Car Buying

Certified Pre-Owned Perks That Go Beyond the Warranty

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2015

If you're interested in buying a used car but worried about repair costs, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle, a recent used car that touts a manufacturer-backed warranty to help increase your peace of mind. But it isn't just the warranty that makes CPO programs so enticing: They also tend to offer additional perks and benefits that you can't get with a typical used car. We've rounded up a few of those benefits to help illustrate some of the advantages of a certified pre-owned vehicle.

Satellite Radio and Other Services

One perk that's typically associated with CPO programs is a free trial subscription to satellite radio. While a car must be equipped with a factory satellite radio system in order to offer this perk, many of today's vehicles are, meaning that you can usually get a few months of free satellite radio after you buy a CPO car. A standard used car, however, typically won't come with such a subscription.

Similarly, cars equipped with vehicle telematics systems, such as GM's OnStar system, or various subscription-based infotainment services often boast a free trial period if you purchase a CPO model.

Roadside Assistance

In addition to in-car services, most CPO programs offer 24-hour roadside assistance for the duration of your vehicle's warranty period. That means if you break down, you can rely on the automaker's CPO program to provide a tow to your local dealer for repairs. In some cases, CPO programs even boast trip interruption protection, which offers rental car reimbursement and other benefits if you happen to break down while you're on a driving trip.

Free Maintenance and Other Service Benefits

Although it isn't common, a few CPO programs also offer a free maintenance period after you buy the vehicle. The GM CPO program, for instance, touts two years or 24,000 miles of free maintenance that includes oil changes and tire rotations, while some other automakers, such as Lexus, offer one free oil change with their CPO program.

The service benefits don't stop there. In some cases, CPO warranties guarantee you a loaner car when your vehicle is in the shop for a covered repair, which means you won't be without a car even if yours is temporarily out of commission.

Lower Financing Rates

Another major perk of a CPO warranty is low financing rates. In many cases, automakers offer new car financing rates on CPO vehicles, giving you an extra incentive to choose a CPO model over a standard used car whose interest rates will almost certainly be higher. Of course, you'll have to qualify for the low rates in order for this to be a perk, but for drivers with good credit, this can help a CPO car equal out to the cost of a typical used vehicle.

Our Take

Although the primary benefit of a certified pre-owned program is undoubtedly the warranty that comes with it, there are many other advantages. Each perk helps CPO programs justify their additional cost compared to a typical used car.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Certified Pre-Owned Perks That Go Beyond the Warranty - Autotrader