here, I want to share some of my experience regarding cars like after having a car we have to maintain our cer else we have to face large number of problems. So, we have to maintain our cars like, we have to service it after particular kilometers of run and also we have to repair our cars from good repair centers whenever required to get better performance from it and for our cars smoother running. I have given below a link for good repair center. .
  • I would never buy a CPO car again. The checklist is great but if the item fails don't expect the integrity of the dealership (Joe Myers Ford) to adhere to the requirements.

    I'm still working with Ford but even after opening a case I'm told Ford can not enforce the dealership to do the right thing.
  • rch1945rch1945 Posts: 1
    In 2010 I purchased a Toyota Certified Used Car from Jim Bishop Toyota in Tuscumbia, AL. Everything has been great until I tried to trade the vehicle today and found out it had been wrecked in 2008. The Toyota Certified Used Car information states that 1 of the 160 point inspection is a CarFax history. I was never give the CarFax and stupidly assumed that if it had been wrecked Toyota would have to advise you. Wrong again! I know there is probably nothing going to be done by Toyota and certainly not by the dealership but would like your suggestion as to who would be best to contact about this situation. Thank you.
  • After going to 3 different non-lexus dealer only to find the cars they were selling had in fact been wrecked, I decided I was going only to purchase CPO vehicle from an actual Lexus dealer. I purchased my CPO LS460 from Woodfield Lexus in Chicago. I flew up from Orlando, they picked me up at the airport, all was nice and well. There was a major chip in the paint in the front, I asked the salesman who explained they could not repair it, because in doing so they would not have been able to certify the vehicle. Ok. At least I figured they were honest. I drove my car home happy. However, when I took it in to a body shop to inquire about getting the chip fixed, I was told the reason it was chipped, was that the front end had been damaged and "bondo" had been used to repair it so the paint was not adhering to the bondo. The body shop actually said it would have been an easy fix. The plastic on the front bumper was the only thing damaged, and could have easily been replaced. Still $1800.00 for a car I had owned for 3 weeks!! So I did some research. Clean carfax.....However, when I found that the car had actually originally been sold on lease at Miami Lexus I was able to find the entire dealer history. Which included repair of front end, right there in the vehicle history. The work was actually done by Miami Lexus. I took it to my local dealer to have them repair it, since the "bondo" job was done by an actual Lexus dealer, I figured the work must be warrantied. Only to find out all Lexus dealers are individually owned and are not in any way obligated to repair anything, even if it is under warranty. Lexus of Orlando, where I live told me I needed contact Woodfield Lexus in Chicago where I bought it. I called them, they told me I needed to contact Lexus of Miami who had done the work. I called them, they told me I needed to take it to the dealer nearest where I live and have it serviced. Needless to say...CPO means nothing and no one will take the extra step and assume responsibility! In my eyes...Lexus is Lexus, I don't know who owns each dealer and I don't care. A company is a company and it's their product and whatever was done, by any one of their dealerships is the companies responsibility, they can sort out the money amongst themselves. Not in this "NO CAN DO" society! Customer service and loyalty no longer exist!
  • edmundshoyaedmundshoya Posts: 51
    Interesting. Curious how the carfax was clean but then you found additional repair history. How did you obtain that additional info? Thanks!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited May 2015
    At first glance, it sounds like the Miami dealer did the work "off the books" so that there wouldn't be any reason to report the damage to Carfax or AutoCheck. Whether that was intentional or not is another question....

    Have you opened up a case with Lexus corporate and asked for an investigation and explanation?
  • ae1606ae1606 Posts: 7
    Warning to consumers: BMW has thrown in the towel on their vehicles as credible long-term products. Go to this link from their website http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Content/CPO/Warranty.aspx , look about half way down to "See what is not covered for CPO vehicles retailed on or after 1/1/2014". The "not covered" list includes things like door locks, sunroof, electronics, bushings, struts, tie-rods, headlights, door handles, water leaks (not a joke), mounts (as in transmission and engine mounts, not a joke), light bulbs, interior dashboards (not a joke) and on and on. If your dash-board goes dark and it's not covered, what's the point behind "CPO" again? Seems kind of important. What's worse, BMW used to sell policies for $1,500-$3,000 allowing you to upgrade their CPO "warranty" effectively to bumper-to-bumper coverage. They no longer do this. Some dealers try and get around it by working with third party insurers but the prices are staggering and that's because these are PRECISELY the things that often fail on BMWs inside 60k-70k miles. I've owned 5 BMWs, have LOVED driving them, love the cars but have had chronic quality problems with all but one of them. Wonderful cars to drive but the changes to the CPO warranty and the lack of supplemental policies seems to be a clear flag that declining BMW quality makes these vehicles more toys for enjoyment rather than also being reliable vehicles for transportation.
  • carpersocarperso Posts: 148
    There is a 2014 kia optima with less than 10k miles at a local audi dealership. It is used however not certified. I asked the sales guy why it wasnt certified, and he told me that the car can only be certified by a kia dealership. The group that owns the audi dealership also owns a kia dealership across the road. The car is listed under blue book value. I was wondering why they couldnt transfer it to the kia dealership and certify it and sell it for more. I checked out the car and didnt find anything too wrong with. But then i am not a pro at these things. Also the car used to be owned by the sales manager at the groups VW dealership who traded that in for a new audi. Carfax seems clean. Is the sales guy telling the truth that they cannot transfer the car back to the kia and certify it?
  • Carfax is not accurate alone, it gets information at different timess. You have to use the other ones as well
  • I'm in a situation where I might be able to get a pre-owned car from a Kia dealership but the problem is I don't want a pre-owned KIA. Is there anyway I can get a pre-owned car that isn't certified by said dealer and get it certified elsewhere. Carfax costs too much for not giving enough information.

