What is the Difference Between Used & Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles?

2020 Kia Optima SX


As you’re searching for your next vehicle upgrade, you’ll come across pre-owned models and certified pre-owned models. What’s the difference between used and certified pre-owned cars? While these terms are commonly used interchangeably, there are important distinctions between both. One of the major distinctions between the two is that certified pre-owned vehicles are put through a stringent inspection and must meet a certain set of requirements outlined by the OEM. On the other hand, used cars aren’t held up to quite so rigorous standards. Read on to learn more about used vs. CPO vehicles with Kia of Muncie to decide which option is best for you. 

Used vs. CPO: What to Know When Buying a Used Car

Used cars have been previously owned by another driver and can vary greatly in make, model, model year, and more. Because of these variances, and the fact that they’ve been owned by someone else, used vehicles are more affordable than new and CPO vehicles. If you’re shopping on a tight budget, you’ll be pleased to know that we offer vehicles under $12K!

Another area where used vehicles vary is mileage. While some Anderson shoppers may shy away from a car with over 100,000 miles, thanks to advancements in automotive technology, many vehicles can last for hundreds of thousands of miles (when properly maintained). Additional details to keep in mind when buying used include:

  • While OEMs don’t require that used cars be inspected before sale, here at Kia of Muncie, we ensure that only high-quality vehicles are driven off of our lot. That being said, you should be cautious when purchasing a vehicle from a private seller as they usually don’t have the reputation of a well-established dealership in the Fishers area. 
  • You should always bring any issues you notice to the attention of the dealership of a private seller. If you intend to purchase the car, even though it has a few problems, that is 100% your choice. However, you’ll just need to factor in money for the repairs into your budget. 

Used vs. CPO: What to Know When Buying Certified Pre-Owned

Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles have had previous owners, but they aren’t the standard used car. CPO models are thoroughly inspected, protected by manufacturer warranties, and have passed a rigorous inspection completed by a certified technician. They’re top-of-the-line used vehicles and only models that meet the OEM’s CPO program requirements will earn the title. For example, the requirements for a Kia CPO model include the following:

  • Model year is within five years of the current model year 
  • Vehicle has less than 60,000 miles 
  • 10-Year/100,000 Mile Limited Powertrain Warranty *
  • 1-Year/12,000 Mile Comprehensive Platinum Coverage **
  • 165-Point Inspection
  • Reimbursement coverage for covered repairs 

Certified used cars are typically newer models and they have less mileage. While they’re usually more expensive than a used car, they’re still a more affordable option than a new car. If you’re looking to upgrade your commute with a vehicle that’s more recent and updated features, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned model.

Shop for Pre-Owned Vehicles at Kia of Muncie

Now that you know the difference between used and certified pre-owned vehicles, shop for your budget-friendly model at Kia of Muncie. Browse our inventory online, or stop by the dealership in Muncie to experience your top choices in person. Contact us today if you have any additional questions!

*The Kia CPO 10-year/100,000-mile limited warranty program begins on the original in-service date of vehicle and odometer mile “0.” The limited warranty program includes the remainder of roadside assistance, powertrain coverage and the New Vehicle Limited Warranty (Basic). See retailer for details. 

**Platinum Coverage begins on the vehicle purchase date and odometer reading on purchase date. Platinum Coverage is limited; for exact coverages, exclusions and limitations, please review CPO contract or see retailer for details.

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