Tips for buying certified used cars

The used car market has often gotten an unjustified bad rap. When one thinks of used cars and the people that sell them, many times they get the idea that the seller some low life con artist. While it may be true that there are some unscrupulous used car dealers out there, the majority of used car dealers in Tampa do follow ethical practices. Nevertheless, laws and regulations have been put in place that disallow many of those unethical practices.

There are also programs and that have been developed by dealers and trade groups to help improve the image and quality of the industry. Mainly being the concept of certified used cars. Certified used cars are vehicles for sale by a car dealership that contain a warranty that is extended beyond the original warranty.

When the extended warranty is issued by the original maker of the vehicle it is deemed a factory certified used car. It is common practice for a factory certified used car to go through a rigorous inspection to ensure a certain level of quality. Auto makers participate in these programs because it shows potential buyers that they deal in vehicles that are well maintained and functionally sound. Obviously, this can give a consumer a sense of comfort when deciding to purchase a pre-owned vehicle. There are also certification programs that are offered by third party warranty companies. It is important for consumers to understand that there is a range of different programs that provide used car certification and they offer different levels of quality and assurance. With that being the case, consumers should follow these few steps beyond just looking for a certified pre-owned vehicle.

Many certification programs come with a vehicle warranty and some of them even offer maintenance plans along with the expanded inspection. You want to look into the warranty company you are affiliating yourself with to make sure it is a reputable one. There are many review websites that you can review to see what others are saying about their experience with that company. Find what their role in the industry is, the type of standards that they set for certified cars and how they monitor and enforce the standards that they set. You will also want to carefully read the fine print of the terms and conditions of your warranty. Look for length of the coverage, and make sure you receive a vehicle history report and a report on the details of the inspection.

Also, just as pricing for your used car is negotiable so are the terms of your certification. Service loaner cars, roadside assistance, maintenance discounts, rate breaks on financing, extended time on a warranty, parts/services included are on the table for you to request as part of your certification package.

The introduction of certification programs has really help to revitalize and improve the market for used cars in Tampa. These programs eliminate many of the problems that have plagued the used car industry in the past, while offering consumers reliable vehicles at a good price. With certified pre-owned vehicles, consumers benefit from an option with less risk and a greater value. provides a great tool that compares some of the main features of each of the manufacturer’s certified used car programs.

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