    I don't have a choice. I mean it's better than getting a used car from a non-new car dealership.
  • carboy21carboy21 Posts: 760
    CPO is better then Carmax and other used car dealers who buy cars from an auction. Atleast the CPO is usually a leased return vehicle with known service records from the same dealer.
  • hondalover1979hondalover1979 Posts: 3
    edited August 2016
    Hello there. Love your website. Question for you. I'm wanting to buy a Honda 16 civic sedan with 1,500 miles, , that is "autonation certified" rather than honda certified. I was worried about this from the geto go, and the dealer said its only for 2 months of coverage, as compared to the EXTRA YEAR on the honda cert warrant. So my question to you is
    1. would you buy it without the honda cert warranty with only 1,500 miles?
    2. They are saying I have to buy that official HONDA certification.
    3. Is this them just trying to find ways to make more off the deal???
    4. Is it reasonable for me to demand they pay for it??
    5. Does the honda certification add value?

    HELP!!!
    No negotiations have happend yet, only submitted my credit app. THanks.
    Chris in Jax, Florida
    [Email removed]
  • PS it is an AUTONATION HONDA DEALER
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I wouldn't buy a non-manufacturer warranty.

    If AutoNation is giving it to you for "free", then that's okay. But the price is probably buried in there somewhere. You can check that by using our What's My Car Worth tool.

    Another option is to wait until you are close to the expiration of the factory warranty and then think about buying a Honda Care® extended warranty.

  • thank you I appreciate it a lot
  • grlfirefighter - Unfortunately, "Lexus is Lexus, I don't know who owns each dealer and I don't care. A company is a company " is incredibly flawed. That would be like saying you got a hamburger at McDonalds and return it to Burger King because a "Hamburger is a Hamburger". Two lexus stores are totally different companies. Each one buys lexus' to resell them to people like you, but they have no connection to eachother. a "Lexus" car is a product, like a hamburger, but the dealership is its own company unrelated to Lexus.

    This is why I only buy from good dealers I trust and would never farm around for the "best price" between different states. That way even a "new car" warranty works is that the dealership does the work and then calls up the company that made the car and said "Can you reimburse me for this repair since it was a problem with what you built"?

    Buyers need to be aware that a "A company" is not "a company", when its not the actual company that you are dealing with. When you go to a Lexus dealership, that is not "Lexus" you are dealing with, its an independent company selling Lexus products, just like Home Depot selling Whirlpool washers. That doesn't mean Home Depot IS Whirlpool.

    I hope you learned from your experience and others can as well, that a used car is a used car no matter where you buy it from. A "Brand" does not have bearing on the dealership or the treating of a used car, and thats why you need to trust the dealership selling to you. If you can't trust the dealership, you shouldn't buy it.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 93,651
    arachnyd said:

    grlfirefighter - Unfortunately, "Lexus is Lexus, I don't know who owns each dealer and I don't care. A company is a company " is incredibly flawed. That would be like saying you got a hamburger at McDonalds and return it to Burger King because a "Hamburger is a Hamburger". Two lexus stores are totally different companies. Each one buys lexus' to resell them to people like you, but they have no connection to eachother. a "Lexus" car is a product, like a hamburger, but the dealership is its own company unrelated to Lexus.

    This is why I only buy from good dealers I trust and would never farm around for the "best price" between different states. That way even a "new car" warranty works is that the dealership does the work and then calls up the company that made the car and said "Can you reimburse me for this repair since it was a problem with what you built"?

    Buyers need to be aware that a "A company" is not "a company", when its not the actual company that you are dealing with. When you go to a Lexus dealership, that is not "Lexus" you are dealing with, its an independent company selling Lexus products, just like Home Depot selling Whirlpool washers. That doesn't mean Home Depot IS Whirlpool.

    I hope you learned from your experience and others can as well, that a used car is a used car no matter where you buy it from. A "Brand" does not have bearing on the dealership or the treating of a used car, and thats why you need to trust the dealership selling to you. If you can't trust the dealership, you shouldn't buy it.

