Pros and Cons of Buying a Certified Pre Owned Car

Pros and Cons of Buying a Certified Pre Owned Car

Should you buy a Certified Pre Owned Car? We explore the the advantages and disadvantages behind the wheel of a 2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4S.

Stunning isn’t it? This is the Porsche 911 Targa 4S. Along with those looks it sounds great, goes like stink and handles amazingly. But if you think the best feature is that it’ll drive your neighbor crazy with jealousy, you’d be wrong. The best part is you can get all this for a fraction of what you’d expect because… it’s used.

OK, perhaps “used” is a bit crude here. Instead this is a Porsche Certified Pre Owned car. What exactly does that mean? Well, essentially it has been brought up to a standard above a typical used car.

SEE ALSO: What is a Certified Pre Owned Car?

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

It may be a 2010 but the paint is immaculate. There’s hardly a ding, scrape or rock chip on it. The interior is pristine, with not even a scuff here or a piece of dirt there. And it drives great! It’s fast, responsive, stable and smooth at speed.

So back to what makes a car Certified Pre Owned. For starters, there are several different types of CPO cars, so be careful when shopping for one. There are dealer ones and franchise ones, but the only one you really want is a manufacturer one. That means it’s backed by the automaker itself, so if there’s an issue, Dr. Martin Winterkorn back in Germany has your back.

SEE ALSO: CPO Programs Explained

But before detailing CPO programs in general, this Porsche makes a particularly attractive example, so let’s take a quick look at the Porsche Approved Certified Pre Owned program.

Porsche is unique among CPO programs. While many cover cars newer than 5 years old and with less than 60,000 miles, Porsche CPO cars can be up to 8 years old and have 100,000 miles on them!


Porsche Approved Certified Pre Owned

  1. Eligible cars: 8 years old or newer, up to 100k miles
  2. 111-point inspection by Porsche Certified Technician
  3. Only Porsche replacement parts used
  4. Porsche Approved 2 yr/50k CPO Limited Warranty
  5. Warranty service is free

For the most part you’ll find many are nowhere near this and often with luxury cars or high end models they will be lease returns.

Porsche Certified Technicians do a 111 point inspection and parts replaced with original Porsche parts. That’s far fewer points inspected than some automakers boast, but as we’ve just explained cars like our 911 might as well be new.

CPO Cars sold that are still under the new car limited warranty are then covered up to 6 years or 100,000 miles from the original on sale date with a CPO Limited Warranty, while cars outside that new car warranty are covered with a special warranty of 2 years or 50,000 miles and it covers most of the major systems and parts, and doesn’t cover obvious wear parts (tires, brake pads, clutches, etc).

Warranty service (but not regular maintenance) is also free when you buy a CPO Porsche, though many automaker’s charge a deductible.


So, should you buy a CPO car? Let’s look at some of the reasons not to first.

For starters, it’s expensive. Sure you’re saving a bundle over a new car, but you’re going to pay a premium over a regular used car.

For many cars, particularly ones less high-end than a Porsche, the work of hunting down a model and having the necessary pre-purchase inspection and repair work done can be done cheaper than what you’re going to pay for a CPO badge.


Why You Shouldn’t Buy CPO

  1. More expensive than used
  2. CPO cars still aren’t new cars

The most obvious downside is that it’s not a new vehicle. Cars within a same generation may not differ all that much but in the case of this 911, there’s an entirely new one out, with more power, better fuel economy and the latest tech gadgets and design. Plus, over hard bumps we did notice a squeak or two – although on this particular model it’s likely related to the fancy Targa roof.

In the particular case of the 911, the car has an iconic design that doesn’t change much from one generation to another. Thanks to that, almost no one will ever know it’s not brand new. Unfortunately the same can’t really be said of the interior, where dash buttons and the overall style do look more dated.

So, what are the advantages?

First, there’s that warranty and the fact that it’s been reconditioned to as-new status. Plus, often a good financing rate is offered.


Why You Should Buy CPO

  1. Warranty
  2. It’s almost new
  3. Big savings
  4. Your time is valuable

And so what if it’s not the latest and greatest, or in the case of the Porsche 911, down a few horsepower from the new model, you’re not likely to notice, especially with 385 hp on tap.

Often as is the case with “previously enjoyed” cars the past busy owner didn’t have the time to enjoy it. So now it’s up to you. Our Targa 4S (generously provided by Porsche) is technically four years old, but it only has 14,000 miles.

Consider the reliability of a car and the brand it’s associated with when looking at a certified pre owned one too. For a Corolla it’s probably not worth it. For a lot of German brands, it certainly is. We wouldn’t lump Porsche in with the other Germans as it’s known for reliability, but if something were to go wrong, you can be certain the fix will be expensive.

Finally, and most obviously, there’s the cost. Priced at $103,000 when new, our CPO Targa 4S will soon be put up for sale for about two-thirds of that.

You could probably buy one for a couple thousand less but with more hassle and more risk. As the saying goes, time is money, and for many folks, particularly those shopping in the Porsche bracket, they’ve likely got more money than time.

GALLERY: 2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4S


  • Atticus

    Never in my wildest dreams would I expect to own a 911 Porsche, but the CPO option could make this dream a reality. I wonder. Does CPO actually mean: “Contented Porsche Owner?”


« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. * is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of, 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked