SANTA MONICA, California — Almost 90 percent of used-car shoppers would be willing to pay more for a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle, according to a new survey from Edmunds.com.
The survey of more than 2,000 adults found that 88 percent of respondents said that if they were going to buy a used car, they'd pay more for a certified model, with 37.8 percent willing to spend up to $1,000 extra and an additional 36.9 percent willing to spend up to $500 more.
"More and more shoppers are opening their eyes to the benefits of certified pre-owned vehicles," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds.com director of Industry Analysis. "These cars offer a unique value proposition to shoppers who want to pay used-car prices but demand the peace of mind that comes with a new-car purchase.
"And while CPO used to be associated only with expensive luxury brands, we've seen every mainstream brand get into the game in recent years. With more near-new cars coming off lease and making up a larger chunk of used car supply, shoppers can expect even more CPO vehicles on dealer lots in the coming months and years."
The definition of "certified" can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the term generally means that the vehicle has undergone a minimum 100-point inspection with any mechanical and cosmetic issues addressed.
Significantly, CPO models usually come with a factory-backed warranty and may also include benefits like low-rate financing, free maintenance and roadside assistant.
Although these perks are normally included in the price of the vehicle, Edmunds.com data shows that CPO models average about $1,400 more than similar non-certified vehicles.
According to the just-released Edmunds.com Q3 2015 Used Vehicle Market Report, certified pre-owned vehicles accounted for almost 22 percent of used-car purchases at franchised dealerships from July through September of this year. That is the largest CPO share of any third quarter on record, up from 18.4 percent for the same period in 2010.
Late last month, Edmunds.com ranked the automakers with the best CPO programs. Hyundai rated highest due, in part, to its 10-year powertrain warranty, followed by Kia, Lexus, Volvo, Honda and Mazda (tie), Porsche, Jaguar and Land Rover (tie) and Buick.
Edmunds says: Shoppers can easily compare manufacturers' CPO programs at the Edmunds.com Certified Cars Program Comparison page.