The process of purchasing a new vehicle is confusing enough without throwing in a hodgepodge of terms whose meanings are unclear to the average buyer. It's also a risk - you're putting a large investment of your money and your well-being into a machine, and you need to be sure that that machine is as affordable and reliable as possible. You need to be certain of the value of what you're buying. Here is some of the information we believe people should know when they are shopping for used or pre-owned cars.   

Pre Owned Cars vs. Used Cars

Different people use the terms "pre-owned" and "used" in different ways; many people believe these terms are interchangeable. In the auto industry, however, each term has a specific meaning.    

A certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle has generally been traded in by another customer or bought by the dealership for resale. It has to pass a set of tests in order to be listed as CPO, including a vehicle inspection, a safety test, and a background check. It also comes with a warranty, and is altogether a more trustworthy purchase than a plain old used car. Though at Rafferty, we like to ensure that every vehicle that leaves our lot is a quality, trustworthy purchase, it is generally best to be wary of the term "used car" from other sources for this reason.   A used car is simply a car that has already been used. Our used cars (or as we call them, value vehicles) have all been inspected and checked with Carfax. However, you could also purchase a used car from your neighbor up the street, and it wouldn't necessarily have to have these criteria. On the other hand, you couldn't purchase a certified pre-owned car from your neighbor up the street. Only manufacturers and distributors have the credentials to certify and sell these cars.  


The Pros and Cons of Certified Pre-Owned Cars (CPO)

There are pros and cons to any choice, and purchasing a vehicle is no different.

Pros of Purchasing a Pre-Owned Car:

  • It's less expensive than purchasing a brand new vehicle.
  • The car cannot be older than a certain number of years or have more than a certain number of miles on it in order to be certified, so you are guaranteed to be getting a product with somewhat less wear-and-tear.
  • It comes with a 152-point safety inspection, during which anything that does not meet our standards is fixed or replaced.
  • It comes with a warranty. In the case of a Subaru, that warranty is a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty with $0 deductible.
  • In the case of a Subaru, it comes with 24/7 roadside assistance, a Carfax vehicle history report, and a Sirius XM 3-month trial subscription (along with additional, optional benefits).
Cons of Purchasing a Pre-Owned Car:

  • It can be more expensive than purchasing a used car that hasn't been certified.
  • It isn't a new car - it's still been used before, and likely does not have all of the features of the newest cars on the market.

Types of Certified Pre-Owned Cars

Dealer Certified - These cars have passed a series of tests and credentials at the dealership level. Their warranties are generally lengthier and more detailed, so although it might mean that the warranty only applies to the specific dealership where the car was purchased, it's usually worthwhile.

Manufacturer Certified - These cars have passed a series of tests at the corporate level, and their warranties generally extend to any dealership under its umbrella, though they may be shorter in duration than the warranties at the dealership level.

Rafferty Subaru

4700 West Chester Pike
Directions Newtown Square, PA 19073

  • Sales: 484-588-6229
  • Service: 484-534-4984
  • Parts: 484-534-4970


  • Monday 9am - 8pm
  • Tuesday 9am - 8pm
  • Wednesday 9am - 8pm
  • Thursday 9am - 8pm
  • Friday 9am - 8pm
  • Saturday 9am - 5pm
  • Sunday Closed

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