What is the Difference Between Used and Certified Pre-Owned?

for sale sign on car windshield 

If you're looking to find a great vehicle at an ultra-competitive rate, shopping pre-owned is the place to start. Once you become familiar with the used car market, you may begin to notice a selection of certified pre-owned (CPO) models. What is the difference between used and certified pre-owned? While both are technically used, they vary quite a bit in terms of mileage, condition, and more.

Understanding the difference between certified pre-owned and used can make car shopping much easier, which is why the financiers here at Serra Volvo Cars of Traverse City have put together this insightful car-buying guide. Below, you'll have the opportunity to compare used vs. certified pre-owned and learn a bit more about the Certified by Volvo program!

Certified Pre-Owned vs. Used: Tips for Shopping Used

As you likely already know, used cars have had at least one previous owner, and can vary widely in terms of make, model, year, mileage, and more. Due to these ranging factors, you often see that used cars are more affordable when comparing certified pre-owned vs. used.

Along with price, used cars range quite a bit in regards to mileage. In the past, high-mileage models were seen as a risk. Today, that's no longer the case! Modern automotive care technology keeps vehicles in great condition, meaning vehicles with a strong service history are often reliable for well over 100,000 miles. Regardless of what type of pre-owned model you're searching for, keep the following in mind as you shop:

  • OEMs don't require an inspection on standard used cars before a sale. That said, Serra Volvo Cars of Traverse City offers a high-quality selection of used vehicles that are hand-selected and inspected by our team.
  • If you spot any issues while inspecting a used vehicle you intend to purchase, bring them up right away! If you still plan to buy, negotiate for the cost of the repairs to be included in the sale price. 
  • With routine care, many vehicles can safely travel upwards of 200,000 miles. This is important to keep in mind when considering discounted pre-owned models.

Certified Pre-Owned vs. Used: Tips for Shopping CPO

When comparing used vs. certified pre-owned, the biggest difference between certified pre-owned and used is undoubtedly the quality. CPO models are held to strict standards, regardless of the OEM. This is especially true for Volvo. In order to become a Volvo Certified model, a pre-owned Volvo must:

  • Pass a 130-point inspection
  • Be newer than five model years old
  • Have fewer than 80,000 miles on the odometer
  • Come with a clean vehicle history report
  • And more!

CPO models offer the best of both worlds when it comes to savings and quality. Since they are technically used, CPO models can be bought at a steep discount. To that same end, the CPO certification ensures that a Certified Volvo offers a higher level of quality than what you might expect from a typical used vehicle. 

Shop for Pre-Owned Vehicles Near Garfield Township! 

Now that you can answer the question "What is the difference between used and certified pre-owned?", you're ready to find your pre-owned ride! Our team is standing by to help you compare used vs. certified pre-owned on our lot to ensure you find the right vehicle for your budget and lifestyle. Of course, if you're still looking for more clarity on the difference between certified pre-owned and used, you're more than welcome to reach out to our team for a consultation. We can't wait to help you improve your commute from Interlochen to Kalkaska!