ATLANTA – For car shoppers seeking the peace of mind that comes with buying a new car but pricing that aligns closer with buying used, a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle is a great solution. CPO vehicles are used models that have been certified by the automaker after undergoing a rigorous inspection, carrying safeguards like additionalfactory-backed warranties and other advantages. With nearly every auto manufacturer offering a CPO program, it canbe difficult for consumers to know which brands offer the most benefits. Because not all CPO programs are createdequal, the experts at Autotrader recently evaluated all the CPO programs on the market and determined the automakerscurrently offering the Best CPO Programs in 2021 are Lexus (among luxury brands) and Kia (among non-luxury brands).
Different carmakers have different standards for their CPO programs, but most certified vehicles have lower mileage and are newer model years. Beyond extra factory-backed warranty coverage, CPO vehicles can offer various value-adds like special financing, 24-hour roadside assistance, free scheduled maintenance visits, free loaner cars during repairs, trip- interruption reimbursement and more. Although the details of warranties and other perks vary from brand to brand, the ideabehind every automaker’s CPO program remains the same: provide some additional protection and peace of mind.While buying CPO costs a little more, for many used-car buyers it is money well-spent.
“With used-car prices on the rise and new-car inventory scarce, right now it makes a lot of sense to consider a certified pre-owned car or truck,” said Brian Moody, executive editor for Autotrader. “Autotrader expects the prices of used cars toremain higher than usual for the remainder of 2021, so the gap between a typical used-vehicle price and a CPO price is narrowing. Shoppers can view these current market conditions as an advantage, as buying CPO includes several benefits above and beyond purchasing a non-certified used car.”
After evaluating each available CPO program currently on the market, Lexus and Kia emerged as the best among luxury and non-luxury brands, respectively.
Autotrader’s Best Certified Pre-Owned Luxury Program of 2021: Lexus L/Certified
Hitting all the high notes, Lexus L/Certified leads the way among luxury CPO programs due to the absence of a mileage cap for its added CPO warranty, in addition to the program’s other robust features. To qualify for Lexus L/Certified, a vehicle must be no more than six years old, have no more than 70,000 miles on the odometer, pass a factory-supervised 161-point inspection, and have a clean vehicle-history report.
L/Certified stands out for its CPO warranty adding two years with unlimited mileage coverage to whatever remains ofits original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty. That’s a total of six years/unlimited-mile limited bumper-to-bumper and powertrain coverage from the new-car purchase date. Other highlights of the Lexus L/Certified programinclude: 24- hour roadside assistance, loaner car covered during repairs, and trip-interruption allowance providingreimbursement for meals, a rental car ($50 per day for up to five days), and lodging (up to $200 per night for up to threenights).
Rounding out the perks are four scheduled-maintenance visits.
Autotrader’s Best Certified Pre-Owned Non-Luxury Program of 2021: Kia Certified Pre-Owned
After weighing all aspects of Kia’s CPO program, it rose to the top among non-luxury automakers in a very competitive marketplace. Kia’s stellar powertrain warranty and the fact that the CPO coverage is transferable gave the brand its leg- up on the competition to win this year’s honor. Kia’s CPO coverage can be transferred to another private owner for a $40 fee. For a used car or SUV to qualify for Kia’s CPO program, it must be no more than five years old, have no more than 60,000 miles on the odometer, pass a 173-point inspection, and have a clean vehicle-history report.
Kia’s CPO program stands out due to its industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. When a Kia model passes from its original owner, its powertrain warranty is reduced to five years/60,000 miles from the original new-car purchase date. However, Kia reinstates the original 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty for its CPO cars and SUVs. In addition, Kia provides its CPO vehicles with a one-year/12,000-mile limited bumper-to-bumper warranty beginning on the CPO sale date (requiring a $50 deductible for each covered repair). Along with the extra warranty coverage, Kia’s additional CPO program perks include: 24-hour roadside assistance, up to 10 days car-rental allowance of $35 per day for covered repairs, limited trip-interruption reimbursement of up to $500 for five days, and a three-month satellite radio subscription.
Autotrader identified the 2021 Best Luxury and Best Non-Luxury CPO Programs based on a series of factors, including powertrain warranty length, available inventory, bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage, special financing terms, highest volume and broadest possible spectrum of CPO vehicle types and price ranges currently listed for sale, and ease of understanding warranty overall.
For more information about buying CPO, including details about manufacturer CPO programs, up-to-date CPO vehicle listings for sale in your area and more, visit https://www.autotrader.com/car-shopping/best-certified-pre-owned- programs.