Is it easy to find used cars by owner?
Buying a used car? If you are in the position of looking to purchase a vehicle by owner, there are several options available. Before you make a decision enter your ZIP code to compare car insurance online!
Why Buy a Used Car?
Many people prefer to buy a used car rather than a new vehicle. A used car or truck costs much less than a comparable new car, often carries lower insurance premiums, and comes with the depreciation already taken by someone else.
Certified Used Car
Until a relatively few years ago, car buyers had two choices when buying a used car. They could buy a used car from the owner, or they could buy a used car from a dealer. Now a third option exists, which is buying a certified used car.
Certified pre-owned cars, known as CPO’s, are used cars which meet certain criteria established by the manufacturer and are certified, either by the factory or by the dealer, as meeting certain standards of quality.
Is a Certified Used Car the Right Choice?
This depends on the person, the budget and the car or cars in question. There are both advantages and disadvantages to CPO’s. Understanding the pros and cons is essential to making a decision. Each person will make their own decision, but knowledge of the issues is critical to that decision.
Advantages of Used Cars
First, it is important to look at the positives of buying a certified pre-owned car.
- Certified used cars come with a factory-backed extended warranty. This warranty in itself is worth the cost to many car buyers. Many buyers make their decision to buy a certified vehicle primarily on the availability of a factory warranty.
- During the certification process, a vehicle is thoroughly inspected and any malfunctions repaired to meet certification criteria. Buying a certified vehicle can be seen as reassurance that the car will not break down in the near future.
- Many dealers offer buy-back or exchange programs, or both, on certified used vehicles. Unlike buying a new car or other used cars, these programs allow buyers to try out a vehicle and return it for a different vehicle or allow the dealer to buy the car back.
- Certified cars often have financial incentives attached, because they are more expensive than non-certified vehicles. These enticements may come in the form of cash incentives or reduced interest on financing. This financial assistance often serves to bring the payments more in line with a non-certified used car.
Many new cars feature roadside assistance provided by the manufacturer. Many certified pre-owned vehicles also feature this same level of roadside assistance. In addition to feeling that the car is in excellent mechanical shape, buyers have the assurance of knowing that the manufacturer will provide help in case of an emergency on the road.
Disadvantages of Certified Used Cars
Having looked at the advantages of buying a certified used car, now it is time to look at the disadvantages.
- Certified used cars cost less than new vehicles, but much more than used cars without the certification. In many cases, a certified used vehicle can cost thousands of dollars more than a similar pre-owned used car that is not certified. The primary reason many purchasers give for buying a certified pre-owned car is the factory warranty. It sometimes, if not often, makes more sense to purchase a used car and an extended warranty. The car and the extended warranty combined will probably cost considerably less than a certified used car of the same make and model with similar mileage.
- One major problem with certified pre-owned cars is that the definition of “certified” varies between manufacturers. Dealer certification may differ even from the manufacturer certification of the car in question. Always get the details of certification in writing before purchasing a car. Whether the certification comes from the manufacturer or the dealer, it should exclude any vehicle with structural or mechanical defects, salvaged vehicles or lemon law buy-backs, flood-damaged vehicles and vehicles with tampered odometers. Do not accept anything less in a certification.
- Understand that any vehicle, new, used or certified pre-owned, can develop a problem. Factory warranties on certified used cars cover many major repairs. It is best, though, to examine the fine print of the warranty before making a decision.
- Another difficulty with certified pre-owned cars is that they may be difficult to find. A buyer willing to compromise on certain issues may find a CPO just a few miles away. The purchaser who wants a certain make, model and color manufactured in a certain year may have more of a challenge finding a car. It is not unusual for buyers to have to drive a fair distance to buy a certified used car of their choosing.
- Certified used cars and traditional used cars both have advantages and disadvantages. No one can say, with certainty, that a certain buyer should or should not consider only certified pre-owned vehicles. What can be said, however, is that some buyers find the advantages of certified vehicles to outweigh the disadvantages. For other purchasers, the opposite is true.
Buying a car is a very personal decision which must be made by the person selecting a car. Certified pre-owned cars offer one very good alternative when purchasing a used car.
After you choose a car and before you purchase it, enter your ZIP code for online auto insurance comparisons!