Certified Pre-Owned

Autotrader compiles top CPO deals for September


New vehicles from the 2018 and 2019 models are filling rows at franchised dealerships, but Autotrader spotted a half dozen financing offers that are making certified pre-owned vehicles stand tall at stores, too.

This week, Autotrader compiled a list of what experts believe are the best CPO deals going in September, noting a mix of both mainstream and high-line units.

“The comprehensive inspection process, incentives and warranties for certified pre-owned vehicles changes the game for how car shoppers should look for their next vehicle,” said Brian Moody, executive editor for Autotrader.

“With cars less than a few years old back on the market, you could even end up with a certified pre-owned vehicle that’s part of the 2018 model year,” Moody said.

A 2018 model might fit some of the OEM campaigns, while others are geared to turning metal that might be coming off lease. Here are the details:


This month, BMW is offering excellent incentives on certified pre-owned i3 models to qualified buyers. Through the end of the month, BMW is touting 1.99-percent interest on all certified pre-owned 2015 and 2016 i3 models for up to 24 months.


Cadillac’s certified pre-owned program is even more alluring this month thanks to special incentives offered on the ATS entry-level luxury car, the Escalade SUV and the SRX crossover. Through Sept. 13, qualified shoppers who choose a CPO version of one of those models can get 2.9-percent interest for up to 36 months.


Through the end of September, Ford is touting low interest rates for qualified shoppers, boasting 1.9 percent interest for up to 36 months, 2.9 percent for up to 60 months or 3.9 percent for up to 72 months.


Through the end of September, Mercedes-Benz buyers can get 1.99 percent interest for up to 48 months on most CPO models, including the CLA, the C-Class, the E-Class, the GLK, the GLC and more.


Through the end of the month, qualified Nissan shoppers can get a certified pre-owned Altima or Rogue with 2.99 percent interest for up to 60 months.


Through the end of the month, qualified buyers interested in a certified pre-owned Subaru can get 1.99 percent interest for up to 36 months.

CPO sales soar; price gap between late-model and new widens

CARY, N.C.  - 

The certified pre-owned vehicle market reached a major milestone in the second quarter and “moved past the 700,000 threshold for the first time,” according to a report released Tuesday by Edmunds.

Specifically, there were 711,270 CPO vehicle sales during the quarter, beating year-ago figures by 2.5 percent, Edmunds said in its .

Separately, the latest analysis from KAR Auction Services chief economist Tom Kontos, citing Autodata Corp., indicates there was a 7.5-percent sequential decrease and a 1.9-percent year-over-year drop in certified sales during July (given the fewer selling days), but that through seven months of the year, CPO sales have climbed 2.8 percent.

Overall, there were 10.42 million used cars sold in Q2, compared to 10.17 million used sales a year ago, Edmunds said.

In an released last week, Cox Automotive said there was approximately a 3-percent year-over-year lift in used-car sales for July; that's despite last month having one less selling day.  The annualized used-car sales pace has climbed to 39.5 million, which is up 1 percent year-over-year and a “new peak for this expansion period,” Cox Automotive analysts said. 

‘Trend that will hold for years’

Going back to the Edmunds report, franchised dealers moved 3.03 million used vehicles in the second quarter, up from 2.95 million in Q2 2017.

And 25.5 percent of those franchised dealer used-car sales were 3-year-old vehicles. Comparatively, the share was at 22.3 percent a year ago.  And the crop of those 3-year-old rides was at an all-time high in Q2 2018.

“Taking into consideration that new-car lease penetration rates have held at nearly 30 percent through 2018, off-lease vehicles will now effectively constitute the majority of franchise used sales until at least 2021,” Edmunds said in the report.

Residuals flat

The strong supply of 3-year-old vehicles has led to “flattening” residuals on these cars, Edmunds said.

Even as overall transaction prices reached a 13-year high ($20,153).

For instance, the average 3-year-old vehicle sold for $13,339 less than a new car last quarter. In the same period of 2013, the gap was only $10,632, the analysis indicates.

