Certified pre-owned (CPO) programs are an excellent way to get into a relatively unused car for less money without giving up a warranty. There are often strict stipulations to CPO cars, though. Things like mileage, condition, and ownership history qualify them for the privilege. Toyota is seriously expanding its criteria for its CPO cars, introducing a new “Silver Certified” program for cars with up to 125,000 miles and up to 10 model years old.

Honda introduced a similar but less aggressive program last year, signaling an interesting shift in the used car market. Cars are (generally speaking) more reliable than ever, and folks are using them for longer, which has dried up the middle-mileage inventory that made up traditional CPO programs.

While there isn’t much word on pricing, it’s almost certainly a play at a different segment of the market. CPO cars generally cost a little less than new, tracking with the initial depreciation hit. Silver Certified cars will have a transferable 12-month, 12,000-mile powertrain warranty and will be significantly cheaper than new. In comparison, Gold Certified cars can only be six years old and have less than 85,000 miles, but they do get a seven-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and a one year, 12,000-mile comprehensive warranty. 

Toyota Supra 2.0

This range includes practically the entire production run of the first-generation Scion FR-S and Toyota 86, and even high-mile examples of the fifth-generation Toyota Supra. Imagine a world with me, reader, where you can get a 12,000-mile powertrain warranty on a 125,000-mile BMW. Of course, all of Toyota’s more normal cars in the last 10 years qualify as well. 

The program is live now, but current inventory looks less like an enthusiast goldmine and more like five year old Prius models with 100,000 miles. Though pricing is significantly cheaper than new with plenty of cars under $20,000, buyers will have to swallow the higher mileage. 

One thing is for sure, the used car market is shifting and automakers are taking an active hand in changing it.

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