What is the Difference Between Used and Certified Pre-Owned?

2020 Cadillac XT4


At Serra Cadillac Of Traverse City, we often get the question, “What is the difference between used and certified pre-owned cars?” While every certified pre-owned car is used, not all used cars are certified. Find out what goes into the certification process with Serra Cadillac Of Traverse City, and compare our CPO vs. used inventory in Traverse City.



CPO vs. Used Shopping: Why Buy a Used Car

Most Manistee drivers are familiar with the used car market, but some are surprised by just how broad it is. Used cars are simply cars that have had another owner. This may mean a 2021 model with just one owner or a 1996 model with five owners over time.

Used models will vary tremendously in terms of model, year, mileage, and more. But, nearly all pre-owned models offer quite a discount compared to a new car. That’s because they have already gone through the bulk of depreciation, so the savings are passed onto you. In fact, you can even find models under 10k! Here are some things to keep in mind about used cars:

  • Used cars are not inspected by all dealerships before they go to the lot, but at Serra Cadillac Of Traverse City, our models are handpicked for quality. Use caution when shopping on the private market.
  • When shopping the used market, be sure to thoroughly look over any candidates. This can even include bringing along a mechanic. If any issues are raised, you’ll need to factor in the cost of repairs into your budget.
  • Mileage isn’t as important as it used to be, since modern cars are so much safer and more durable than generations past. You can even find vehicles with upwards of 200,000 miles on the odometer, so don’t look past cars with moderate mileage – especially if you’re on a budget.

CPO vs. Used Shopping: Why Buy a CPO Car

So, what is the difference between used and certified pre-owned cars? Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles are used vehicles that have gone through a rigorous inspection and reconditioning process. That means they carry certain guarantees that a typical used vehicle will not. Plus, you’ll receive a vehicle history report and warranty plan to sweeten the deal. Known as the gold standard of used cars, CPO models are perfect options for those who want a little extra peace of mind while getting a phenomenal deal in Grayling. Here are some of the common criteria in the certification process.

  • Model year is within five years of the current model year
  • Generally, less than 80,000 miles, sometimes up to 100,000 miles
  • A multi-point inspection
  • Offered with extended warranties and/or limited powertrain warranties

Find Your Next Car at Serra Cadillac Of Traverse City

We’ve gone through the key differences between CPO vs. used models, so why not test drive a few models in person at Traverse City? We’re just a short drive from Cadillac, and our team can help you find just the right model for your needs and budget. Contact us today and apply for financing at your convenience!


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