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If you’re looking at possible vehicles to upgrade your ride, have you considered looking at used cars? Whether it’s just regular pre owned or certified pre owned vehicles, buying used cars can save you a lot of money in the long run. But what are some of the benefits of buying used, what should you look at in your next vehicle and is it worth the extra cost to buy certified pre-owned? We’ll help you answer all these questions and more.
Let’s start by taking a look at some of the benefits you’ll realize when purchasing used cars, used trucks or used SUVs. To start, they cost less! Car value depreciates, often dropping in value by up to 50% in its first three years of life, while paying higher insurance, sales tax and often times registration. For all the perks, you’ll pay a lot for them, whether it’s lower financing, warranties or free maintenance service.
You can get a lot more for your money when you buy used trucks and used SUVs. Instead of buying a base model new, you can enjoy a premium trim of the same vehicle that’s only a few years older. But what about a warranty? If you buy a certified pre owned vehicle, you can receive a warranty as well as a vehicle that’s been gone over carefully. Even most used vehicles can have a warranty added to them by third-party vendors.
Used cars also offer a lot more variety than the usual 350 new models offered annually in the U.S. If you want a car that is no longer in production, a great used vehicle may be the approach to take. What’s more, there’s a lot more data to back up your purchase decision for vehicles that have been on the road a while, allowing you to avoid those exploding tires or terrible transmissions. Aftermarket communities make it simple to figure out how to handle basic repairs and maintenance, saving you even more money.
Speaking of data, that information is used in a range of ways to improve your chances of buying a great used vehicle. Vehicle history reports allow you to avoid the risk of buying a salvage vehicle. Data used in vehicle testing is why we no longer have vehicles with 5-digit odometers, because cars last a lot longer, often into multiple hundreds of thousands of miles.
Now that you understand the benefits of buying used, what kind of vehicle do you need? Start by considering what you didn’t like about your last vehicle. Does it not have enough interior space? What about storage? Maybe you’ve got three kids fighting over two cupholders in the backseat. Not enough power to get you out of bad weather conditions? Whatever your reason, start by considering what you want to change in your next vehicle.
Next, consider any changes in your life that should impact your decision. Have you recently gone all-remote with work and are planning on buying a travel trailer to see the country? You’ll need to step up to a tow vehicle, typically used trucks or used SUVs. Serious illness or aging parents in the family requiring a lot of travel in the foreseeable future? Consider an economical hybrid to get the most out of your gas purchases. Adding to your own family? Change that coupe out for a sedan or crossover.
Planning a move in the near future? You may not need all-wheel drive in the desert, but you certainly will in the mountains. Like to go mountain biking with friends on the weekends? Look for something with a receiver hitch already installed for hauling your other wheels. Want to move out to a hobby farm? Get a light-duty truck to be able to handle those feed sacks and hay bales. By taking the time to figure out what features and tasks you’ll need to have, you can hone in on the perfect vehicle for you.
What are Certified Pre Owned Vehicles?
Certified pre owned (CPO) vehicles are late-model used trucks, SUVs or cars that have had a thorough reconditioning and inspection process. This allows them to have a factory-backed limited warranty. Dealerships will often sell CPO vehicles to provide reliable vehicles at a more reasonable price than new. They often include new-car benefits such as maintenance, roadside assistance and loaner car access.
Typically, cars that qualify are returned leased vehicles or newer trade-in vehicles that meet specific requirements, such as being within a certain number of years old, having under a certain number of miles on the odometer, have an issue-free vehicle history report and a clean title. If a used vehicle is accepted into the program, a factory-trained technician will perform an extensive inspection to ensure it meets or exceeds the program requirements. Any parts that are problematic or worn are replaced or repaired to bring the vehicle as close as possible to as-new condition.
The vehicle is then available for sale under the terms of the certified pre owned program, with a range of additional benefits typically including a warranty and low-interest financing rates. You’ll typically see higher prices because of this work that has been performed, but it’s usually only about 5-7% higher than similar used cars on the market, with luxury vehicles running slightly higher, though the price is negotiable.
When it comes to used SUVs, Jeep is a great brand to consider. Whether you want a small pre owned Jeep Compass, a classic Wrangler, Cherokee or Grand Cherokee, a free-spirited Renegade or a new to you Gladiator, you’ll find plenty of options to take you off road and across the trails. Nothing tames the wilderness like Jeep. Jeep’s certified pre owned program adds 3,000 miles and 3 months onto the end of the factory bumper-to-bumper warranty, as well as an additional two-year extension on the factory powertrain warranty for a total of 7 years, 100,000 miles of coverage. It does have a $100 deductible, but is transferable and has special financing rates.
From solid muscle cars like a used Dodge Charger or Challenger that get your blood pumping and the road moving under you and the solid horsepower you can expect from the Durango SUV to a more sedate, family-friendly minivan like the Grand Caravan or the fun to drive Journey crossover, you’re sure to find a pre owned vehicle that fits your needs at Dodge. The Dodge certified pre owned program adds two years to the 5-year limit on the powertrain warranty, though it still retains the hard ceiling of 100,000 miles, and adds 3,000 miles/3 months to the bumper to bumper warranty when it expires or the day of your purchase. The warranty is fully transferable, and you’ll receive 24-hour roadside assistance, a three month satellite radio trial and a $35/day allowance for a rental car for up to five days when your vehicle is in the shop. However, you will pay a $100 deductible for those repairs.
When nothing but a tough truck or van will do, many people turn to Ram for the best options available. From a comfortable but capable 1500, available in a wide range of trims from simple to sumptuous, to the top of the line customizable heavy-duty used Ram trucks to the Promaster line of professional-grade vans, you’ll find some solidly capable vehicles to help you get it done. When you’re looking at used trucks, Ram’s certified pre owned program may catch your attention. It adds two years to the existing 100,000 mile/5 year warranty, as well as a 3,000 mile/3 month bumper to bumper warranty that starts the day you buy the truck or when the original bumper to bumper warranty ends. It is fully transferable and features some great interest rates on occasion, though you will have to pay a $100 deductible for any warranty repairs.
Whether you’re looking for used sedans like the Chrysler 300 or prefer to go the minivan route with the Pacifica or Voyager, you’ll find outstanding attention to detail and luxurious features and finishes in Chrysler’s used vehicle lineup. These vehicles are the top of the line for the Chrysler brands, delivering quality and value with extra touches that make your daily commute a little less ordinary and a little more extraordinary. Much like the other Chrysler brands, you can expect Chryslers’ certified pre owned program to extend the 100,000 mile/5 year powertrain warranty to 7 years while adding 3,000 miles/3 months to the bumper to bumper warranty. You’ll also find a fully transferable program, which is handy if you’re planning on upgrading in upcoming years, and they do offer some good interest rates on a regular basis, though the $100 deductible for warranty repairs will still apply.