Certified used-vehicle sales increased 46% in two years, with certified vehicles comprising an estimated 35% of late-model used vehicles sold in 2002, according to a J.D. Power and Associates study.
The inaugural study measures the satisfaction and experiences of owners of certified used vehicles. “Certified” refers to late-model used vehicles that have typically undergone a detailed inspection at the dealership and are sold with manufacturer-backed warranty coverage.
“Certification programs are changing the face of the late-model used-vehicle market,” says Scott Weitzman, J.D. Power's senior director of retail programs. “While the traditional used-vehicle sale is motivated primarily by price, certification programs increase consumer confidence about the quality of the used vehicle, backed by a strong warranty.”
While 53% of all used-vehicle buyers are aware of certification programs before they start shopping, less than 25% of buyers who purchased a certified used vehicle initially set out to do so. However, awareness of certification programs continues to increase, and the programs are attracting more shoppers who originally considered only a new vehicle.
The value-added benefits of certified used vehicles have been particularly attractive to luxury buyers, who purchase certified vehicles at a higher rate than do non-luxury buyers.