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Think CPO when buying your next used car

Posted by on Aug. 3, 2010 at 3:09 PM
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You see it all the time-advertising that says a dealers cars are "certified pre-owned".  But what exactly does that mean?

A CPO vehicle is one that has gone through a testing process to assure that it has no major problems with its operation.  Unlike a regular used car, the CPO program provides some assurances that when you purchase the vehicle, you should have no problems once you drive off the lot.  At a minimum, the program should include inspection, repair and guarantees.

 Are all CPO programs alike?

Yes and no.  Most will cover the basics, but don't assume because a dealership advertises that their cars have been inspected or that they have a pre-owned program, that the process was thorough.  If you want to take advantage of this new product in the used car industry, you will need to be prepared to ask the right questions!

3 questions to ask your dealer about their CPO program

You write down the questions you want to ask your doctor, right?  Then you should take your questions in to the dealer before you sign on the dotted line for this major investment.

1.      What is covered in your multi-point inspection?

Ask to see the specific check-list that their mechanics use.  If things like air conditioning and electrical systems are not included, you may not be getting the coverage you deserve.  Do they take it on a road test?  Do they inspect and repair wearable items like brakes and provide an oil change? 

2.      What are the specifics of your warranty coverage?

For example, Motor Trend Certified Advantage Vehicles come with the backing of EasyCare.  Their plans cover the cost to repair or replace covered parts that fail after the manufacturers' warranty expires.  All plans come with 24/7 Roadside Assistance, Rental Car Reimbursement, and Towing Reimbursement. Both StatedCare and TotalCare also feature free Wheel & Tire Road Hazard Coverage and Trip Interruption Expense Reimbursement. Learn more at

3.      Do you include a vehicle history report?

Make sure you get the history report and read through it carefully.  Remember that just because it there a lots of entries on the report is not always a bad thing; it could mean that the former owner was careful about getting regular service/oil changes at his dealership.

A CPO program can be a great advantage to you when purchasing your next used vehicle-if you know the right questions to ask.


by on Aug. 3, 2010 at 3:09 PM
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