Used vs. Certified Pre-Owned: What's the Difference?

Man Signing Documents for Car

Are you shopping for a new-to-you vehicle at a budget-friendly price in Northern Alabama? Then you’ve probably seen some used cars and some that are called certified pre-owned. What’s the difference between used and certified pre-owned (or CPO) vehicles? Greenway of the Shoals is here to outline the differences and help you decide which is the better choice: used or CPO

Why Buy a Used Car?

A used car has had at least one previous owner, but that’s really the only thing that defines it. Some used cars have been driven all over the country and others have stayed right here in The Shoals. Some are 10 or more years old while others are from the last couple of years. And you’ll see used cars with low-mileage as well as some with over 100,000 miles. 

Because they have a previous owner, though, a used car has depreciated — meaning that it’s often a more affordable option for a Florence or Sheffield driver than buying a new car

We’ve found that most of our used car shoppers are choosing to buy used because they:

  • Are searching for a vehicle that’s easier to fit into a budget
  • Plan on using the vehicle for work and don’t expect to keep it pristine
  • Are shopping for a model that’s no longer in production
  • Are looking for uncommon features that might not be available on newer models

If any of these sound like you, a used car might be the best choice. But if you’re looking for some of the benefits of buying a new car — like warranty coverage — you should consider a certified pre-owned vehicle.

Man Holding Key to Car

Why Buy a Certified Pre-Owned Car?

Certified pre-owned vehicles are part of a CPO program, which means that in order to be certified, the vehicle must meet strict standards set by the manufacturer. These standards will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but most require:

  • A recent model year (often within five years of the current model year)
  • Low mileage (generally less than 80,000 miles) 
  • A multi-point inspection and reconditioning process

These factors are usually on Northern Alabama drivers’ minds when shopping for a used car anyway, because they offer peace of mind that you’re making a smart investment. CPO vehicles offer more than peace of mind, though; CPO program benefits often include:

  • Extended bumper-to-bumper warranty
  • Extended powertrain warranty
  • Complimentary maintenance services
  • Unique financing offers
  • Detailed vehicle history reports
  • Promotional technology subscriptions like SiriusXM

Since certified used cars are typically newer models with less mileage, they’ll often have a higher price tag than typical used cars. However, CPO vehicles strike the balance between new and used, offering an affordable price and added value to Sheffield and Florence drivers. 

Woman Holding Key to Car

CPO vs. Used: You Decide at Greenway of the Shoals

Now that you know what the difference is between used and certified pre-owned, shop our selection below to find a used or CPO vehicle that’s right for you. Contact Greenway of the Shoals for more information or to schedule a test drive.

Used Cars for Sale

Certified Pre-Owned Cars for Sale

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