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Lincoln is often overlooked among luxury marques, but savvy shoppers know that a used Lincoln can be a lot of car for the money. Of course, any used-car shopper wants to know that the car they have an eye on has been properly cared for and maintained. That's where Lincoln's certified pre-owned (CPO) program comes in, so let's take a closer look at the benefits of buying a CPO Lincoln from your local dealer.

As Ford's luxury division, Lincoln subjects its potential CPO cars to a 200-point inspection versus Ford's 172-point regimen. That includes a full road test. Each vehicle's service history is also analyzed, and any required maintenance must be performed prior to certification. Moreover, a candidate for Lincoln CPO status must have less than 60,000 miles and six full years in service. Buyers are presented with a full vehicle history report.

We were a bit surprised to discover that the standard Lincoln CPO warranty covers the balance of six years/100,000 miles, as opposed to Ford's seven-year coverage. Buyers can, however, upgrade to the seven-year plan for a fee. It's also noteworthy that each CPO repair under warranty is subject to a $100 deductible. On the bright side, Lincoln provides 24-hour roadside assistance with financial support for rental cars and other inconveniences. Also, your first oil change after buying a CPO Lincoln is on the house.

Overall, Lincoln's CPO program isn't quite an industry leader, but there are more than enough benefits to put a buyer's mind at ease, particularly given the attractive resale values of late-model Lincolns.

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Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as Edmunds.com and DriverSide.com. He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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