09-26-19

What Does Certified Pre-Owned Mean? Pros, Cons, and Considerations

When you're finally ready to get a new car for yourself, it's kind of an exciting process. Everybody likes new things, right? However, there's a lot of controversies out there about whether you should be new, used, or certified pre-owned. 

If you're looking to save money, trying to get the best deal, or are on a limited budget, let's focus on certified pre-owned vehicles.

But what does certified pre-owned mean? Is it better than buying a regular used car? What's the difference?

Follow along for an in-depth guide at certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles, what they are, and all the pros and cons of buying one!

What Does Certified Pre-Owned Mean?

First, let's talk about the "certified pre-owned" title.

CPO vehicles are still used cars. However, in order to be tagged as a CPO, it must meet specific demands, go through a certifying process, and offer warranties to buyers. A vehicle can become certified pre-owned through the original manufacturer and/or dealership CPO programs.

Let's take a look.

Prerequisites

For a car to even be considered for the CPO program, it must be relatively new, typically no more than three to six years old. However, a six-year-old used car is more of an exception than the rule.

These cars also have few than 30,000 to 70,000 miles. Once again, the higher end of the spectrum is rare and CPO vehicles typically have much few miles on them.

Finally, there's a certain level of maintenance CPO cars must be subjected to in order to qualify. They must have been well-cared for and have a clean record, as well. Cars with a poor history won't qualify.

Refurbishment

What does certified pre-owned mean for quality?

Once a CPO contender has been approved, it must go through a mechanical and aesthetic refurbishment process. Here, the vehicles entire mechanical and electrical system will be examined, tuned up, etc.

Then, the vehicle gets a cosmetic treatment inside and out. This includes buffing out any small dents or scratches, fixing upholstery, removing stains, odors, etc. 

When all is said and done, a CPO vehicle is a spotlessly clean, like-new vehicle.

Costs

What does certified pre-owned mean for your budget?

When it comes to finances, choosing a CPO vehicle will help you find a happy middle-ground between cost and quality. CPOs are more expensive than typical used cars but less expensive than brand-new cars.

Certified pre-owned vehicles will also save you money (compared to new cars) with insurance, financing, and event registration.

Because the car is already a few years old, the worst of the depreciation of the vehicle has already happened. When you buy brand-new, it can lose up to 20% of its value in the first year.

Insurance companies are a business, their overall goal is to make money. Therefore, if you buy a brand-new $40,000 to $50,000 car, they've got a lot of fat in the fire to ensure you. This means your premium will be much higher.

Alternatively, a certified pre-owned vehicle will be cheaper for them to replace in the event it's totaled, which means your insurance premium will be less. It may not seem like a big deal, but $80 a month compared to $150 makes a big difference over a few years.

Finally, different states have different means of determining the cost of registration. Some states charge a flat rate, others by age of the car, some by weight, and others by value. Depending on your state, buying a brand new expensive car may end up costing you $400 to $600 a year to register!

Options

What does certified pre-owned mean for your options?

One of the best benefits of buying a certified pre-owned vehicle is that it presents you with more options. Assuming you are on any type of budget, buying a new car will limit your options significantly.

Say you have $25,000 to spend. You can buy a relatively low-end brand new car or a certified pre-owned luxury/loaded car that's a few years old. Sure, the technology will be older and you won't experience the "new car smell," but they make air fresheners that replicate it pretty well!

Alternatively, you can buy a brand new car for $25,000, but you won't be privy to all the bells and whistles that come with the loaded versions. This includes things like On-Star, Sirius radio, leather seats, high-def audio, entertainment units, sun/moon roof, better wheels, etc.

In the end, it depends on where you want your money going. Do you want a more basic brand new car or a CPO older car that's got more bells and whistles?

Warranties

What does certified pre-owned mean for your protection?

Next, you may be wondering about warranties and buyer-protection. After all, brand new cars come with manufacturer warranties and even dealership extended warranties to cover any issues with your car. What about CPOs?

