What is the Difference Between Used and Certified Pre-Owned?

Pre-Owned Vehicles


If you’re shopping for a used car, you might be wondering, “What’s the difference between pre-owned and certified pre-owned?” This is one of the most commonly asked questions at our dealership locations. Our sales and finance teams are always happy to answer. The truth is there are a lot of differences between CPO and used cars. Below, you can compare certified pre-owned vs. used vehicles and learn more about both types of models and what makes them unique. 



Used Car Buying: What to Keep in Mind 

Used cars are vehicles that’ve had previous owners. They also vary in terms of make, model, year, and more. Because there are so many differences in these factors, plus the fact that they’ve had previous owners, makes them less expensive than certified pre-owned vehicles. In fact, we offer a selection of used cars under $10k, so drivers near our locations can take advantage of our competitive prices. 

Regardless what sort of used car you want, be sure to keep the following advice in mind while shopping: 

  • Original Equipment Manufacturers don’t require that used cars pass an inspection prior to being sold. However, Anderson Automotive Group wants to ensure that our customers get the highest value. We hand-select our used cars for quality and always set prices according to current market values. 
  • If you notice any issues with the vehicle, don’t hesitate to bring them up to the seller. If you decide to purchase a used car, even if it has some issues, that’s your decision — just make sure you incorporate the estimated repair costs into your budget. 
  • Mileage is another area where used cars differ. Although it seems like common sense to avoid a used car with 100,000+ miles on its odometer, it’s possible for vehicles to last hundreds of thousands of miles with proper maintenance. 

Buying a CPO Car: What to Keep in Mind 

Like used cars, certified pre-owned vehicles have had previous owners. They’re not your standard used cars, though. CPO models are backed by manufacturer warranties and have passed comprehensive multi-point inspections completed by factory-certified technicians. They meet the requirements of the OEM’s CPO program. Here are some examples of the types of standards CPO vehicles are held to: 

  • The used car’s model year is within a few years of the current model year.
  • Generally, these models have fewer than 80,000 miles, sometimes up to 100,000 miles.
  • Passing a multi-point inspection with flying colors is a must. 
  • Extended warranties and/or limited powertrain warranties are included as part of the CPO package. 

Price is another factor that separates used vs. CPO vehicles. Certified pre-owned models tend to be more expensive than used cars. This is because they offer the benefits outlined above and tend to be late-model/low-mileage cars. 

Buy a Used Car With Anderson Automotive Group! 

If you’re ready to purchase a used car, whether it’s a standard used car or a CPO mode, Anderson Automotive Group is here to help you! From our multiple locations, we offer top-notch customer service and a wide selection of some of the best used cars in Arizona and California. Contact us online or call us at the Anderson location nearest to you to start shopping for the new-to-you car you truly want! 


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