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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Nine
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Issue Nine
October 29, 2003
Fernandez Racing
Fernandez Interview
Hot Lap: Strong Strut
CPO Nightmares
Lotus Elise Preview
Coming Next Issue
Bimmer Roundup Coverage
Hot Lap: The Wheel Exchange
Review PowerBook G4 17 inch
Want Clean Glass?

CPO Nightmares
By Steve Litscher

(Wednesday, October 29, 2003 11:50 PM EST)

Buy CPO Certified Pre Owned Car

Buy Sell Compare CPO Used Car Programs

Car shopping. Love it or hate it, it's a necessary fact of life. It can cause your emotions to run the gamut - excitement, anticipation, hesitation, fear, anger, happiness, and eventually, relief once the buying process is complete.

Generally speaking, car dealerships have long fought the stereotype of being sneaky, underhanded scam factories. Everyone has heard the horror stories about the infamous plaid jacketed, slicked back salesman who sold the ultimate lemon to an unsuspecting buyer. As a result, programs, incentives, policies, and laws have been developed and passed in an effort to protect the consumer.

To further alleviate some of the headaches that are common to the buying process, services like Certified Pre Owned (CPO) and vehicle background checks have been initiated by automobile manufacturers and independent reporting services. These highly promoted programs are intended to help educate the consumer about the vehicle they're interested in.

Independent reporting services such as CARFAX or Experian Automotive Services provide information about a vehicle's ownership and insurance history and can often identify problems that might not otherwise be obvious - odometer tampering, salvage titles, flood damage, and occasionally even major accident damage. Often, these services can supply additional information that might be helpful to a potential buyer as well.

CPO programs are typically factory-initiated services, wherein a dealership follows an inspection procedure to identify, fix, repair and/or disclose problems with a previously owned vehicle, prior to offering the vehicle for sale. Additional CPO benefits may include an enhanced or extended warranty, roadside assistance, "loaner" vehicle assistance (in the event of vehicle repair), and so on.

Of course, these benefits extend beyond the consumer and to the dealer and manufacturer as well - dealerships are able to more easily sell used vehicles under the CPO program, as it alleviates some of the concern that a consumer might have about buying "a used car."

Recently, there's been a massive commercial pitch to promote and educate people of the benefits of a CPO program - "Buy the car you didn't think you could afford" or "Enjoy piece of mind" are some of the underlying messages in these marketing campaigns. The manufacturer wants the consumer to understand that buying a CPO vehicle should be painless and quite possibly "prestigious."

Sounds great, right? Heck, we should all run out and buy a CPO vehicle - we'd save thousands of dollars, enjoy complete piece of mind, and never have to worry again.

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