Q: “Is a certified used car worth it? Or am I just purchasing an overpriced vehicle with a shorter manufacturer’s warranty than a new vehicle?”
— Dave S., Wasaga Beach, Ont.
A: A certified used vehicle is supposed to offer three major benefits. First, an inspection at a dealership that adheres to rigorous standards, limits age and mileage of the vehicle and excludes vehicles with a major collision history. (APA has seen inspections that fail to live up to this promise, and manufacturer oversight of the inspection process can be lax.) Second, a complete warranty honoured at every dealership in the brand’s network. Finally: Financing at below-market rates, although this is usually offered on luxury vehicles only.
Still, for most standard resale vehicles you’ll probably want to avoid the $1,500-$2,500 premium for certified used. But those shopping for pre-owned luxury, may find the warranty and low financing costs tip the balance in favour of certified used.