A growing number of consumers are considering certified used vehicles when car shopping, according to a survey by Edmunds.com.
About 85 percent of the 539 survey respondents said they have considered or would consider purchasing a certified used vehicle.
Key factors cited for the interest in certified used vehicles are the extended warranties, vehicle inspections, roadside assistance and reconditioning that some programs include.
Sales of certified used vehicles through May totaled 690,681 units, up 2.8 percent from the same period last year, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
While 57 percent of survey respondents said they didn't know the difference between a certified program sponsored by a manufacturer and a program sponsored by an independent dealer, the distinction can be important.
Manufacturer programs usually offer extended warranties, vehicle inspection, roadside assistance and reconditioning. Consumers have the option of servicing the vehicle at any of the franchise's dealerships.
An independent program typically will have a limited certification and no backing from the automaker, according to Edmunds.com.
Almost two-thirds of survey respondents said the warranty is the most important benefit included in certified programs, while about 20 percent said a thorough inspection is most important.
The benefits come with a cost. Consumers can expect to pay $500 to as much as $3,000 extra for a certified used vehicle, according to Edmunds.com.
Thirty-one percent of survey respondents said they would pay up to $500 more for a certified used vehicle, while 12 percent said they would pay more than $1,000 extra. However, almost 25 percent said they would not pay more for a certified vehicle.
You may e-mail Erin Robinson at [email protected]