“The gap between new and used vehicle prices is significantly widening,” said Ivan Drury, Edmunds’ senior manager of industry analysis, in a news release.

“Near-new vehicles offer greater savings now than they ever have before, thanks to a constant supply of off-lease vehicles and a shortage of older vehicles in the market,” he said.

Offering even more context, Edmunds noted in its report: “The used market is contending with two extremes: the constant supply of off-lease vehicles and a shortage of older vehicles. Comparing Q2 2018 to Q2 2013, we see that residual values are flattening and creating less of a discrepancy between model years, underscoring how buying a near-new vehicle presents a greater value now more than ever before.”

By segment, the largest percentage gap between 3-year-old and new prices is within the luxury midsize segment (48 percent). Next are sports cars (45 percent) and large cars (43 percent).

The narrowest difference is in midsize trucks, where new models are just 27 percent more expensive than 3-year-old editions. Luxury large cars (30 percent difference) and large trucks (33 percent) followed.

“Luxury midsize cars serve as an example of the used market providing significant savings since these vehicles often have the highest lease penetration rate of any vehicle category,” said Drury.

“On the other end of the spectrum, midsize trucks is a category that has been invigorated on the new sales front with the resurrection of old models, but leasing has never been popular among these shoppers,” he said. “And with such limited quantities on the used market, midsize trucks retain high values, making them less appealing from a savings perspective.”

Among the 20 top sellers on the used-car side, the BMW 3 Series had the biggest price gap between new and 3-year-old editions (48 percent). It was followed by the Chevrolet Malibu (46 percent) and Chevrolet Cruze (45 percent).

The comparisons were closest for the Toyota RAV4 (29 percent), Honda CR-V (30 percent) and Toyota Corolla (32 percent), respectively.

“BMW’s 3 Series faces weakened residual values because of high lease volumes in a segment that is no longer seen as the entry point into the luxury market, but those who regard the 3 Series as the luxury compact sedan to own can benefit from significant savings,” said Drury.

 “On the other end, the Toyota RAV4 was a best-seller when new, and even though it was heavily leased three years ago, the strong residual values of this vehicle combined with the healthy overall demand in the compact SUV segment don’t allow for significant savings.”

Impact of tariffs

Be prepared for change, though, should tariffs have an impact. Drury adds: “If tariffs are enacted against specific models, these savings figures are bound to change and are certain to test customer loyalty.”

The report further notes: “If tariffs are imposed, would-be new-car buyers could shift their purchases toward used vehicles. Depending on the scope and severity of the tariffs, there could be a massive influx of consumers who begin to eye a near-new vehicle over a tariff-imposed competitor.”

Autotrader announces top CPO deals for August


At a time when many people are inside trying to dodge the high temperatures, drivers interested in shopping certified pre-owned vehicles may find coming out and facing the summer's heat this August worth their while.

Autotrader has come out with its latest list of top CPO deals that consumers can take advantage of all month long.

This month's list includes an enticing low-interest finance rate incentive offered by Mazda's CPO program throughout August. When financing a CPO vehicle, qualified Mazda shoppers can now get 0.9 percent interest for up to 36 months.

“The extra cost of a certified pre-owned vehicle may seem like a lot, but it provides more peace of mind than a regular used car,” Autotrader executive editor Brian Moody said in a news release. “You can’t discount the value of a comprehensive inspection, which every CPO vehicle goes through, and the added perks of CPO are a great option for buyers to consider.”


Through the end of August, Acura’s CPO program touts that qualified shoppers seeking either its MDX or RDX models can get 0.99 percent interest for up to 36 months, 1.99 percent interest for up to 60 months or 2.99 interest for up to 72 months.


At BMW, CPO shoppers interested in 2014, 2015 and 2016 CPO versions of the 3 Series, 4 Series and 5 Series can get 1.9 percent interest for up to 60 months.


