When shopping for a car or truck, you'll typically have to sift through a lot of marketing lingo to determine whether a vehicle fits your needs and preferences. One such example is it's not uncommon for dealerships to mark a vehicle as "Dealer Certified", which many people mistakenly assumes means the car or truck is a "Certified Pre-Owned" vehicle. While these terms refer to the same thing, they are vastly different. Here's what you need to know about this issue.
Certified Pre-Owned vs. Dealer Certified
Both "Certified Pre-Owned" (CPO) and "Dealer Certified" refer to the practice of evaluating a used vehicle and certifying it meets certain level of quality. The purpose of both programs is to increase buyer confidence by confirming the vehicle doesn't have any significant problems that may require repair shortly after the person buys it.
However, the major difference between these two programs is that "Dealer Certified" means the vehicle underwent the dealer's inspection program, while "Certified Pre-Owned" means the vehicle was subjected to the manufacturer's inspection protocol.
It's important to understand this difference, because the dealer and the manufacturer may (and often do) have differing ideas on what is an acceptable level of quality. For instance, to be eligible for the Ford Certified Pre-Owned program, a used vehicle must pass a 172-point inspection program. If the dealer's program only requires used vehicles to pass a 100-point inspection, some issues may be missed or overlooked, which can result in you getting a car that may not work as well as you expected.
It should be noted, though, that some dealers go above and beyond the manufacturer's CPO program. In this case, a "Dealer Certified" vehicle may be better than the CPO because the dealer's cars may undergo a more rigorous inspection, thus significantly reducing the risk of getting a lemon.
Certified Pre-Owned or Dealer Certified?
Of course, this issue begs the question of whether you should opt for a CPO or a "Dealer Certified" vehicle. The answer lies in which one you trust more: the manufacturer or the dealership? As noted previously, sometimes the manufacturer will have higher quality expectations and sometimes the dealer will. Thus, it's a good idea to research the reputation of both to determine whose inspection program is more likely to result in you getting a good quality car or truck.
For more information about CPOs or "Dealer Certified" vehicles or assistance with finding the car or truck that's right for you, contact a local dealership, like SZ Motor Cars.