One of the benefits over buying a certified pre-owned vs a used car is that it comes with all these warranties! However, in order to take full advantage of these warranties, make sure you fully understand what the terms of the policy are.

Some warranties begin once you buy the vehicle and cover a certain amount of time or added mileage. Others are based on a total mileage number or the total amount of time. It ultimately depends on who the certifying entity is, as does where you can have your car serviced under the warranty.

Knowledge

Finally, let's talk about the advantage of user experience. In terms of knowledge, buying a certified pre-owned car means you have thousands of reviews and testimonials from other owners. You can research any common problems, malfunctions, or complaints other drivers have had over the past few years about the exact model and year you're considering buying.

Brand new cars are great, but with a CPO, you'll know exactly what you're getting into.

What's Right for You?

What does certified pre-owned mean for your life?

Now that you have all the details about CPOs and the many benefits of owning one, do you think it would be the right choice for you? If you're curious, take a look at our inventory.

However, we also have uncertified used cars and brand new cars if you think you'd like to go in a different direction. Either way, we've got you covered. Contact us if you have any questions!

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09-12-19

Is It Better to Buy a New or Used Car?

In 2018, there were over 5 million cars sold in the U.S. And that number could get even higher this year. 

If you're one of those people who need a new car, you might be asking yourself this question: "Is it better to buy a new or used car?"

Unfortunately, there's no "one size fits all" answer to that question. That's why we've put together this guide to help you figure out what type of car is best for you. 

So let's get started!

What to Know When Buying a New Car 

There are pros and cons to buying both a brand new car and a used car. Here's what you need to know about buying new cars before you head to the dealership. 

Pros 

Buying a new car comes with a lot of benefits, one of which is the peace of mind that your new car will run how it should. Some of the other benefits include the following:

  • It's Easy 

It doesn't take a lot of work to buy a new car. You can walk into a dealership and find any type of car you want in almost any color. 

There's no need to worry about whether it's in good condition or not, and you don't have to take it to a mechanic to get it checked out.

  • You'll Get a Better Car

New cars have the latest safety features and technology upgrades. So when you buy a new car, there's no doubt that what you're getting is better than a used one.

  • You'll Have Better Financing Options

Dealers want you to buy new cars, so they incentivize you by setting up some great financing options. When you buy a new car, you can get loans with lower interest rates, meaning you'll save thousands of dollars. 

  • Warranties Are Available 

New cars have both manufacturer and dealer warranties attached to them. That means your car is protected against certain damages, should something go wrong. 

Cons 

As great as an easy shopping experience and updated safety features are, new cars come with their own set of disadvantages, too. Here are some of the most important you need to keep in mind. 

  • New Cars Lose Value... Fast 

A new car costs a lot more than a used car, and it depreciates right away. In fact, your car will lose about 25% of its value after the first year. In fact, the moment you drive your new car off the lot, its value will plummet by 11%. 

This might not seem like a big deal if you plan to keep the car for a long time, but it can make a big impact if you plan to trade in the car for a new one in a few years. 

  • It's More Expensive 

Obviously, buying a new car is much more expensive than buying a used car. Although you'll have better financing options, you also have to be willing to spend a lot more money on a new car. 

  • You'll Have Higher Insurance Rates 

Since a new car is worth more than a used car, you'll have to pay more to insure it. This is something that's easy to overlook when buying a new car, so it's important to think about your insurance before you buy a new car. 

What to Know When Buying a Used Car 

If you can't afford to buy a new car, there are still a lot of benefits to buying a used car. Depending on your circumstances, it might even be the better option. 

Pros 

Used cars take a little more effort to buy, but that effort can be worth it. Here are a few of the advantages of buying a used car. 

  • It'll Cost Less Money 

Any used car has already been driven a few thousand miles, been worn down with use, and maybe even a little banged up. Because of this, you can by a used car for a much cheaper price than a new car. If you don't have a big budget, shopping for used cars is a good way to save some cash. 