Throughout August, Buick's CPO program is offering qualified shoppers1.9 percent interest for up to 36 months on all certified pre-owned versions of the Enclave and Encore crossovers.


This month, Chevrolet's CPO program has a special finance offer of 1.9 percent interest for up to 36 months for qualified CPO vehicle shoppers interested in taking home the brand’s Chevy Cruze, Equinox, Malibu and Traverse models.


At Ford, qualified shoppers looking for a CPO model can get 1.9 percent interest for up to 36 months, 2.9 percent for 60 months or 3.9 percent for 72 months.


This month, qualified shoppers who visit Lincoln can take advantage of 2.9 percent interest for up to 66 months on all CPO models.


Subaru's CPO program is offering qualified shoppers who qualify interest rates starting at 1.49 percent for up to 36 months.

Autotrader highlights this summer's latest top CPO deals


Along with the heat, July has brought with it plenty of attractive CPO vehicle incentive offerings that summer car shoppers can take advantage of through the end of the month.

Autotrader has released its latest list of top CPO deals that used-car buyers can check out in July.

This month’s list includes Nissan's CPO program, which has a few attractive incentives this month.

In addition to offering 3.99-percent interest for up to 36 months or 4.69 percent for up to 72 months, with their used-vehicle purchase.

“The mid-year point is always a great time for car shoppers to consider what they need and want from their next vehicle, more CPO vehicles are entering the market,” Autotrader executive editor Brian Moody said in a news release. “Buying a CPO vehicle gives car shoppers that new-car feel at a lower price, with benefits from a rigorous inspection process and additional warranty offers.”


This month, GMC touts 1.9-percent interest for up to 36 months to qualified shoppers for CPO versions of its Acadia and Terrain crossover models.


Through July, the Hyundai CPO program offers qualified shoppers 1.9-percent interest for up to 36 months.


At Mercedes-Benz, along with one year of warranty protection with no mileage limit, qualified buyers interested in CPO CLA, C-Class, E-Class and S-Class models can get 1.99-percent interest for up to 48 months.


At Lexus's CPO program, through the end of the month, the automaker is offering qualified buyers warranty coverage of six years with no mileage limit. And Lexus shoppers interested in CPO versions of the RX and RX L models can get 3.9-percent interest for up to 60 months


Toyota's CPO program touts an added year of comprehensive coverage on top of its factory warranty, as well as six years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection. And qualified CPO shoppers interested in a CPO Camry or Camry Hybrid can also get 1.9-percent interest for up to 36 months.


Volkswagen’s CPO program offers qualified CPO shoppers 2.49-percent interest for up to 60 months on all CPO VW models.


Along with seven years or 100,000 miles of coverage from the original sale date, qualified Volvo shoppers can take home a 2015 S60 with zero-percent interest for up to 24 months.

Kia CPO has record June, first half

IRVINE, Calif. - 

Spurred in part by sales of its Sportage and Forte models, the Kia Motors America certified pre-owned vehicle program has completed its best first half ever.

Kia dealers sold 39,954 CPO vehicles in the opening six months of 2018, the automaker said in a news release.  That’s up 0.4 percent from the same period in 2017.

Particularly hearty were sales of the aforementioned Sportage and Forte, which climbed double-digit percentages.

June was also especially strong. Certified sales for Kia climbed 13.2 percent year-over-year, as dealers moved 7,255 CPO units.

This was also a record.

“Strong sales gains for Sportage and Forte reflect the broad scope and mass appeal of Kia's world-class model lineup and our CPO program,” said Bill Peffer, vice president of sales operations at Kia Motors America, in a news release.  “The program continues to attract new customers to the Kia brand and positively shape perception.”

In the same news release, Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader executive publisher Karl Brauer added: “Kia’s CPO Program is among the best in the industry, offering coverage terms and benefits that resonate with value-oriented shoppers.

“Now roll in the advanced features and appealing style found across the Kia model line and you've got a recipe for sales growth and customer satisfaction,” he said.

