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- We’ll answer the question up front: Yes, you can find used CPO’s for under $10,000, even with the ever-increasing prices of new and used vehicles across the country.
- For prices around $10,000, older Fords seem to be the most common, but no matter which company you’re looking at, small sedans and hatchbacks are your most likely options.
- Going as low as $15,000 to $16,000 means you can find some certified SUVs and newer used car options, some of which are only two or three years old.
We’ve all got it: This isn’t the best time to buy a car. According to JD Power, the average new-car deal price this month is expected to be $44,832, which is not far from the record high of $45,247 we saw in December 2021. But sometimes you just have to buy one anyway. And perhaps the idea of spending $45,000 to buy a new car is simply unrealistic. Since Memorial Day is traditionally a time when auto dealers deliver good sales, we wanted to help people shop this weekend on a more tight budget. The good news is that if you’re looking for a low-priced pre-owned CPO model, there are some bargains to be found, especially if you’re looking for small sedans or hatchbacks.
As we have repeatedly written in the past, buying a CPO car offers a number of advantages, including the certification itself, as well as a manufacturer-backed warranty. CPO’s vehicles are likely to be newer and lower on their lease mileage, which until recently meant that they were usually significantly cheaper than comparable new models. But, given the price of new cars these days and the missing minimum of $10,000, the truth is that you’ll have to do some digging and maybe even accept some trade-offs in order to find some new wheels for you.
To answer the question in the headline, we were able to find a handful of Ford Focus and Fiesta models for mostly under $10,000 (before taxes and any fees, of course) listed on Edmunds.com. Not only are Ford CPOs available at this price point—we spotted a 2012 Subaru Impreza for $9,000—but the results were similar on the Autotrader. It didn’t take long to learn that in the big world of SUVs and pickups, CPO deals in 2022 take the form of mini hatchbacks and sedans. Which brings us to our first trade-off: the limited choice, both in make and model. If you’re OK with that, keep reading.
Or decide to spend more
At Cars.com, the lowest price filter option you can set is $12,000, so we’re going a little higher in price now. A nationwide search using this price cap returned about a dozen results as we were looking for leads for this article late last week. As with Edmunds, these were mostly smaller cars, including more Focus and Fiesta options, but now there are more Honda Fits and Nissan models in use. A 2013 Ford Escape with 113,000 miles is listed for $11,000, so an SUV isn’t quite out of the question here, but you’re still talking about some “most used” used cars. Which leads to the second trade-off: The lower the purchase price, the higher the mileage is likely. This is true with most used cars, but it is worth remembering that the CPO warranty value is likely to be higher for these higher mileage options.
Maybe somewhere around $15,000 would be a more reasonable target for a “low cost used vehicle CPO” here in 2022. In fact, if you tune in to the Cars.com filter to find anything under $16,000 (the site runs in $2,000 increments) There are hundreds of results, including plenty of 2019 and 2020 models. So, the third trade-off will be the technical features. Unsurprisingly, these often get better in recent model years thanks to upgraded technologies, especially security features. To name a few, every vehicle sold in the United States after May 1, 2018, was required by federal law to have a backup camera. While most automakers have phased out these cameras before the deadline, it’s worth checking back to see if the CPO you’re monitoring has a camera or other safety features that might be standard on newer versions of that particular model.
It’s entirely possible to find a used car from a CPO even in 2022. It’s not exactly easy to find, and your options will obviously be limited by your location, but it’s there. Good luck and God bless you.
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