Certified Pre-Owned Vs. Extended Warranty: What Does It Mean When Buying a Used Car

Disputes constantly arise around extended and certified pre-owned warranties: is there any difference, and whether they are worth expenses at all? Consultants from the Indy Auto Man used car dealership explain the pros and cons of every option.

Certified Pre-Owned

Certified pre-owned are used cars with a servicing warranty from an official dealer after the factory one expired. The manufacturer assumes responsibility for further maintenance of the vehicle in official services.


  • Direct cooperation with the dealer. The driver already trusts the official manufacturer, so this warranty will not significantly change anything in service.
  • Vehicle life can be extended. The dealer uses only original spare parts, guaranteeing their durability and wear resistance.
  • A driver can choose cash compensation instead of repair. In rare cases, the dealer may offer compensation if there are no resources to repair the vehicle.


  • Higher cost. Certified pre-owned used cars cost more, while there can be no warranty cases at all during the whole owning period.
  • May not accept a wide range of breakdowns. A frequent occurrence among US motorists is complaints and attempts to sue dealers due to compensation for repairs. It is not so easy to understand which case is covered by the warranty and which is not.
  • Can refuse to repair. If the driver has been serviced, made minor repairs, or installed something bypassing an authorized dealer, they may deny providing major repairs by warranty.
  • Expensive maintenance. The prices for such a service at a dealer can be several times higher than the same set of services at ordinary service stations.

Technical Warranty

The owner of a used car has an option to buy a warranty that is not affiliated with the original manufacturer. The drivers can choose the terms and amount of coverage and take the car for repairs to the partnering service centers.


  • Partner services work in different cities. The driver can buy a car in one city, and a technical guarantee in another. The repair geography is not tied to the place of residence at all.
  • The prices are lower than those of factory service, while the quality is at the level. The driver can pick the tariff, which he will pay once a year, and the cost of the service package will not depend on the condition of the car.
  • More warranty cases. An old car rarely breaks down due to factory defects, more often due to wear and tear. Therefore, many parts that were not repaired under an official warranty can be repaired under a technical one.
  • No strict demands. It is easier to buy a technical guarantee, as there are fewer requirements for vehicles. Usually, these are limits on service life or mileage and undergoing regular oil and oil filter changes.
  • The warranty can be transferred. If a current owner doesn’t need a guarantee anymore, he can contact the company where he bought it and reissue it to another person. It is especially vital when selling a car with a valid warranty.


  • They also refuse to repair. Rarely but such situations happen if the warranty does not include a breakdown or the driver does not comply with the contract terms. For example, he did not replace the oil filter in time.
  • No official support. Such service is based on repairs at partner service stations, and the spare parts may be not original.

What to Choose

Both options can be convenient, so drivers should start from what they want to end up with. So, if servicing at an official dealer is critical, it is worth choosing a certified pre-owned used car. The manufacturer will continue to support car repairs. However, when buying a used car in Indianapolis from a reliable dealer, like Indy Auto Man, there is no need to overpay for CPO. The customers can be sure of the quality, as every vehicle goes through a thorough pre-sale inspection and comes with a seven-day exchange warranty. All customers are always welcome at the IAM service center for regular maintenance or repairs if any problems arise. There are always 300+ used cars for sale, including low-mileage cars in just-like-new condition.


Written by Patricia

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