Used Cars Vs. Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles: What’s the Difference?

You may be in the market for a car, truck, or SUV, but are you ready to buy new? There are plenty of situations where a quality used vehicle is your best option. It may seem simple, but there are two types of these vehicles: used cars and Certified Pre-Owned vehicles. Here at Patriot Buick GMC, we want to take you through the differences between the two.

What Does “Certified Pre-Owned” Mean?

Generally speaking, used cars are sold by private parties, in person on via online marketplaces. There might be very little in the way of vehicle history or accident reports. Buying a used car from a private party is very much like rolling the dice.

A Certified Pre-Owned GMC vehicle is much different. What you get from a GMC CPO is that you won’t from a private party is a car that has gone through a rigorous round of vetting.

To become a GMC CPO, a GMC vehicle must pass a 172-point inspection process. To meet the necessary conditions, a vehicle has to meet the following:

  • Pass a vehicle history report
  • Possess a clean title
  • Under the maximum 75,000 total miles
  • Must be six years old or under


Recalls happen. However, to become certified by GMC, a previously used vehicle must complete any and all safety recalls. It’s smart to do your own research as well. Just to be safe, check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website to be sure that the vehicle you’re considering does not have any pending safety recalls associated with its model, make, or year.

Certified Pre-Owned Benefits

When you get a GMC Certified Pre-Owned vehicle, you’re also getting a wide range of available benefits. You won’t find any of these with a regular used car:

  • Roadside assistance & courtesy transportation
  • SiriusXM three-month trial subscription
  • Three day or 150-mile vehicle exchange
  • Scheduled maintenance program
  • Six-year/100,000 mile limited warranty
  • 12-month/12,000 mile limited warranty

Find out more about the differences between used cars and a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle and contact the finance center at Patriot Buick GMC today!