Almost 85 percent of respondents said they have considered or would consider purchasing a CPO vehicle, yet 57 percent said they didn't know the difference between a manufacturer and independent certified pre-owned program.
"There is an important distinction: a factory-certified vehicle is backed by the manufacturer and provides consumers with the option of servicing their vehicle at any of the franchise's dealerships," explained Edmunds.com Consumer Advice Editor Philip Reed. "We don't recommend dealer-certified cars because they typically offer a much more limited certification and no backing from the manufacturer."
Extended warranties, multipoint vehicle inspection, roadside assistance, and reconditioning are usually included in manufacturer CPO programs. Of the benefits provided by certified programs, almost two-thirds of survey respondents said the warranty is the most important, while nearly 20 percent said a thorough inspection was most important.
The premium for a CPO vehicle varies based on manufacturer and car type, averaging from around $500 for used subcompacts to as much as $3,000 for used premium sports cars. Thirty-one percent of respondents said they would pay up to $500 extra for a certified pre-owned vehicle and 12 percent said they would pay more than $1000 extra for a CPO. Almost one-fourth said they would not pay any additional amount for a CPO vehicle.
Edmunds.com automotive price guide provides consumers with average transaction prices for certified pre-owned vehicles. Edmunds.com True Market Value pricing calculations for CPO vehicles takes into account dealer inspection and reconditioning, dealer cost of certified warranty, and additional benefits provided by each manufacturer including roadside assistance and loaner vehicles.
"Certified sales are up 11 percent over last year and nearly 20 percent among some manufacturers as more consumers realize CPO vehicles provide a level of assurance and peace of mind that is hard to attain when purchasing a non-certified used vehicle," said Alex Rosten, manager of pricing and industry analysis at Edmunds.com. "Because our pricing methodology takes into account the differences in coverage and benefits between each certified pre-owned program, we can provide consumers with the most accurate pricing information available to help them negotiate their CPO purchases."