  • Used Cars Loes Value Less Quickly

Instead of losing value right away like a new car, a used car loses value much slower. So you can buy a used car and trade it in a few years later at close to the same value you bought it at. 

  • You'll Have Lower Car Insurance Rates 

Used cars aren't worth as much as new cars, so because of that, you will have lower insurance rates. This means you can save a bit of extra money if you choose to buy a used car. 

Cons 

Since another person has owned and driven any used car, there are a few downsides to buying a used car as well. If you're thinking about shopping for a new car, here's what you need to keep in mind. 

  • You Won't Get a Warranty 

In most cases, you won't have the option to get any type of warranty when you buy a used car. That means if anything happens to the car, you have to cover the expenses out of your own pocket. 

  • You'll Have a Limited Selection 

When you buy a used car, you won't have as much of a selection to choose from. You might have to settle for a model or color you don't love. 

  • You Have to Know What to Look For

You have to be careful when you buy a used car, especially if you buy it from a private seller. You have to know what to look for to ensure you drive away with a car that's in good condition. 

And if you don't know what to look for, you might end up with a car that doesn't run as promised. 

Is It Better to Buy a New or Used Car?

It depends. 

If you have a tight budget, it might be a good idea to buy a used car. But if you want a car with the most advanced safety features and technologies, you should buy a new car. 

You also have to consider your preference. Do you want a new car? If you want a new car and you can afford it, you should buy a new car instead of a used one. 

Getting Ready to Buy a New-to-You Car 

So is it better to buy a new or used car?

It all comes down to your preference and your budget. Buying a used car is better for some people, but buying a new car is the right choice for others.

Are you ready to buy your new car?

Contact us today to explore our inventory and financing options! 

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08-02-19

Smart Trier, Smart Buyer: How to Get the Most Out of a Test Drive

New car sales in the US are through the roof right now.

For instance, well over 17 million vehicles were sold in 2018 alone. Clearly, countless people around the country are splashing out for a new set of wheels.

However, choosing the right car is no easy feat.

It has to look and feel right! One person’s ideal vehicle is another’s worst nightmare. Equally, they’re never cheap. You sure as hell want to know it’s going to be worth the money.

Taking a test drive is one sure-fire way of making your mind up. There’s no replacement for actually getting behind the wheel and taking it for a spin.

That said, there are certain things to do to maximize the usefulness of it. After all, it can be hard to make a solid judgment from a single drive. Looking to get the most out of your next test drive?

Keep reading for 7 tips to help you do exactly that.

1. Research First and Book an Appointment

There are a couple of things to think about in terms of organizing the test drive itself.

First off, you want to research the vehicles you’re interested in buying.

This helps you narrow down the list of cars you actually want to try out. It’s about knowing what you want in advance. The drive itself is all about clarifying the decision.  

Likewise, you can guarantee the dealer is going to do all they can to persuade you to buy. They’ll say and do whatever possible to twist your arm. Arming yourself with knowledge protects you from any unscrupulous sales tactics.

Be sure to book your appointment with the dealer too. They’re busy people and their lots of packed full. Booking in advance saves both time and disappointment. Booking multiple test drives (aka in a few different cars) back to back is also a good idea.

It helps you compare the experiences. The last one is still fresh in your memory.

2. Inspect the Vehicle

Okay, let’s skip forward a bit.

You’re now at the dealership, ready to start the drive itself.

First thing’s first though, take your time to inspect the car. Give it a good looking over on the inside and outside. The photos may have been misleading. Think about the color, space inside, the features and gizmos…take stock of anything in terms of function and aesthetics that’s important to you.

For instance, the car may drive great. But if it looks awful, in a color you detest, then it isn’t the ideal vehicle for you.

3. Think Practically

It’s easy to get carried away at the show-room.

