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Study: Certified pre-owned vehicles confusing for buyers

Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:41:13 AM

Affordable auto financing opens up doors to buy a number of different vehicle makes and types, including new options and certified pre-owned ones.

However, the latter is often a point of confusion for buyers, according to a recent study by Many people don't understand the individual aspects of CPO programs, and the number of buyers who want to pay a premium for these vehicles has declined. Even so, interest is on the rise for these options compared to used.

"While it is good to see that consideration for CPO vehicles is strong, there is still a lot of confusion about what CPO actually means," said Rick Wainschel, vice president of customer insights at "The more shoppers know about CPO, the more willing they are to consider the vehicles."

The study found that when buyers were explained the definition of CPO, they were more likely to consider going this route as opposed to new or used.

Buyers interested in auto financing should be aware of a few key details, though. According to, not all CPO programs are created equal. A manufacturer-certified vehicle is often a safer bet, compared to a dealer-certified one. This is because the dealership could go out of business, leaving the owner high and dry.