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Informed Car Buying: "Certified Pre-Owned" vs "Used"?

Sensible Car Buying in a Down Economy

When it comes to purchasing a vehicle, many people prefer to buy used as opposed to new. The greatest depreciation occurs in a car’s first two years. By buying a used car, you’re allowing the original owner to incur the largest depreciation hit.

What is a “Certified Pre-Owned” Vehicle?

For many dealerships, “Certified Pre-Owned” or “Certified Used” vehicles feature warranties that extend beyond the initial coverage of the new auto warranty and are recognized by the original vehicle manufacturer. Before a vehicle can receive this distinction, the manufacturer conducts what is known as a “100 Point Inspection” to determine if the vehicle is worthy of the additional warranty coverage. If it is awarded “Certified” classification the additional warranty will take effect after the original warranty expires. Often, certified buyers enjoy many of the same dealership or manufacturer benefits that new auto buyers receive – in addition to a lower annual expense.

Used Vehicle with Warranty

Used vehicles that are not factory-certified are often sold with extended warranties or service contracts that were purchased at additional cost from a third party. Most extended service coverage products do not require the manufacturer’s inspection, nor do they have the same repair procedures that are performed routinely under a “Certified” program.

Generally, vehicles with a “Certified” authorization are more expensive than regular “Used” vehicles. However, the additional cost is seen as assurance from the dealer that the auto is a solid purchase.

Auto Buying Services Available to You

AutoSmart™ is the car buying tool developed by Credit union Direct Lending (CUDL) to help Credit Union members make informed car-buying choices and utilize their Credit Union financing options at dealerships. The pricing, service and financing benefits of AutoSmart come from the more than 20 million Credit Union members who bring the collective power of over 650 Credit Unions to 9,500 participating auto dealerships across the country.

Once you have made your decision, simply go to a CUDL-approved dealer, where your New, Used or Certified Pre-Owned vehicle purchase can be approved on the spot. All the paperwork is done at the dealership without you having to visit our branch – plus the added advantage of receiving the same rate and terms you would get from your Credit Union. Start your research now.

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  • New or Used Auto
  • New or Used Motorcycle
  • New or Used Recreational Vehicle

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