Having worked in the trenches of auto dealers, I would like to share with you what I told every pre-owned shopper that I’ve ever spoken to. “If I were going to purchase a pre-owned vehicle, I would make sure it is certified.”
This was not some salesperson’s ploy to charge customers more. Truth is, the cost of a certified vehicle opposed to a non-certified is not a significant difference, but there is the potential to be a major difference mechanically.
First, I think it is important to share with consumers the basics of certification–
Most certification programs come with multiple years (average of 7) and multiple miles (average of 100,000) of comprehensive coverage (from date of original ownership).
All certification programs require the vehicle to have passed a detailed, multi-point inspection to ensure all mechanical and electrical functions are in top shape.
Most certification programs require that the vehicle has passed a detailed vehicle history report with no damage beyond one panel.
Most certification programs carry with them a long-term Roadside assistance plan that is equal to the warranty.
Many certification programs offer special financing with their respective vehicles.
Now – What is the Benefit of Purchasing a Pre-Owned Certified Car or Truck as a Consumer?
Easy…peace of mind and protection. Once again, this is not a sales pitch, but from my time in dealerships, my loyal clients and I all found that a certified vehicle seemed to hold up better, be more reliable, and show up in service less than non-certified vehicles. (Now, please note – a vehicle can only be certified by its same brand new car dealer. Hence, a certified Honda can only be certified at a new car Honda dealership. New Toyota dealers can be the only ones to certify a Toyota. Etc.)
Just seeing the benefits/rules associated with most certified programs, you will see that the cost of ownership for a certified used car tends to be considerably less than most non-certified vehicles. And the added cost at the initial investment/purchase will rarely exceed the cost saved later from repairs. (Average cost to a dealer for certifying a vehicle is between $500 to $1,000).
What is the Benefit of Selling a Pre-Owned Certified Car or Truck as a Salesperson/Dealer?
Easy…peace of mind and protection. Same answer, isn’t that interesting? In my travels, I have always found that salespeople and service writers themselves feel much more secure offering a certified vehicle to consumers. In regard to sales staff, a certified vehicle does have a significant value over a non-certified vehicle and salespeople seem to be willing to ask for the extra money because of this obvious value. More money being asked, more gross profit.
Also, those dealers that actively register their certified used vehicles with the manufacturers regularly will tell you that it is often one of their strongest sources of OEM e-leads. Internet shoppers appear to actively search for certified vehicles from the manufacturer sites. The more selection you have of certified used vehicles from the factory site, the more likely you will be to accrue additional leads.
That being said, there are multiple reasons to buy and sell Certified Vehicles. I truly stand by my words when I educate customers of the importance of a certification program. Let it be known that I have assisted both family members and friends while buying cars and those that chose a ”used car” always ended up with a “certified” vehicle. I’d have it no other way…and neither should you.