Can you find a CPO used car under $10,000? Maybe

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  • We’ll answer the question right off the bat: yes, you can find Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles for less than $10,000, even with the ever-increasing prices of new and used vehicles across the country.
  • For prices around $10,000, older Ford vehicles seem to be the most common, but whichever company you’re looking at, small sedans and hatchbacks are your likeliest options.
  • Moving up to a $15,000 to $16,000 limit means you can find certified SUVs and newer used car options, some of which are only two or three years old.

      We all get it: now is not the best time to buy a car. According to JD Power, the average new vehicle transaction price this month is expected to be $44,832, not far off the record high of $45,247 we saw in December 2021. But sometimes you just have to buy one of anyway, and maybe the idea of ​​spending $45,000 on a new car is just unrealistic. Since Memorial Day is traditionally a time when car dealerships have decent sales, we wanted to help people shop this weekend on a more limited budget. The good news is that if you’re looking for a low-cost Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) model, there are deals to be found, especially if you’re looking for small sedans or hatchbacks.

      As we’ve written many times in the past, buying a CPO vehicle comes with a number of benefits, including the certification itself, as well as a manufacturer’s warranty. CPO vehicles are likely to be newer, low-mileage examples recently out of lease, which until recently meant they were generally much cheaper than similar new models. But, given the price of new cars these days and our $10,000 loss threshold, the reality is that you’ll have to dig and probably accept a few trade-offs in order to find wheels that are new to you.

      To answer the question in the title, we were able to find a handful of mostly Ford Focus and Fiesta models for under $10,000 (before taxes and fees, of course) listed on Edmunds.com. It’s not just Ford CPO vehicles available at this price – we spotted a 2012 Subaru Impreza for $9,000 – but results were similar at Autotrader. It didn’t take long to learn that, in a world of big SUVs and pickup trucks, CPO offerings in 2022 come in the form of small hatchbacks and hatchbacks. Which brings us to our first compromise: a limited selection, both in brand and model. If you’re ok with that, read on.

      Or decide to spend a little more

      On Cars.com, the lowest price filter option you can set is $12,000, so we’re raising the price a bit now. A nationwide search using this price limit returned a dozen results as we searched for leads for this article late last week. As with Edmunds, these were mostly smaller cars, including more Focus and Fiesta options, but there were now more used Honda Fits and Nissan models. A 2013 Ford Escape with 113,000 miles was listed for $11,000, so SUVs aren’t completely out of the question here, but you’re still talking about some of the most “used” used cars. Which brings us to our second trade-off: the lower your purchase price, the higher the mileage is likely to be. This is true for most used cars, but it’s worth remembering that the value of a CPO warranty is likely higher for these high mileage options.

      Maybe around $15,000 is a more reasonable goal for a “low cost CPO used vehicle” here in 2022. In fact, if you adjust the Cars.com filter to find something below 16,000 $ (the website works in $2,000 increments), there are hundreds of results, including many 2019 and 2020 models. So the third trade-off will be technical features. Unsurprisingly, these often improve in newer model years with improved technologies, especially safety features. To cite just one example, every vehicle sold in the United States after May 1, 2018 was required by federal law to have a backup camera. Although most automakers have these cameras in place before the deadline, it’s worth checking to see if the CPO vehicle you have your eye on is equipped with a camera or other safety features that might be standard on newer versions of this particular model.

      Finding a CPO used vehicle is entirely possible even in 2022. They’re not exactly easy to find, and your options will obviously be limited by your location, but they’re there. Good luck.

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