    You do realize that you're responding to a post that's almost two years old? :wink:

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


    MODERATOR

    2016 VW Jetta 1.4T SE / 2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    And unlike Home Depot that has 1,000s of brands, Lexus only offers CPO cars through their franchised dealer network. A lot of dealers just pay lip service to the checklist though and when something is overlooked or ignored, the issue should be escalated to Lexus so they can get the problem fixed and the offending dealer retrained. The customer should be able to get satisfaction from any Lexus dealer when that happens. Otherwise, why even bother buying a car backed by manufacturer's CPO program?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Best contact Audi customer service and complain since you didn't get what you paid for.
  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 5,180
    Back in the day a car like this was stripped down and never found. :smile:

    2016 BMW X-5 35i, 2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2012 MB ML350

  • tomm444tomm444 Posts: 3
    I bought a CPO -RDX Acura from an Acura dealer in the past 30 days. I have two questions which I hope you can help me with. 1). After purchasing the car, I read where there is a takata air bag recall on it. It states ' incomplete ' on Acura's site and on any site I check. I called the dealership and Acura and they both told me the recall was completed. HOWEVER, they said they can not change the status on the Vin# to show ' completed ' !?? It has been 3 weeks now and it still shows ' incomplete ' . I asked both the dealership and Acura if they will send me a letter stating that it was done and both said they could not send me a letter. They expect me to just believe them I guess. How poor is that. Stressed out here. What should I do? Who can help me? I am scared to drive the car ... .... 2). As for the CPO 12 months/ 12k mile extended warranty. Does that take affect from the day I bought it OR does the additional 12/12 start from the date when the car was first sold/ dated, which was 8/2014 and I was told it was a lease car. .... I bought the car with 30K miles just a month ago on 4/29/2017. Please advise. Thank you very much.
  • tomm444tomm444 Posts: 3
    ALSO ^^^^... I was never given a CarFax report from the Dealership when I bought my RDX either. I thought Acura CPO purchases should include one. Would that not have had my recall info on it. They said the recall was done/ completed on 4/13/2017. ... Again I bought the car on 4/29/2017. It is now 5/22/2017, and I have no answers / or conclusion to this ordeal. ..... Please advise. AGAIN, Thanks
  • tomm444tomm444 Posts: 3
    The RDX I bought was a 2015 tech ... ^^^^ ( sorry, I forgot to give you the year I bought )
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 62,876
    Well they must be getting that completion date from somewhere--so maybe go visit the dealer and ask to at least look at what document or computer screen they are getting their info from. It's plausible they haven't corrected the records yet, but whoever told you 4/13 must have the info in front of them. Tell them you just want some peace of mind here.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

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  • I purchased a Certified Pre-Owned 2015 Z4 on June 12,2017. The dealer assured me the CPO cars go through a rigorous vehicle inspection. Today June 24th,2017 I discovered the engine air filter was FILTHY and the filter compartment loaded with debris. A blind technician could never pass this car for inspection. Did they really inspect anything? I contacted BMW corporate and they basically said they won't do anything; according to BMW website all CPO cars are thoroughly and rigorously inspected. Very unhappy with BMW . No wonder people don't trust car dealers.
    Be careful when buying a CPO car.
  • Buyer beware, according to GM, it is normal for the door panels on their cars to come off with less than 35K miles to the tune of $500 (Maybe I should feel lucky it’s a two door so only one more to fall off!). This was after taking it as far as 'they' would let me to the Customer Careless manager who although he initially agreed with me then said even though I did not cause the problem it was not a defect for my 2014 Camaro door panel to start falling off so it was wear and tear (the only exclusion that would get them out of this). GM should be ashamed calling this 'normal'!
  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 5,180

    Buyer beware, according to GM, it is normal for the door panels on their cars to come off with less than 35K miles to the tune of $500 (Maybe I should feel lucky it’s a two door so only one more to fall off!). This was after taking it as far as 'they' would let me to the Customer Careless manager who although he initially agreed with me then said even though I did not cause the problem it was not a defect for my 2014 Camaro door panel to start falling off so it was wear and tear (the only exclusion that would get them out of this). GM should be ashamed calling this 'normal'!

    American cars have gotten so much better these past 10 years but I noticed a lot GM models especially lower end still have cheap materials and parts inside the cabin.

    You know the old saying .............you get what u pay for

    2016 BMW X-5 35i, 2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2012 MB ML350

  • jarkjark Posts: 80
    Found a Nissan 370Z that has 1100 miles on it. Story is, somebody bought it and returned it a month later cause he wanted an automatic. Car is pristine. But it is being sold as used without a certified warranty. Is this a red flag? I know these cars are driven hard and that’s what I’m concerned for. But if i asked them to certify the car, will that void the existing new car warranty on it? Thanks.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 93,651
    jark said:

    Found a Nissan 370Z that has 1100 miles on it. Story is, somebody bought it and returned it a month later cause he wanted an automatic. Car is pristine. But it is being sold as used without a certified warranty. Is this a red flag? I know these cars are driven hard and that’s what I’m concerned for. But if i asked them to certify the car, will that void the existing new car warranty on it? Thanks.

    If it's been registered, it can only be sold as a used car. Not sure if the new car warranty can be transferred.

    I, too, would be concerned that it's not being offered as CPO, with only 1100 miles on it.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


    MODERATOR

    2016 VW Jetta 1.4T SE / 2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

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