Is a Certified Used Car a Good Idea?


With slightly used cars selling at much lower prices than their brand-new counterparts, buying a used car can be tempting to most buyers. While bargains can be found on mechanically and cosmetically sound used vehicles, consumers looking for second-hand cars risk being accountable for a potentially costly car, especially if the warranty is expired. In order to ensure that you’re buying a quality used car, hours if not days of specific research is often involved to determine what issues typically affect any given make or model. Even once the perfect vehicle has been chosen, most buyers will need to examine the vehicle’s history reports and complete service history before feeling safe with such a financially momentous decision.

One of the best ways to combat this buyer’s anxiety is through certification programs. A certified used car is typically a lease return sold by dealer that has passed a thorough manufacturer certified inspection and is often backed by an extended warranty. Used cars that are certified give buyers more peace of mind, knowing the car has been looked over compared to those sold by private parties or by unaffiliated dealerships. This eliminates one of the major concerns of used car shopping – getting stuck with someone else’s problems.

The idea of certifying a used car is not new--it is a result of a steady increase in off-lease cars being returned to manufacturers in the 1990’s, leaving dealerships with a plethora of low-mileage, well maintained cars. By adding the value of certifying these lease returns for customers, they we able to increase their asking price for the cars, benefitting the consumer with peace of mind and benefitting the dealer with higher profit margins.

Automotive manufacturers use their licensed dealerships to inspect ex-leases, once they know what lies beneath the hood they determine if the car meets high enough standards to be deemed as a certified used car. Different manufacturers have different standards and inspection criteria, however it is common for dealers to have a 100 or 200 point inspection. They will check things like tire tread and pressure, fluid levels, and brake pads and rotors. There isn’t a unified legal standard of what qualifies the “certified” nomer, making it imperative to understand what a dealer’s certified program checks for, as critical systems need to be checked and not overlooked. Fortunately, dealers do not accept substandard cars as they have little incentive to buy poor cars and bring them up to a decent condition, so buyers can anticipate certified used cars to be in somewhat good condition.

After the mechanical inspection has transpired, often times and extended warranty will be included and factored into the financing. While the higher initial cost of a certified used car may seem unwarranted at first, having a warranty will help keep the price of operating the car lower for the remainder of your ownership. Warranties also yield added benefits like roadside assistance that can help in a pinch.

All in all, if you’re going to buy a used car, purchasing a certified pre-owned is the way to go. While it may seem more expensive than what you can find on the private market, the added peace of mind and savings down the road through an extended warranty are well worth the money. Before making your decision, compare the price of certified used models to those of similar mileage and age in the private market. Your decision should ultimately come down to a combination of reputation for reliability, extended warranty service and, of course, price.

PrazoNow is the right way to own a car, with a simple monthly, flat fee subscription. We are bridging the gap between leasing, ownership and on-demand and removing the complexity of car ownership by making the process simple, intuitive and fun. Think of PrazoNow as your personal mobility concierge. PrazoNow: Take The Wheel.

Los Angeles National Drive Electric Week

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National Drive Electric Week descended upon Los Angeles this weekend, boasting hundreds of  visitors, vendors, and automotive manufacturers all looking to promote more efficient transportation in Southern California. Sponsored by Nissan USA, attendees were able to get an exclusive viewing of the all-new next generation Nissan Leaf at one of its first public appearances in Los Angeles.

Other manufacturers, such as Tesla, BMW i Ventures, Audi, Chevrolet, and Ford, were also present, boasting their newest EV and hybrid models, many of which were available for test drives around the downtown Los Angeles test circuit. We particularly enjoyed having the opportunity to test drive the Volkswagen e-Golf, BMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance, and all-new BMW 530e xDrive. NDEW also featured an EV owner meet-up at the event, where owners were showing off their unique EV models and answering questions about their cars.

Seeing the support and excitement on both city and statewide levels was inspiring, with both entities fortifying the EV community. Blue LA, an electric car sharing service was at the event, providing test drives of their exclusive EV car that is aiming to transform the car sharing industry of LA, bringing affordable and sustainable EV transportation to the masses. “Charge up L.A.” has been a recent initiative that provides rebates for home and workplace charging infrastructure and was also represented at the event.

Sponsorship was far and wide, from institutions like Southern California Edison to Plug in America, even groups like the Sierra Club made an appearance. Overall, National Drive Electric Week provided a glimpse into what Los Angeles could look like with the adoption of more EV transportation, and from what we saw, it looks promising. Filled with passionate people and some of the brightest minds in the industry, we were inspired by how much excitement there is for transforming the sector.


