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Certified used-vehicle sales up 46% since 2000: J.D. Power

November 22, 2010

Of all consumers who purchased a certified used vehicle this year, about half were aware of the certification programs before they started shopping, and less than one-quarter of them initially set out to buy a certified car, a new study found. The J.D. Power and Associates 2002 Used-Vehicle Sales and Certification Study estimates that 35 percent of latemodel used vehicles sold this year were certified.

Sales of certified used vehicles have increased 46 percent since 2000. "Certified" in the study is defined as a late-model vehicle that has undergone a detailed inspection at the dealership and is sold with manufacturer-backed warranty coverage. "Certification programs are changing the face of the latemodel used-car market," said Scott Weitzman of J.D. Power.

"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." Used-car certification programs are attracting a significant number of shoppers who originally consider only a new vehicle. The value-added benefits of certified used vehicles have been particularly attractive to luxury buyers, who purchase certified used vehicles at a higher rate than do non-luxury buyers.

"In many cases, certified used-vehicle programs are giving new-vehicle buyers access to a higher class of vehicle than they may have originally considered along with added perks like free maintenance and roadside assistance-features that the traditional used-vehicle sale never provided before," said Weitzman. Lexus ranks highest in satisfying certified used-vehicle owners, receiving top ratings for program features, vehicle quality, shopping experience and vehicle price.