A certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle is a vehicle that someone else has owned and reviewed by the vehicle manufacturer and found to be in top condition. Due to the vehicle's condition, the manufacturer has decided to still stand behind the factory warranty for the vehicle.
Sold Through Franchised Dealers
Not just any dealership can sell a CPO vehicle. Only a franchised dealer can sell a one, and that vehicle has to be their brand. That means if you want to purchase a CPO Ford vehicle, you need to go to a Ford franchise dealership. Or if you want to buy an Audi CPO vehicle, you need to go to an Audi dealership.
If you want to purchase a CPO, you need to know what brand you want to work with and go to a franchise dealership that sells that brand. You can't purchase a CPO vehicle from any used-car dealership; you need to go to a franchised dealership.
Tend to Be Newer Vehicles
Many CPO vehicles are just a few years old; they tend to have low mileage. Each manufacturer has its own standards for the age and mileage a vehicle can qualify for their CPO program.
Often, CPO represents leased vehicles that people leased for a few years when the vehicle was old and then traded the vehicle in for another new lease. Many CPO vehicles are trade-ins as well.
Factory Warranty Vehicles
A CPO vehicle is different than a used vehicle in that it comes with a factory warranty. It will come with a limited powertrain warranty that covers the transmission, engine, and expensive mechanical components of the vehicle. This is a longer warranty that is designed to cover multiple years and thousands of miles.
It will also come with a limited bumper-to-bumper warranty designed to cover things such as the entertainment system and the air conditioning system. This warranty is generally shorter.
Although a CPO vehicle comes with a factory warranty, it is often a different warranty than you would have gotten should you have purchased the vehicle brand new. When the warrant starts depends upon that brand's program. Some CPO warranties start when you purchase the vehicle, and others start when the factory warranty that originally came with the vehicle ends.
If you want to save money but still purchase a new vehicle, buying a certified pre-owned vehicle is often a great way to go. You will get a newer, well-take care vehicle backed by a strong warranty at a fraction of the price of purchasing a brand-new car. Look for places that have the brand you want like a pre-owned Ford vehicle for sale.