What is the Difference Between Used and Certified Pre-Owned?

2020 Dodge Charger Pair

Certified pre-owned vehicles are a special category of used cars that come with special benefits for San Diego drivers. So, what is the difference between certified pre-owned and used vehicles in our inventory at Jack Powell Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram? While used cars will typically cost less, CPO vehicles can’t exceed limits for mileage and age, and must pass a strict multi-point inspection. If you’re not sure which is right for you, keep reading for a comparison of certified pre-owned vs. used vehicle benefits from Jack Powell Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

What to Know About Buying a Used Car

The biggest difference between certified pre-owned and used vehicles is that there are fewer restrictions for used cars, which may vary widely in terms of age, mileage, and number of previous owners. As a result, you’ll find considerably lower prices for these vehicles than CPO vehicles — and used cars priced under $15,000 can be a great deal for drivers who do a modest amount of driving within Carlsbad.

While a car with north of 100,000 miles on the odometer may sound like a risk to some drivers, the truth is that many vehicles can be driven 200,000 miles or more with the proper maintenance. Still, it’s important to consider your driving needs and do your research before you decide between a certified pre-owned vs. used vehicle. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Dealerships aren’t required by the OEM to inspect non-CPO used vehicles. That’s why choosing a certified dealership in the San Marcos area could be crucial! At Jack Powell Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, we inspect all used vehicles for safety and quality, not just CPO models. If you’d like to acquire a vehicle through a private sale, be sure to schedule a test drive and inspection before making an offer.
  • Ask for the vehicle’s maintenance records to see if the previous owner or owners kept up with manufacturer-recommended services. You’ll also want to know about any persistent problems, or if the vehicle has ever been involved in a collision. If you decide to purchase it anyway, you may be able to leverage the cost of repairs for a lower price.
  • On a tight budget? A well-maintained, high-mileage used car can be a great choice!

What to Know About Buying a CPO Car

When you compare certified pre-owned vs. used requirements, it’s clear that earning a CPO designation is no small feat for a used car. To be designated as certified pre-owned, these vehicles must pass a thorough inspection from a factory-trained technician at a certified dealership. Every manufacturer has its own certified pre-owned program, which lays out the requirements and benefits of buying CPO. For instance, all CPO Jeep vehicles must:

  • Have fewer than 75,000 miles on the odometer
  • Be less than five years old
  • Pass a 125-point inspection

One of the biggest benefits of buying CPO (and a major difference between certified vs. used) is the warranty coverage. For its CPO models, Jeep provides a 3-month/3,000-mile additional bumper-to-bumper limited warranty that kicks in when the original 3-year/36,000-mile original new-car warranty expires.

Compare Certified vs. Used Vehicles With a Test Drive at Jack Powell Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram 

Now that you know more about the difference between certified pre-owned and used vehicles, check them out in person at our dealership in Escondido, San Diego! Whether you’ve got your eye on a classic used RAM pickup or a like-new CPO Jeep SUV, you’ll find a great price with our current pre-owned vehicle specials. Contact us to schedule your test drive today!


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