Honda breaks CPO sales record set almost 5 years ago

CARY, N.C.  - 

Last month, Honda broke a certified pre-owned sales record that had stood for almost five years.

There were 26,192 Honda CPO units sold in May, the strongest ever for the brand’s certified program.

The previous record was set in August 2013, when Honda sold 25,139 CPO vehicles, the automaker said in a news release.

Honda moved 23,257 certified vehicles in May of last year, according to data provided by Autodata Corp. in 2017.

Through five months of 2018, Honda has sold 107,920 CPO vehicles.

In the same period of 2017, it moved 107,532 vehicles.

The automaker credits its gains in CPO sales this year in part to a revamped Honda CPO website and said that its dealers saw more traffic in May thanks to offers on the Odyssey, CR-V and Pilot models, which helped drive record certified sales.  

"We're excited to see a more customer-friendly Honda certified pre-owned vehicle program contribute to the success of Honda dealers," said Dan Rodriguez, American Honda Motor's manager of auto remarketing and certified pre-owned, in a news release.  "We will continue our momentum this summer with our Certified Dream Deal event, and special deals on the certified pre-owned Accord and Odyssey."

The Certified Dream Deal event includes 1.49-percent APR financing for up to 36 months on the CPO Accord and Odyssey models.

Industry-wide numbers climb

The overall CPO market was up 5 percent year-over-year in May, Cox Automotive said in an Industry Update released Thursday.

In the first four months of 2018, year-to-date certified pre-owned car sales had climbed 2 percent, even though there was a 5.7-percent year-over-year decline in April’s sales, Cox Automotive said in last month’s Update.

In the first quarter, industry-wide CPO sales reached 674,297 units, up from 647,388 units a year ago, according to the latest Used Car Report from Edmunds.

First-quarter CPO sales have climbed each year since at least 2013, which was the first year included in this particular Edmunds data set.

Autotrader names June's top CPO deals


As car shoppers take in all that summer has to offer, automakers' latest certified pre-owned programs provide both attractive and competitive deals people can take advantage of this June.

Autotrader has come out with its latest list of top CPO deals that shoppers can cash in on all month long.

This month’s list includes Jaguar's CPO program, which is now offering qualified CPO shoppers who are interested in the  0.9-percent interest for up to 24 months, 1.9-percent for up to 60 months or 2.9-percent for 72 months.

“Automakers continue to make it more attractive and affordable for car shoppers to purchase a certified pre-owned vehicle,” Autotrader executive editor Brian Moody said in a news release. “It isn't just the warranty that makes CPO programs so good; they also tend to offer additional perks and benefits that you can't get with a typical used car, like free maintenance and other service benefits.”


This June, BMW’s CPO program is offering qualified shoppers 0.9-percent interest for up to 24 months on all 2014 and 2015 CPO BMW models, as well as one extra year of warranty coverage added to the brand’s standard new-car factory warranty.


Through the end of June, Buick qualified buyers can get 1.9-percent interest to for up to 36 months on CPO Encore and Enclave crossover models. Additionally, the brand is also offering Buick shoppers six years or 100,000 miles of powertrain protection from the original sale date, as well as an extra year of comprehensive coverage.


Along with six years or 100,000 miles of comprehensive coverage from the original sale date, Cadillac is offering qualified CPO buyers 2.9-percent interest for up to 60 months on CPO versions of its SRX crossover, Escalade SUV and ATS sedan models.


At Chevrolet, along with six years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage from the original sale date, this month qualified shoppers can also get an added year of comprehensive coverage to go along with the original factory warranty. Meanwhile, shoppers interested in CPO versions of Cruze and Malibu sedans, as well as Equinox and Traverse crossovers, can get 1.9-percent interest for up to 36 months.


In addition to offering Jaguar XF sedan shoppers 0.9-percent interest for up to 24 months, 1.9-percent for up to 60 months or 2.9-percent for 72 months, Jaguar shoppers can also get seven years or 100,000 miles of comprehensive coverage from the original sale date this month.

