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Certified Pre-Owned Sales Post Best Q3 Performance, Edmunds Reports

December 14, 2015

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The number of consumers willing to pay a premium to own a certified pre-owned vehicle is growing, according to an Certified pre-owned cars accounted for 22% of used-car purchases at franchise dealerships from July through September, the largest used-car market share of any third quarter.

These already all-time high sales numbers are expected to grow through the holiday season and in the coming year, Edmunds analysts expect. In the last seven of eight years, certified pre-owned vehicles have performed the best during the December month. Last December, certified pre-owned vehicles made up an estimated 24% of franchise used cars sold, according to Edmunds.

“More and more shoppers are opening their eyes to the benefits of certified pre-owned vehicles,” said Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis at “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.”

What it takes to be classified as a certified pre-owned vehicle can vary across manufacturers, but most certified pre-owned vehicles have undergone a minimum 100-point inspection for mechanical and body issues and are also generally accompanied by a manufacturer-backed warranty, according to Edmunds. Certified pre-owned vehicles may also include free maintenance, 24/7 roadside assistance and low APR financing, but they also generally come with a higher price tag.

About 37.8% of potential certified pre-owned shoppers said they would be willing to pay up to a $1,000 premium for the benefits that come with a certified pre-owned vehicle, while 36.9% said they would be willing to pay up to $500 more, according to the Edmunds survey. On average, Edmunds estimates that certified pre-owned vehicles cost $1,400 more than similar non-certified pre-owned vehicles.

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