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Used Cars vs. Certified Pre-Owned Cars: What are the Real Differences?

Thursday, August 09, 2018By Richard Alexander

If you are considering purchasing a certified pre-owned (CPO) car or used car, understanding the differences between these two categories can be confusing. Buyers may be particularly concerned about value and safety standards when purchasing cars that are not brand new. CPO cars cost more than used cars but a manufacturer’s warranty, thorough inspection and better safety features may make the price worth it. Below is discussion of the differences between the two types of cars and how you should evaluate these distinctions when making your purchase.

Certified Pre-Owned Cars

CPOs generally have lower mileage than used cars. They also have fewer defects and do not require as many repairs as used cars. Most importantly, manufacturers offer extended warranties to CPO car buyers. These cars are inspected for defects and reconditioned to upgrade the vehicle to almost new condition. Buyers typically have access to additional services such as roadside assistance coverage. They also undergo a complete vehicle history report before they are certified as pre-owned. A vehicle must pass all these tests in order to qualify for certification.

Used Cars

While used cars will save you money, buyers need to take additional precautions to ensure that they are making a wise choice. Used car buyers must obtain a vehicle history report and a complete inspection by an independent mechanic to evaluate the condition of the car.

How Recalls Affect CPO and Used Cars

If you pay a premium for a CPO car, you might assume you are buying a car that is not subject to any open recalls. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a ruling that may allow certified cars to be sold even if they are subject to an unrepaired recall. In December, 2016, the FTC informed General Motors and two dealers that it can market used cars as certified vehicles even though they were equipped with airbags under recall. The FTC said that the dealer must simply disclose to buyers that a recall is in effect. Used car dealers had long been subject to criticism for selling cars that were affected by recalls and remained unrepaired. The ruling is also in contradiction with the requirements of the NHTSA, which has advocated that used car dealers repair recalls before selling the vehicles. This has muddied the waters for those in the market for CPO vehicles who view safety as a top priority. One plaintiff successfully challenged a used car company for the sale of a used car subject to a recall, but car buyers may not want to rely on litigation to redress a defective vehicle.

If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.

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