Opting for the Certified Car

If you’re in the market for a new car, trips to a dealership or two will likely dominate your weekends until you find the perfect car for you. If your wish list includes a late model used car, you might see the word “certified” plastered on certain cars in the dealership while you’re browsing. What exactly does this mean, you might ask, and does the certification process represent value to the consumer?

Certified vehicles are carried by dealerships that deal in certain makes of cars. A Honda dealership will likely only have certified Hondas, a Toyota dealership will have certified Toyotas and so on. The certification means that the vehicle has gone through a rigorous inspection process before being listed for sale at the dealership. The inspection covers the entire car including operational checks, underhood checks, road tests, equipment operation, powertrain and braking performance and so much more. Most certification inspections include 125 items or more on the checklist. Certified vehicles must also typically be, at most, five years old, have under 75,000 miles on the engine, have a clean title and a clean CarFax report.

Any issues that are uncovered during the multi-point inspection are repaired and addressed to meet like-new condition. These certified cars also come with an extended warranty backed by the manufacturer of the vehicle. The duration of the warranty offered differs from one manufacturer to another.

Certified cars are a pretty good option in terms of buying a used car. Choosing one of these vehicles gives you the peace of mind of buying brand new, but the savings of of buying pre owned. However, certification does increase the sticker price on the vehicle. As a buyer, you can opt to have any problems taken care of before you purchase the car, and pay extra for it. Or, you can opt to save money on the sticker price of the vehicle, and privately address any problems the car might have with your own mechanic, at a potentially cheaper rate than the manufacturer extends via the certification process. You can learn more about certified cars, and shop the certified inventory of dealerships in your area all in one place online at

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