Kelley Blue Book will add factory certification as a vehicle condition, enhancing the retail price of certified used vehicles.
Charlie Vogelheim, the publication's editor, said the value should appear in Kelley's guides by this fall. He said he is trying to determine if certification should represent a specific dollar amount for a specific brand or if the amount should be generic across the board.
Most of the manufacturers' certified used-vehicle programs share many of the same elements. They are late-model, low-mileage vehicles that have been inspected and reconditioned and are covered by limited factory warranties.
According to a 2001 J.D. Power and Associates used-vehicle study, consumers are willing to pay $937 more for a certified used vehicle compared with a similar noncertified version.
Norm Olson, marketing operations manager for Toyota Certified Used Vehicles, said if the designation is recognized by lending institutions, those institutions would loan consumers more money on certified used vehicles than comparable noncertified vehicles. Toyota's captive finance company, Toyota Financial Services, already recognizes the added value of used-vehicle certification and adjusts its loans accordingly.
"They've (Toyota Financial) been a solid partner," Olson said. "There is added value with certified; you get so much more."
Mike Dennis, Ford Division manager of used-vehicle certification, agrees that adding certification in Kelley guides is a great idea. Dennis, who is in charge of Ford Division's Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned program, said, "When you look at the value from a consumer standpoint, it's like having a new-car warranty."