PrazoNow is the right way to own a car, with a simple monthly, flat fee subscription. We are bridging the gap between leasing, ownership and on-demand and removing the complexity of car ownership by making the process simple, intuitive and fun. Think of PrazoNow as your personal mobility concierge. PrazoNow: Take The Wheel.

How to Save Money on Renting a Car

How to Save Money on Renting a Car

Vacation time equates to travel for most people, unless you’re into stay-cations. Most destinations require that you rent a form of transport to best see the sites. It's definitely a bit strange for us to be giving you tips on renting a car but we get it; sometimes Electric Vehicles just can't give you the range you want, and every so often you just need a quick set of wheels. Take a look at a few tips PrazoNow has compiled to help you save money on rental cars.

How To Save On Auto Insurance

How To Save On Auto Insurance

Sure, talking about insurance policies is about as alluring as getting a root canal. While your insurance policy may not preoccupy much of your forethought, it can be a silent drain on your bank account if you do not remain cognizant of what is affecting your premium. If you’re going to own and drive a vehicle, you have to have coverage, so why not enjoy a slimmer monthly payment? 

Top 5 Overcharged Repair Jobs

Top 5 Overcharged Repair Jobs

Mechanics are basically always willing to work with you to get your vehicle back on the road as quickly as possible. It’s no secret they’re doing their job to make money, but don’t think everything they charge you for is a rip off. That doesn’t mean some services don’t cost more than they probably should. What are they? PrazoNow has worked up a list of the top 5 overcharged repair jobs in no particular order. Let’s get you educated.

5 Ways to Lower Your Cost of Car Ownership

5 Ways to Lower Your Cost of Car Ownership

Let’s be honest, owning a car can get really pricey really quickly; you have to worry about gas, insurance, random car fees and even just general maintenance. Car owners spend thousands of dollars a year(on top of the cost of their vehicle) just to keep their ride on the road. Here at PrazoNow we’ve got your back though; here are five ways to save money while staying in a sexy ride!

5 Reasons Not to Buy A Car

You know the story: a new car starts bleeding value the moment it comes off the lot. It’s a short story, but it’s not something we at PrazoNow think you should even spend a second worrying about. Ultimately, a car is a tool. You need to get somewhere; you don’t need to be dragged down and delayed with the ramifications of that trip, short or long term. Luckily, there’s always the leasing life, which boasts a multitude of benefits, the following are just a few:

1)    Corral Your Cost

Whether your concern is immediate depreciation, maintenance responsibilities or the pain of working through the boondoggle of paperwork known as financing, leasing provides cost-effective freedom from the tribulations of the sunk-cost endeavor that is “outright” car ownership. Leasing allows you to not only pay less, but also eliminate certain costs, like upkeep, altogether.

2)    Buy into a lifestyle boost, not a mythos

The allure of car ownership is largely the allure of an archetype. Car owners grip the world under their tires…you, the self-made, the owner, bastion of autonomy! But once you squeeze yourself into the car owner’s quagmire of hidden costs and intrinsic concerns, you’ll find there isn’t much freedom of movement at all. When you lease, you’re securing an ability to choose, rather than affixing an anchor to your driveway.

3)    Tax Time!

Maybe you need a car for work and buying seems like the more reasonable option, after all, you can write those payments off. Well, you guessed it: the entrepreneurial lessee not only has the ability to write off the expense, she can write it off for nearly six times the amount in some cases.

4)    A Streamlined Experience

To buy a car, as we’ve covered above, is to be saddled with an intricate web of financial obligations manifested as one big sunk cost. It’s a one-time transaction, not the start of a productive relationship. Typically, manufacturers offer competitive, fast and straightforward leasing packages to entice new customers to become repeat customers. Take advantage of that lust for loyalty!

5)    Upgrade With Ease (Or Don’t)

Once you’re done with a lease, you can be done with that car. Maybe the new model is doing what new models do: sparkling invitingly, seemingly packed with utterly necessary new features… Now imagine having to rely on the aforementioned, grossly depreciated anchor you’ve rolled in on to fund that glittering dream. If you’ve ever tried to trade in and upgrade a vehicle, you know the struggle. And, if not, congratulations, never trouble yourself with the ultimately disappointing worth of your car and live an illuminated life, lease in hand.