Choosing between a new and used vehicle is a difficult decision for many car shoppers, weighing the high quality of a new car against the cheap price tag of a used one. In recent years, a new option has provided a nice compromise between the two: certified pre-owned vehicles.
Certified pre-owned cars offer car shoppers the quality of a new car at a greatly discounted price. Backed by a manufacturer warranty, certified pre-owned vehicles typically come from rental companies or are recently leased cars from the dealership and are usually three years old or younger.
The past three years have seen impressive sales records of these pre-owned vehicles, and 2014 is shaping up to be another record-breaking sales year as December draws to a close. Experts are also predicting the sales of certified pre-owned vehicles to continue to increase over the next few years.
Last year, sales of certified used cars totaled 2.1 million, compared to just 500,000 in the year 2000. Certified used car sales were up 9.9% for the year through September in 2014.
“The (certified pre-owned) market is large and it’s going to get larger,” said Manheim Chief Economist Tom Webb, according to the Detroit News. Manheim is a vehicle auction company and affiliate of AutoTrader.com.
Certified Pre-owned vehicles are generally more expensive then non-certified used cars, because of their quality and age; additionally, prices have remained high for these cars as they continue to be in short supply at dealerships.
With more drivers turning in their leased vehicles and larger rental car supplies, dealerships are starting to gain a larger certified used car inventory, which could help lower prices in the coming years. The current average price of a certified pre-owned vehicle is $16,130, according to USA Today.
Still, the price of certified used cars beats that of a new vehicle, making them a more affordable option while maintaining a high level of quality.