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Old 03-26-2010, 07:58 AM
10,720 posts, read 16,833,102 times
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I'm looking at a used Mercedes Benz. I did an Edmunds used car search and checked the certified pre-owned box. I also only checked dealerships instead of private sellers. Some of the "dealerships" are used car dealerships that sell all types of luxury branks as opposed to a formal Mercedes Benz dealership. Also, how do I know if this car is genuinely certified pre-owned by this used car dealership? Would you buy from a dealership like this? Some of the prices they are offering are really good and the carfax checked out.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:21 AM
Location: NYC & NJ
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For a car to be truly CPO, it must have been certified by a bonafide dealership. That being said, there are a couple brands that allow the CPO warranty to remain in effect and be transferred when the CPO buyer sells the car to a new owner. You should check if Mercedes allows transfers of the CPO warranty - otherwise the warranty is pretty much gone if the original CPO buyer traded his car to the lot it's on right now.

Most comparable brands like Audi and Lexus stopped allowing CPO transfers (or never allowed them). This allows them to control the CPO market and supply, but obviously decreases your choices (i.e. you cannot buy private party or from unbranded used car lot and hope to keep the CPO warranty).
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:33 AM
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For a car to be branded as truly CPO it must be bought from the brands dealership. Generally the CPO warranty does not transfer between owners.

The grey area is line auction cars. Not every CPO vehicle was traded in at the dealership that is selling it. Most times these cars have all the necessary work performed to them (tires, brakes, clutch all within spec, all maintenance/recalls performed, etc.) and then are sold in a Hi-line car auction. Many of these vehicles that meet certification requirements aren't bought by the brand dealers, but are bought by used car centers that specialize in luxury cars. Many of these dealers will keep the paperwork and window stickers from the auction that show's that the vehicle is CPO eligible and what work was done to it prior to auction as well as the complete ownership and maintenance history.

Generally you are able to by a pedigreed "good" used luxury vehicle from these dealerships, but you won't recieve the extended CPO warranty that you would get from the brand dealer. Generally you will have some factory warranty left on the vehicle, but that's it. The cars are priced cheaper as there is no warranty and these dealers generally have lower overhead. With that said you can also buy a CPO car from a brand dealership and ask them to remove the CPO warranty and save some bucks.

It really comes down to whether you want to save money on a good used car, or you want the same car with a warranty.
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