What to Know Before You Buy a Certified Pre-Owned Cadillac

September 4th, 2019 by

Want to buy a used Cadillac? Great! Before you sign any papers, here’s a complete guide to buying a Cadillac Certified pre-owned car.

The most recent statistics show the gap between average monthly payments for new and used cars grew 10 percent. So it can make sense for you to look at pre-owned options.

With its versatility, design and luxury, you might consider a Cadillac certified pre-owned. There’s a reason why many people refer to other types of luxury items as “the Cadillac of (insert item here).”

There are a few important things you should consider. Here’s our guide for buying pre-owned Cadillacs.

Make Sure It’s Certified Pre-Owned
There are plenty of used vehicles out there to choose from — even Cadillacs. With one look at Craigslist or your local Facebook Marketplace you might see several. But these vehicles will most likely not be certified used Cadillacs.

So what does Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) mean and why is it important?

Dealerships for specific car brands choose used vehicles based on their clean accident records and service histories. Only cars and trucks already in good condition on paper will be selected.

From there, the vehicle is inspected and further serviced to every factory standard according to the manufacturer, Cadillac in this case. If there are any recalls the original owner didn’t address, the dealership must do so.

That means a slightly used car could receive the same treatment as a new car off the lot at a 10 percent cost difference.

Make sure what you look at is Cadillac certified. Some dealers and third-party sellers might try to trick you into thinking a vehicle is CPO.

They may use stickers, posters, banners and so on to advertise certain vehicles as “Certified.” This doesn’t necessarily mean the vehicle underwent the same inspections or received the same treatment.

Be sure to deal with a certified Cadillac dealership and specifically ask about their CPO program.

Review the CPO Warranty
Another great reason to go this route is the Cadillac CPO warranty.

With most used vehicles, you may not get a warranty. Sure, some dealers and third parties may offer their own warranties, but you may not get one that’s actually backed by Cadillac.

The Cadillac CPO warranty comes with six years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. During that time frame, you’re eligible for certain services and replacements from official dealers.

Always discuss the details of this warranty with a certified dealer when you’re looking. It’s important to have this information handy for your own review, whether in print or digital format.

But again, maybe you’re buying a used car that’s still not too old. Is it covered under the original warranty?

Verify the Original Warranty
If you’re looking at a relatively new Cadillac vehicle, you may find that it’s still under the original warranty. You receive the same warranty for the time left on it.

Cadillac’s powertrain limited warranty is six years or 70,000 miles, whichever comes first, for 2013 models or newer. If your model year is 2012 or older, it will be a five-year or 100,000-mile limited warranty.

If the original warranty is still active, it carries over to you. And your CPO warranty won’t take effect until the original runs out.

That’s a long time to go with the peace of mind you won’t be stuck without warranty protection anytime soon.

Perform Your Own Inspection
Original and CPO warranties are excellent and thorough. There’s a reason Cadillacs receive a nearly 200-point inspection before they’re labeled “certified.”

Cadillacs are powerful vehicles with many mechanical and electronic parts that should all work properly. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your own inspection.

No system is perfect and, sadly, problems can go unnoticed. Whether you’re a car expert or not, there are a few things you can look for yourself.

Windshields
Make sure the windshield’s clean and free of any cracks or pitting.

Pitting is a small indented area of corrosion that can be hard or even impossible to see. You can determine if pitting exists by lighting dragging your nail across the windshield. If pitted, you’ll feel bumps and indents.

Exterior
You can tell a lot by examining the outside of the car. Do you see any signs of:

Dents
Dings
Rust
These can signal the vehicle was in a crash or the previous owner didn’t care for it properly.

Interior
The vehicle’s interior also can give you a good idea how well the car was cared for.

The exterior faces natural elements, but some people live in their cars. A Cadillac certified pre-owned car should have been thoroughly and professionally cleaned and repaired.

Use your own interior list of check points. Check for:

Tears in the seat fabric
A general mess on the floor, under seats and in corners
Bad aromas that linger
The smell of cigarette smoke, for example, is hard to get out even for professionals. You’ll want to make sure the interior meets your standards before you buy.

Third-Party Inspection
Maybe you have a local mechanic you always use, or who you’re related to or friends with. Ask them to perform their own inspection. Take the car to them and test it before you buy, if the seller allows.

They may find problems you wouldn’t notice with a glance. At the very least, you can be more confident the vehicle was inspected by multiple sources.

Do Your Homework Before Buying
Buying a Cadillac certified pre-owned vehicle is a no brainer for some people. You get many — if not all — the benefits of a new vehicle at a fraction of the cost.

But before you buy, do your homework. Make sure you’re working with a certified dealer, double check the original and the CPO warranties, and perform your own inspections.

If you’d like to see what kind of certified pre-owned vehicles we have to meet your needs, contact us right away.

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