After all, you don’t want to waste anyone’s time, and you desperately want a new car. The temptation is to rush through the entire experience. Have you ever read a page of a book, only to realize you didn’t take any of it in? You have to start over.

The same can happen in a test drive. However, there may be no second chance.

When you’re satisfied with the visual audit, get into the vehicle. But before driving away, take a moment. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself:

  1. How easy was it to get into and out of?
  2. How’s the legroom? Is there enough space?
  3. Does the seat feel comfortable?
  4. Are the buttons and control intuitive to understand?
  5. Is the car ergonomic, and well-designed?
  6. Can you see out properly, or is your vision impaired by obstructive pillars and blind spots?    

4. Test Drive as You’ll Actually Drive

Now it’s on to the fun stuff: the drive itself.

This is when you really get to know if the car is right for you.

Unfortunately, test drives are often too tame to really reveal anything. The dealer takes you around the block and back to the lot. It isn’t enough.

Make it clear you want to actually test the car. Get it out onto the open road. Remember, you want to know it’ll match up to the driving you normally do. That means being able to put the foot down. Find out how the acceleration is, how it handles, how the gear-changes feel, and so on.

Similarly, it’s one thing braking at 20mph in a residential neighborhood. It’s another to brake from 70mph on a highway. You want to know it works!

5. Pay Attention to Your Senses

There’s a lot going on when you test drive a car.

After all, it’s a new vehicle that you aren’t used to. You definitely don’t want to damage it in any way! At the same time, you’re trying to get a proper feel for it. Oftentimes, it’s easy to walk away and find it's a total blur in your memory.

Try and attend to the sensory experiences when you’re in it.

Listen out for sounds. How quiet is the drive? Is there a lot of road noise? Are there any strange sounds? What about touch? Does the suspension feel good? How responsive is the car to your actions? Let go of the wheel. Does it drift to one side?

All of these points should help you see the car for what it actually is.

6. Check Everything Works Inside

Chances are, the car will have a bunch of technology in it.

You want to make sure it’s all fully operational.

Test the radio, the GPS, the apps, the Bluetooth, rear camera and so on. Ask the dealer to give you a run-through of everything and validate that it’s all operational.

7. Take Some Time

Here’s a final tip:

After the drive, don’t rush to make a purchase.

Again, the salesperson is going to try and convince you to buy it immediately. Resist the temptation, even if you loved it.

Take at least an evening to reflect on the drive. Stop, think back, and take stock. And organize another test drive of a different car to compare notes!   

Time to Take a Test Drive

There you have it: the top tips for getting the most out of a test drive.

Millions of new cars are bought in the US each year. However, the decision to buy one isn’t necessarily an easy one to make. You want to make sure it’s right for you.

The best way to do that is by taking a test drive. Hopefully, this post has highlighted exactly how to make your trial behind the wheel as useful as possible.

Are you ready for a new car and want to set up a test drive? Contact us today to see how we can help!

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07-03-19

9 Reasons to Buy a Used Car

Thinking about buying a car?

Wondering what the advantages of buying a used car are?

While you may be tempted to go out and buy a brand new shiny vehicle when it's time to get a new ride, it's best to weigh your options carefully first. Getting a used car comes with a lot of advantages over buying a brand new one, and for some people, it's the best choice overall.

If you're wondering whether you should buy a used vehicle, look no further. Below we'll tell you about the top advantages of buying a used car instead of a brand new one.

1. Lower Prices

One of the best reasons to get a used car instead of a new one is that it is much more affordable. Even buying a car with less than 10,000 miles on it will be much cheaper than buying a brand new vehicle.

Additionally, because it will be much cheaper you may be able to get more for the money you spend as well. You may be able to take a more luxurious and fully featured used car home with the same amount of money you would be spending on an entry-level new vehicle.

By opting for a used or certified pre-owned car instead, you may be able to get a little more bang for your buck.

