Items Checked to Certify Pre-Owned Cars

Buying a pre-owned car is a reasonable means to acquire a vehicle that feels new at an affordable price. The vehicles sold under the certified pre-owned program need to have met certain minimum standards. They are typically inspected in a process that is meant to make sure the highest possible quality and standard age conditions.

Different programs will check for different things when it comes to second hand utes for sale. However, all inspections are meant to extend the warranty of a vehicle. In most cases, they will cover short-term road assistance, satellite radio subscriptions for short periods, and other services based on a subscription that will not cost the owner an extra dollar. They also review and may provide a report of the history of the car and let the buyer give a vehicle for another thing as long as it meets certain conditions. During the inspection, the following items are checked:

Paperwork and records

For a car to be considered into a certified pre-owned (CPO) review, it must be for trading-in and without a lease. Sometimes rental vehicles may be included in the bracket, but this is not always the case. Any car that is being considered certified must first receive background checks. The auto maker may look at the history of the vehicle and its records for maintenance. Here, they are looking to establish whether the car was in a crash, recovered after a theft, damaged in a flood, or purchased from the first owner by the manufacturer. A vehicle must pass this inspection first before going on to the next stage.


The vehicle will need to be checked by a mechanic who in most cases will first take the car for a spin. After the test drive, they will note any potential problems and inspect the transmission, braking, suspension, engine, and steering. They will also check other car components to see if there is any repair needed. They will then record the findings alongside an estimate of the cost for making the mechanical repairs. If there are too many flaws or the prices are too high, the car will be rejected. Vehicles that move to the next stage will be repaired to look like they did when they were new. The mechanic will balance wheels, align suspension, change fluids, and make sure that the drive is smooth.


The CPO process will also look at all the systems in the vehicle. Everything, from the lighting, instrumentation systems, to safety and infotainment systems, must work for a car to qualify. Dealerships must also make sure that the vehicle has all the original documentation and manuals together with the two sets of keys.


man checking car

Finally, the vehicle must undergo an exterior and interior assessment to make any repairs to its appearance. A car will need to not only feel new but also look the part. The vehicle will be detailed professionally before it goes on sale.

The specific things the dealership technician inspects may vary with the auto maker. However, all inspections will zoom in on the items mentioned above. The process is meant to give you the best trucks, cars, and SUVs for your money.

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