What Are Certified Used Cars?


Quick Answer

Certified used, or pre-owned, cars are inspected and reconditioned by dealerships, which then certify them as sound and sell them with warranties. Consumers should be careful when purchasing vehicles labeled "certified," as some sellers may use the term despite not properly reconditioning vehicles, or when offering them with service contracts.

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Full Answer

While certification programs differ between manufacturers, most require that cars be 5 years old or newer, and have less than 60,000 or 70,000 miles, as of 2015. Warranty terms also differ between manufacturers, with some starting coverage from the original date of purchase and others from the date a dealer sold the certified car. Consumers should ask sellers the history of certified used vehicles to ensure they were inspected and reconditioned, and to verify the warranty terms.

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