2. New Cars Lose Value

In addition to new cars being more expensive, they may also be a poor choice because their value goes down quickly, even as soon as you drive the car off the lot. Within just 3 years, a new car's value may depreciate by as much as 50%.

A used car's value, on the other hand, won't change nearly as fast. The car is already used, and so the value won't go down as much as a new car's value would. Because of this, you'll be able to easily sell a used car in a few years if you decide you want to make another change or upgrade, without losing nearly as much money on your purchase.

3. More Style Options

A limited amount of vehicles roll out each year, and if you don't like their features then you're out of luck if you're buying a brand new car. Buying a used car will give you access to many more types of vehicles from the past few years, making it more likely you'll be able to find a car that is perfect for your needs.

You'll have to do your due diligence to make sure a used car is still roadworthy, but if you find one that is reliable, you'll have a lot more options available. When buying new cars, on the other hand, you may have a harder time finding what you're looking for.

4. Registration Fees Are Cheaper

In addition to saving on the purchase price of a used car, you'll also be happy to learn that registration fees can be quite a bit cheaper as well. While states differ how they handle registration fees, many states will base the registration charge on how old or new your car is.

Used cars are able to bypass some of the higher fees that new cars get and as a result, you'll be able to save even money when buying a used car. In addition to the upfront savings of buying a used car, you'll also be able to save on registration fees as well.

5. Insurance Costs Are Lower

There are many factors that can influence the cost of car insurance, and one of these is the car's age. In addition to registration fees being cheaper, insurance costs will also be lower when you buy a used car instead of a new one.

When it comes to insurance rates, owning a brand new car is just about as bad as it gets. Your insurance company will have to help pay if there is any damage to your car, so if you own a brand new vehicle, they'll predict that the value is much higher than a used one.

As a result, getting a used car can save you quite a bit when it comes to insurance costs, which can definitely add up over time.

6. Certified Pre-Owned is an Option

Many people who buy a new car because they believe any used car will be unreliable and will quickly break down after weeks or months. Luckily, that's not the case and there are many reliable used cars out there to be found.

Cars that are certified pre-owned are particularly attractive options for car buyers. These vehicles are often in great shape and also come with extended warranties, great financing options, and other advantages.

You may want to consider buying a certified pre-owned vehicle if you want to experience the best of both worlds since these vehicles come with a lot of the advantages that both used and new cars have to offer.

7. More Resources Are Available

Whether you buy a new car or a used car, problems will come up from time to time. The great thing about buying a used car is that chances are there will be a lot more information available about common issues and concerns.

If you experience any vehicle problems or issues, chances are that people with the same vehicle as you will be discussing it online. A Nissan car, for example, will be easy to find information on if you have a problem or a question about your vehicle.

These extra resources can be a great help as a vehicle owner, but some of these resources may not be available for the newest car models.

8. You'll Have the Car's Full History

Another great thing about buying a used car is that you'll be able to easily find out about its history. You'll easily be able to get a report on a vehicle and will be able to see exactly what it has been through in the past.

While a brand new car won't have any history to speak of, if you're on the fence about buying a used car, it can be comforting to know that you'll have access to extended information about it. When you consider how much information you'll get on a used vehicle, buying a used car becomes a more attractive option than you may have initially thought.

9. Used Cars Last

Despite what some may believe, used cars last much longer than they used to. If you expect that a used car will break down on you months after buying you couldn't be more mistaken. Especially if you buy a used car that is only a few years old, you may not notice much difference in its life compared to a brand new car.

Used cars from the past few years can be surprisingly reliable. However, if you consider the substantial price difference along with its similar reliability, you'll see why a used car can be such a great option.

Understanding the Advantages of Buying a Used Car

While there are more advantages of buying a used car besides the ones mentioned above, these are some of the top things you need to consider when making a purchase. After considering the benefits above you may be starting to realize the many benefits of buying a used car instead of a brand new one.

Looking for the perfect used car for you? Click here to start browsing our used car inventory now.

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