Land Rover

Along with seven years or 100,000 miles of comprehensive coverage from the original sale date, this month, Land Rover is offering qualified buyers CPO versions of its Discovery Sport model with interest rates ranging from 0.9 percent for 24 months, 1.9 percent for 60 months or 2.9 percent for up to 72 months.


This June, Mazda is offering qualified shoppers 0.9-percent interest for up to 36 months on every CPO purchase, seven years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage from the original sale date, combined with an additional year of comprehensive coverage.


In addition to seven years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage from the original sale date. Through the end of June, Subaru's CPO program is offering qualified shoppers interest rates as low as 1.49 percent for up to 36 months.

Cars.com analyst talks difference between used, new, CPO buyers

CARY, N.C. - 

Compared to a new vehicle, a certified pre-owned vehicle purchase can be a more attractive and affordable alternative for consumers interested in driving both mass-market and luxury vehicles.

All month long, Cars.com has voiced strong consumer demand for CPO vehicles, noting that dealers have an opportunity to attract more of these buyers, as part of the site's second annual Cars.com CPO Month.

Dealers who certify anywhere from 75 percent to 100 percent of their inventory note that consumers either always or often ask about CPO vehicle options, according to Cars.com.

In an emailed Q&A with AuSM, Cars.com senior research and insights analyst Michael Solheim, explained what CPO shoppers desire most, as well as how they differ from both new and used-car shoppers.

What shoppers value most

The extended warranty, as well as the peace of mind that comes with it, are the most influential CPO attributes that appeal to car shoppers who consider a CPO vehicle, Solheim explained.

“In fact, 59 percent of shoppers rank this as either the No.1 or No. 2 most important aspect of certified pre-owned programs,” said Solheim, citing a recent Cars.com study on CPO shoppers.

Additionally, Solheim explained that when it comes to a CPO buyer's next car purchase, some car shoppers will want to find another CPO, while others will often desire a new vehicle.

There’s no solid rule here since the reasons for buying CPO differ,” he said. “For some shoppers, they’ve been burned in the past by an unreliable used vehicle, and they see certified pre-owned to be a way to avoid the risk. In these cases, they will often re-buy another CPO — especially if they have a good experience with the first CPO vehicle.”

Solheim holds that CPO shoppers interested in luxury vehicles can get to experience a vehicle that might be unattainable for them new.

“CPO is a means to buy a luxury brand that would otherwise be out of reach. In those cases, as their buyer power increases, they will move up to a brand new vehicle for their next purchase," Solheim said. 

More time for the car-buying journey, cross-shopping

Using metrics from its site, Cars.com found that CPO shoppers typically spend more time purchasing than used-car buyers, but not quite as long as new-car buyers.

CPO shoppers take approximately 47.34 days to purchase a car, compared to 46.86 days for used-car shoppers and 48.5 days for new-car shoppers, according to Cars.com latest Consumer Metrics report, which took a look at the journey of car shoppers from January to April this year.

The report also found that both are more likely to be motivated to make a purchase after doing research online.

Cars.com data suggests that because CPO shoppers research their car purchases longer than used-car shoppers, CPO shoppers are often well-informed and prepared to make a selection within the next month or the next week.

After researching online, about half of CPO shoppers are ready to buy a vehicle either within the next month or the next week, compared to just 31 percent of used-car shoppers and 41 percent of new-car shoppers.

Shoppers of certified pre-owned vehicles particularly enjoy cross-shopping across categories, according to a Cars.com segmentation survey deployed in the fall of last year.

The survey found that a sizable 80 percent of all CPO shoppers compare CPOs to new cars and used cars during their research.

A total 40 percent of CPO shoppers compare CPO models against used cars, in contrast to just 29 percent of CPO shoppers who compare CPOs against new cars and other CPO vehicles.

