When you’re shopping for a vehicle, you’ll typically need to decide between two main options: new and used. If you’ve decided on buying used, however, the selection deepens as you confront the choice between used and certified pre-owned. Automotive customers often wonder what the difference is between these types of vehicles. We’re here to help you understand so that you can make an informed decision about your next automotive purchase. If you have any questions, give us a call at (513) 793-7777.
A used vehicle is an automobile that has had at least one previous owner or lessee. Imagine, for example, that you purchased a new Honda Odyssey in 2018 and then sold it to our dealership in 2022. The Odyssey is now a used vehicle since it has seen previous ownership, so we’d sell it as a used vehicle. The price at which we list it may depend on various factors, such as its model year, features, and overall condition.
A certified pre-owned vehicle is a type of used vehicle. It, too, has had at least one previous owner or lessee, but it meets certain standards that ordinary used cars don’t. Aside from being low mileage, a certified pre-owned vehicle has undergone rigorous inspections by the manufacturer, as well as repairs or refurbishments to raise its quality to near-factory condition. Moreover, only authorized dealers — like us — may sell certified pre-owned vehicles.
Every manufacturer has its own standards when it comes to certified pre-owned vehicles. For Honda certification, a vehicle must be no more than five years old, have fewer than 80,000 miles on it, and pass a 182-point inspection. In addition, it must have a clean vehicle history, meaning that it hasn’t experienced any major issues that could compromise its performance and value.
There are a couple of excellent advantages that a non-certified used vehicle can provide you. The primary upside is that a non-certified option is typically more affordable. It’s unlikely to have undergone extensive refurbishment, which means it hasn’t taken on much additional value before hitting the lot for resale. This being the case, non-certified vehicles are often the preferred route for cost-conscious consumers. On a related note, the relative cost-effectiveness of a non-certified vehicle means you might afford a relatively newer or more desirable model compared to your certified pre-owned options.
Another advantage is choice. Non-certified vehicles don’t have to pass a rigorous checklist of criteria to qualify as a used vehicle. As long as they’re in good working order, they qualify as sellable. This often means that a broader range of vehicle types, models, and trims are available in non-certified used inventories. So imagine, for example, that you want to purchase a Honda Civic produced within the past three years. You’re more likely to find what you’re looking for among the non-certified selection than in the certified one.
Of course, there are some challenges associated with buying non-certified. Probably the most significant challenge is the uncertainty involved. When you buy an ordinary used vehicle, there’s always at least some risk concerning its quality. It hasn’t undergone the rigorous inspections of a certified vehicle, so there may be underlying issues that both you and the dealer may not know about. For this reason, it’s often a good idea to commission your own inspection before committing to the purchase.
Another challenge relates to the vehicle’s warranty. When you buy an ordinary used vehicle, any warranty you get is what remains on the original offered by the manufacturer. If the warranty has already expired, you’ll have to cover your maintenance and repair costs out of pocket.
One of the greatest advantages of buying a certified pre-owned Honda is peace of mind. The vehicle has undergone an in-depth inspection and has been determined to be worthy of the certified pre-owned designation. The manufacturer has also repaired, replaced, or refurbished any components requiring such attention. So when you buy a certified pre-owned Honda, you’re buying a like-new product.
The vehicle is close to new in other ways, too — namely age and mileage. Certified pre-owned Hondas are less than five years old and have no more than 80,000 miles on the odometer. These factors indicate that the vehicles are only gently used and thus less likely to experience the sorts of issues that older, high-mileage vehicles do, such as transmission failures, belt breaks, and rusting.
Then there’s the warranty. A certified pre-owned Honda comes with an extended warranty. Specifically, you get powertrain coverage for seven years or 100,000 miles and non-powertrain coverage for at least 12 months or 12,000 miles. The non-powertrain coverage extends to 24 months and 50,000 miles for vehicles that qualify for the HondaTrue Certified+ designation, which means they’ve met an even stricter set of criteria compared to other certified pre-owned Hondas.
With all that being said, there are some potential downsides to consider. In particular, certified pre-owned vehicles are typically more expensive and narrower in variety than their non-certified counterparts. These qualities are the result of the standards that the vehicles must meet to qualify for certified pre-owned status. The manufacturer puts great care into selecting only the highest-grade Hondas and restoring them to like-new condition, and both the price and the selection reflect the fastidiousness of these efforts.
Whether you’re shopping used or certified pre-owned, we’re sure to have what you’re looking for. We have an extensive inventory of vehicles that you can view online. If you’re interested in learning more about the vehicles you see, feel free to reach out to our sales department by calling (513) 793-7777 or submitting a message through our contact page.
You’re also welcome to visit us at our Honda Used Car dealership at your convenience. Find us at 4521 Kings Water Drive in Cincinnati. We’d be happy to get you an up-close view of our great vehicles and help you find the Honda that’s right for you!