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Published on February 21st, 2019 | by Jones

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Used versus Pre-owned cars: what is the difference?

Shopping for a new car can be tricky, especially if you do not understand all of the terminologies that dealers are using. And while you might be looking for second-hand cars for sale or used cars for sale, you will likely have heard the term “pre-owned”. This is a word that not a lot of people understand, but it is a simple concept to grasp once you know what it means.

The difference between used and pre-owned cars is the certification that is involved. For example, a used VW Polo for sale will not include a manufacturer’s certification that it meets their standards. But, this is not to say that used cars do not have value, as they offer affordable options to those who have taken out car finance with a small budget. Read on for more information about used and pre-owned cars to find out which one suits your needs.

Used vehicles do not undergo rigorous inspections

Used vehicles are likely the most popular choice of car for students and young adults alike. You could look for a nifty little VW Polo hatch model from 2015 and be able to afford the monthly payments. But, these cars do not undergo extremely stringent inspections like a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle.

This does not mean that used vehicles are not inspected before being sold, simply that the manufacturer of the car does not require it before selling. A dealer will inspect the car for any mechanical issues and will fix these, but a CPO will have been tested according to almost 150 inspection points, meaning that every inch will be examined and will need to meet the standards of the manufacturer.

Pre-owned cars cannot be older than five years

Used cars can be anything from two to eight years, but when considering CPO vehicles, anything over five years is considered to be too old. This is because it will have experienced too much wear and tear and might have too much mileage on the odometer. And older cars might need more repairs and replacements than newer models.

While a car that is older than five years is not a bad choice, it could have problems that you are unable to fix easily or parts that are no longer being manufactured which makes repairs difficult. With a pre-owned vehicle, parts will be easier to find and it will likely still be under warranty, saving you time, effort and money for repairs and replacements.

Used cars experience less depreciation

Depreciation is one aspect of buying a car that is important to consider. A used car will experience less depreciation than a pre-owned or new car because this has been experienced by the first owner. You will not have to worry about the value of your car diminishing quickly despite the price you paid for it initially.

When you purchase a new vehicle, you will experience depreciation of up to at least 20 percent, which can increase over the first four years of ownership. You can find out the depreciation rate of your car online by using a calculator or you can speak to a dealer for advice. Be sure to research the market value of a used car to figure out if the price you have paid is taking depreciation into account as well as to ascertain whether or not you are receiving a good deal.

Pre-owned vehicles still have their warranty

A vehicle warranty is a vital part of the purchase. This will cover repairs and replacements while the car is under warranty allowing you to save money. Pre-owned vehicles will usually have all or half of their warranty remaining, but be sure to speak to the dealer about this before making any final decisions.

Having a car with a warranty is ideal for those who might not be able to save money for maintenance within the first year of owning the car. You are able to ask for an extended warranty if need be, however you should always speak to your finance provider about this option. You will find that a CPO is still covered for issues such as dents and tyre replacements if their warranty has been maintained by the previous owner.

Make the right choice for you

When buying a new car it is important to make the right choice for your needs. While used cars do not have to pass the same inspection standards as pre-owned cars they are still vetted by the dealer and all repairs are made before the car is sold. But pre-owned cars are usually older models which means that parts will be readily available. Be sure to find out about all terms and conditions from the dealer before signing a contract.

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