Is a certified used car right for you?

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From brand to color to features, used car shoppers have a number of decisions to make. Several years ago, manufacturers gave consumers one more choice: Buy a traditional used car or invest in a certified pre-owned vehicle?

Certified pre-owned cars are vehicles that the manufacturer has tested and reconditioned to make sure the vehicle still meets the original requirements set by that manufacturer. This review, before you are able to buy the pre-owned vehicle from a dealer, gives you better assurance that you’re purchasing something that will work as if you purchased it brand new. Each auto company has its own set of requirements, so if you’re interested in certified used cars, review the standards set by the manufacturer of the vehicle you’re interested in prior to your purchase.

For example, manufacturers will often provide you with a vehicle history report and roadside assistance, along with the vehicle inspection. But some will offer extra benefits like Lexus’s complimentary car washes and concierge service and Ford’s limited warranty of 500-plus components. These extras can provide you with assurance that your used-car purchase is going to be worth the money you spent.

Used cars without certification tend to be less expensive, and the selection is much bigger. That’s because you can purchase a used vehicle from your neighbor, online or even from a dealer. If the car isn’t certified, it’s a good idea before you purchase to have a trusted mechanic review the vehicle. You might also be able to buy an extended warranty – especially if you purchase through a dealer. Used cars also don’t come with the vehicle history report, so you’ll want to invest in that prior to your purchase to make sure the vehicle hasn’t been involved in a crash or damaged in some way.

Other factors that can help you narrow down your vehicle search further include: the price you’re willing to pay, what kind of highway miles the car gets per gallon of gasoline, the size of the vehicle and additional safety features that come with the vehicle.

Having these questions answered before heading out to purchase a new vehicle can help you save time and energy. As you do your research, visit for more information.