What Is the Difference Between Used & Certified Pre-Owned?

car for sale sign on a used vehicle


If you’re shopping for a car around Minnetonka you want an alternative to buying new, you may be asking yourself, “What’s the difference between used and certified pre-owned?” You’re not alone – these are similar terms that both refer to pre-owned cars, but there are some important differences to consider. The team at Motorwerks MINI has put together a guide answering some common questions about used car vs. CPO buying, so read on! Then, check out our inventory of used and CPO MINI models to see what we currently have available.

Used Car Buying: Everything You Need To Know

Both used and CPO cars have had prior owners, but used cars tend to vary much more when it comes to model, mileage, year, and more. These variances mean that used cars are usually the most affordable option compared to buying a new or CPO vehicle. Some drivers shy away with used cars with high mileage, but the truth is there isn’t really a need to worry – as long as the vehicle has a documented history of regular maintenance service, it can easily last for up to and even over 100,000 miles on the odometer. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a used car:

  • Shopping for a used car at a dealership is typically a safer bet than navigating a private sale. It’s your choice, but dealerships have well-established reputations and usually hand-pick and inspect their used models before putting them up for sale.
  • Be sure to do your own inspection of the potential vehicle and raise any issues you see with the seller. If you notice visible problems but buy the car anyway, you’re on the hook to pay for repairs and service yourself.
  • As we discussed above, high-mileage cars are perfectly viable options as long as they’ve been properly and regularly serviced. These are also usually the most affordable options, so they’re a good choice if you’re on a budget. 

Buying a CPO Car: What You Need to Know

When it comes to CPO vs. used cars, CPO cars are a bit different. Although they have also had previous owners, they’re held to a much higher and more restrictive standard than your typical used car. CPO vehicles have been rigorously inspected by expert technicians and are backed by stellar manufacturer warranties, making them the gold standard of used vehicles. Only vehicles that pass the OEM’s stringent standards can be considered CPO. 

MINI’s requirements and backing guarantees for CPO vehicles include:

  • The model is within five years of the current model year
  • A rigorous inspection process
  • 100% genuine OEM MINI parts
  • MINI’s CPO Limited Warranty
  • MINI’s 24/7 Roadside Assistance Plan

When you buy a CPO MINI, you’ll be buying a newer model with less mileage than most used cars because of the restrictive selection process. They’re typically pricier than used cars because of their higher quality, but they’re usually more affordable than buying new. In other words, CPO vehicles typically come with like-new quality at used prices. If you want a more upgraded ride that still fits within your budget for your St Louis Park drives, a CPO vehicle might be the best option.

Shop for Pre-Owned Vehicles at Motorwerks MINI

Now that we’ve discussed the main differences when it comes to CPO vs. used cars, you’ll hopefully have a clearer idea of which option best suits your Minneapolis lifestyle. If you’re interested in taking one of our MINI models out for a test drive, feel free to contact our office or come by our dealership to set one up. You can also check out our pre-owned vehicle specials for even more ways to save on your next MINI!

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