Shoppers of certified pre-owned vehicles are especially cautious and careful. Dealerships need to go the extra mile to inform them on the benefits of owning a CPO vehicle. That’s the conclusion of some research conducted recently by

We surveyed a sample of the shopper community to understand shoppers’ interests in CPO vehicles and why they do or do not consider CPOs. Here’s what we found[i]:

  • The importance of information and trust peak with CPO vehicle shoppers. Nearly seven out of 10 CPO shoppers said that the thoroughness of the information on the programs and warranties that cover their vehicle was very influential to their car search – a percentage that was considerably higher than that for new and used car shoppers.
  • Few shoppers are confident that they understand CPOs. When we asked shoppers if they are confident with what they know about what’s included in their intended purchase, very few said they consider themselves experts – far fewer than the number of shoppers of new and used cars.

CPO vehicle shoppers are wrestling with understanding the nuances between CPOs, used, and new cars. Some of their questions are likely to focus on untangling the advantages of a CPO when compared to a used car, such as:

  • Why do CPOs cost more than used cars?
  • What do shoppers give up in choosing a used car over a CPO?
  • When is it better to buy a CPO versus a used car and vice versa?

Dealerships can address these issues head-on in a number ways, such as publishing FAQs about CPOs on your websites and having printed FAQs available on the lot.

The challenge for dealerships is articulating the value of a CPO without marginalizing non-CPO used cars, which might be perfect matches for shoppers depending on their needs. Dealerships should assume that CPO vehicle shoppers are doing deep research to tease out the value of a CPO, including sites such as our own. Celebrate your CPO vehicles – and educate your shoppers.


[i] survey of 350 car shoppers, conducted between December 20, 2017, and February 27, 2018.