Selling Certified Pre-Owned Cars: A Guide for Dealerships

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As a dealer, it’s important to stay one step ahead of your shoppers to drive sales and customer satisfaction. With 2024 used car sales expected to increase, automakers like Honda and Toyota are expanding their certified pre-owned programs, offering more affordable, flexible and high-quality options to their consumers. 

This blog sheds light on the psychology behind the appeal of CPO vehicles and provides practical tips to help your dealership engage and educate customers effectively. 

The psychology behind the appeal of CPO vehicles

CPO vehicles have some of the advantages of new cars, but without the steep depreciation that comes with a fresh-off-the-lot purchase. Psychologically, consumers are drawn to CPO vehicles because they reduce the risk that comes with buying used cars. Due to the rigorous inspection process and extended CPO warranty programs, the anxiety of potential mechanical issues or hidden defects is significantly reduced. 

Moreover, the term ‘certified pre-owned’ itself carries psychological weight. It signals to buyers that the vehicle meets certain standards set by the manufacturer or your dealership, instilling a sense of trust and confidence. 

Benefits of selling CPO vehicles 

Promoting and selling certified pre-owned cars can be beneficial for your dealership, improving some of your most important metrics. Here’s how: 

  • Grow your service drive: Consumers are more likely to return to your dealership for service and repairs. 
  • Improve your reputation: The reliability and protection that come with a certified pre-owned vehicle indicate your dealership provides quality inventory with customer satisfaction and safety in mind. 
  • Higher profit margins: CPO vehicles have a clean history report, low mileage and are protected by a warranty program. This allows you to sell the vehicle at a higher dollar than a standard used car. 

Marketing certified pre-owned vehicles

There’s a lot of value in selling pre-owned vehicles, so how are you engaging with your customers? Your dealership can promote its CPO inventory through social media platforms, digital advertising and SEO campaigns, targeting shoppers searching for used vehicles. 

5 tips for educating customers about CPO vehicles

1. Emphasize the inspection process: One of the key selling points that makes shoppers interested in a CPO vehicle is the thorough inspection and reconditioning it undergoes. Highlight this process, detailing the inspection points and everything they cover. This helps reassure your customers of the vehicle’s quality and reliability.

2. Highlight the warranty: CPO vehicles typically come with an extended warranty, offering peace of mind to consumers. Explain the terms of the warranty clearly and how it provides additional protection compared to regular used cars.

3. Discuss the cost savings: While CPO vehicles may have slightly higher prices than non-certified used cars, they offer significant savings compared to new cars. Discuss depreciation rates and the long-term cost benefits to help customers understand the value of investing in a CPO vehicle.

4. Leverage testimonials: Share the experiences of satisfied CPO vehicle owners to help potential buyers visualize the benefits and reliability of choosing a certified pre-owned car.

5. Offer a vehicle history report: A comprehensive history report can further instill confidence in the vehicle’s condition. This report typically includes information about previous owners, accident history and any major repairs or recalls.

M.A.P. Manage your inventory the smart and easy way.

Sourcing pre-owned inventory 

Finding quality pre-owned inventory is a challenge many dealers are facing. By shopping outside of your local market, you can source vehicles nationwide. With technology like the Montway Automation Portal (M.A.P.), your dealership can manage transportation in one platform, obtain real-time shipping quotes and track the status of your units in transit, even for multiple rooftops.

Moreover, M.A.P. allows you to access information including buying areas, pickup and delivery metrics and rate-per-mile to help you understand your transportation expenses and how to reduce them.  

CPO cars enhance customer satisfaction and sales growth

CPO vehicles give used car shoppers an appealing option, offering a balance between price and peace of mind. By understanding the psychology behind their appeal and effectively communicating their benefits, dealerships can leverage this growing segment of the market to drive sales and improve customer satisfaction.

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