Some Automakers Change CPO Vehicle Criteria to Boost Sales

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Certified used cars can be a fantastic value and offer manufacturer-backed warranties that make the ownership experience much less stressful. That’s when things are working normally, but some automakers are expanding the certified preowned (CPO) criteria to include older vehicles. 

Automotive News reported that most automakers saw CPO sales fall due to many factors, including the fact that there were far fewer new cars available, so the number of returning used cars in trade-ins or sales decreased. Some companies have chosen to boost sales through incentives and other promotional measures, but others have taken a different approach.

Hyundai expanded its CPO criteria by one year or 20,000 miles to include six-year-old vehicles with up to 80,000 miles. The automaker also asked dealers to stop using “Hyundai certified pre-owned” in favor of “Hyundai certified used” in response to survey data that showed customers better understand the “used” term.

Ford offers a lower-tier program called Blue Advantage, which it introduced in 2021. The setup allows cars with 120,000 to 150,000 miles to be certified, which significantly increases the number of certified vehicles dealers have to sell. A few companies may have skipped certification altogether due to high demand, meaning the cars will sell even without CPO status. 

[Image: AntonovVitalii via Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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6 of 8 comments
  • Tassos Tassos on Mar 22, 2023

    it makes a ton of sense, Many cars from the better carmakers and most luxury imports last much longer and trouble-free than they used to, and much more than the whole market used to. Carmakers and Dealers will obviously benefit from grabbing the older car market from the private sellers and the independent dealers by offering warranties and certifying those cars.

    After all, a 20 year old car with 50,000 miles, in my book, is a worse choice than a 10 year old with 150,000 miles, or a 7 year old with 200,000, if it is not some junk like a Nissan or a Hyundai_kia or some FCA brand.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Mar 22, 2023

    Until new vehicle inventories get back to pre-pandemic levels a CPO is not a good buy and can be not much less or even more than a new vehicle. If buying used better to buy from an individual but first have the vehicle thoroughly inspected by your mechanic before you even make an offer. Don't buy more than what you can afford and it is better to pay cash. I would probably not buy a late model preowned vehicle because most do not have a warranty and the ones that do usually do not have as good a warranty as new Also the history of a used vehicle might not be complete it could be wrecked or flood damaged and the damage has not been reported as it should be. Not saying all used vehicles are bad there are a lot of good ones but it pays to have a vehicle inspected and to do a search of a vehicles history.

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Mar 22, 2023

    "After all, a 20 year old car with 50,000 miles, in my book, is a worse choice than a 10 year old with 150,000 miles, or a 7 year old with 200,000, if it is not some junk like a Nissan or a Hyundai_kia or some FCA brand."

    Uh, what?

    Most KIAs won't make 150-200K on only one engine (if at all), FWD Nissans on one CVT (if at all), or most Chrysler at all save maybe the Rams and Wranglers. The same garbage much older with few miles but still well kept has a better chance at treating an owner well for regular or casual use.

    • See 1 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Mar 22, 2023

      Zero faith in bread and butter KIA making 150-200K on its original motor or complete drivetrain for that matter in normie use.

  • Cprescott Cprescott on Mar 22, 2023

    I am so lucky that I don't have to buy anything right now. By December my current ride will be paid off in less than 48 months total time and I'll be car payment free. As Virginia soaks you with personal property tax (forcing you to pay on value you've already paid for ad nauseum every six months), I see no reason to buy new. As long as my feet can work a clutch, I'm not buying jack. When the time comes when I need to buy another, I'll buy a hybrid. Golf carts make no economic sense for apartment dwellers - half the range of my current ride, takes 3 times to recharge than my current ride (times 2 recharges per tank of dino juice), and far more expensive to buy and to insure.