Meanwhile, among the same CPO shoppers, 20 percent compare CPOs against other CPOs, and 12 percent compare CPOs against new cars.

When conveying to a shopper the benefits of a CPO purchase, Solheim added that dealers can avoid marginalizing non-CPO used vehicles by promoting the reputation of a given manufacturer’s CPO program, in conjunction with defending the dealerships’ used inventory.

“The dealer needs to be communicating the fact that the manufacturer has re-applied their name and backing to the vehicle. The vehicle has undergone a very thorough inspection, and they feel confident that the vehicle is basically as good as new," he said.  “A used vehicle may have something like halfway worn tires — now that doesn’t mean it’s not a great used car, but it may very well mean it’s not qualified for certification.”

Luxury shoppers increasingly shop used, CPO vehicles


While recent research data concerning luxury shopper behavior shows that almost 40 percent of luxury owners are less likely to purchase a used car than mass-market owners, a growing number of shoppers in this audience are increasingly cross-shopping used and certified pre-owned vehicles.

Amid the rise of off-lease vehicles which continue to enhance the used-car population, CPOs have become a progressively more attractive option for car buyers, according to data from Jumpstart Automotive Media 's eighth annual Insights Book.

Luxury owners who research and consider non-luxury vehicles grew from 10 percent in 2016 to 13 percent last year. A growing number of luxury owners cross-shopping used options illustrates a widening appeal for used cars among luxury owners.

“Luxury shoppers, in particular, are placing increased focus on brand experience and innovation when shopping for their next vehicle,” Jumpstart’s marketing and strategic insights vice president Libby Murad-Patel said in a news release.

“That being said, we’re seeing a healthy amount of cross-shopping between luxury brands, as well as luxury shoppers looking at CPO or used vehicles ( 36-percent in 2017) and at the same time loyalty is a challenge for all automakers.”

When communicating with car buyers, automotive marketers can highlight a CPO vehicle’s unique values to address the challenge, she went on to explain.

“This presents a great opportunity for marketers in placing greater emphasis on a vehicle’s unique values while addressing quality, longevity, versatility and maintenance concerns up front,” Murad-Patel said.

Elsewhere in the study, Jumpstart data focused on luxury shopper behavior alone, suggests that dealers can obtain a better return on a luxury purchase considering their owners are more likely to come back.

Because most luxury-vehicle owners have their cars serviced at the dealership, selling to more luxury buyers can potentially lead to added service department traffic. According to Jumpstart, three out of four of luxury owners use the dealership for service and 34 percent of all shoppers are researching luxury vehicles on its sites.

Autotrader announces this year's 'Best' CPO programs


During a time when it can be hard for consumers to easily narrow down what certified pre-owned vehicle programs to shop, Autotrader has come out with a list of top programs for shoppers to consider this year.

Autotrader announced that it has come out with its list of the top luxury and non-luxury CPO programs for 2018 on Tuesday.

The company explained that some CPO programs are consistently more attractive than their competitors. After taking a look at several factors like transferability to future vehicle owners, powertrain warranty length, available inventory and bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage — Autotrader has named Hyundai and Lexus the top non-luxury and luxury CPO programs of the year.  

“Beyond being budget-friendly, buying a certified vehicle provides an extra level of comfort, knowing your car has been through a rigorous inspection and is backed by the manufacturer for an extended length of time. Autotrader executive editor Brian Moody said in a news release, “Sometimes, that warranty is longer than you get with a new car and is certainly better than with a non-certified used car.”

“If you’re shopping for a mainstream vehicle, look at Hyundai, it has one of the best warranties in the entire automotive industry, while Lexus is the top pick on the luxury side with perks like an unlimited mileage warranty and pricing that is perfect for real luxury on a budget,” Moody continued.

The following is a list of Autotrader’s 10 best non-luxury and luxury CPO Programs for 2018:

  • Non-luxury Overall Winner: Hyundai










  • Luxury Overall Winner: Lexus






Land Rover




Click , for additional information about each brand.