Whether shoppers are looking for a new, certified pre-owned (CPO), or used vehicle, they have reasons for purchasing that type of car—and it’s about a lot more than just the price.
CPO buyers, specifically, are a unique group. While they may not want to make the financial commitment of purchasing a brand new vehicle, they are still looking for something specific in don’t want to purchase a used car. So what exactly is appealing about CPO vehicles?
According to a recent Cars.com study conducted on CPO buyers, 59% of them cited the extended warranty on a vehicle as the first or second most important thing to them when buying a CPO vehicle. They may have been turned off to used vehicles by a bad experience with one or they may be hoping to buy a vehicle they can drive for many years. Whatever their reason, they’re looking for a specific combination of price and quality that you most likely will not get with a new or used vehicle.
In other words, CPO vehicles offer customers peace of mind without the higher payments that come with a new vehicle.
Ability to Purchase More Makes and Models
Another popular reason that buyers consider CPO vehicles is that it offers them a chance to purchase a vehicle that they may not have the income to purchase if it were brand new. They can buy a later model car with some mileage on it, which brings the monthly payment within their range, but they know they will still be purchasing a high-quality vehicle that is in great condition.
For many buyers, the car they drive is a status symbol, and CPO vehicles offer them the chance to buy a vehicle that they wouldn’t have been able to purchase otherwise. Again, it’s that specific intersection of price and quality that is appealing to CPO buyers.
More Time to Research, Cross Shop
Another thing that makes CPO buyers unique is the amount and type of research they do.
CPO shoppers take slightly longer (47.34 days) than used car buyers (46.86 days) on average to make a purchase. During that time, 40% of CPO shoppers compare their CPO option to used vehicles, 12% compare CPO vehicles to new vehicles, and 20% compare the CPO vehicle they’re considering against other CPO vehicles. All of this research means that many CPO buyers are ready to make a purchase quickly, usually within one week or a month, according to another survey done by Cars.com.
CPO buyers are unique in some very key ways, and understanding how they shop and what is attractive about CPO vehicles can help dealerships cater to their specific needs with a guided and efficient sales process.