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I know you may not have a choice if the car is already certified, but is it anything to get excited about? I have a great deal of doubt on whether or not they ( the dealer) really inspect the cars all that well... Several cars I have bought in my life that were so called "certified" were not what I would call well inspected.. And Im not talking about small things.. How about brake lights that don't work ( both!).. garbage left next to a battery that is soaked with battery acid and believe me it was there for a long time


And the big deal they give you about how much it costs them.. for what??? a warranty that 1 year and 15K longer?? Its not even a bumper to bumper..

They make such a big deal of the car being certified and how great the warranty is, and then they tell you in the finance office about how little it covers and you should get a better warranty! lol what a joke!
 

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The Toyota Certified warranty is two parts actually. Part 1 is a 3 month 3,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty just like the factory warranty. That is effective from the date of purchase. Part 2 is a 7 year/100,000 mile warranty on the powertrain (engine, transmission, drive axles, transfer case, propeller shafts, etc) from the vehicle inservice date.

Toyota Certification also includes roadside assistance and towing for the duration of that 7 year/100,000 mile warranty.

Technically speaking a used car lot can sell you a vehicle in pretty much any condition they want. Hell, the thing can possibly be held together with bubble gum and good wishes in many states for all the customer knows. Certification is a garuntee against that and gives you quite a bit more peace of mind.

These cars should be the best Toyotas on the lot. They should have the best tires, brakes, and other wear items.

What you're really buying is insurance with a Certified vehicle. With a random used car if you have a break immediately after you drive off the lot you're pretty much at the dealership's mercy. Yeah, you could fight it in court, but that can be expensive and there's no garuntee you will win. With a Certified vehicle that problem is covered in writing by Toyota as are many others.

Is it worth it to you? Well, that's your choice.

Good luck!

-Alex
 

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Not to discredit, or disagree with Grizzly, but I just purchased a "certified" xB from a Toyota dealer in California. The part 2 he described is not what you get with a certified vehicle here. What you do get is a 3 year, 36,000 mile warranty on the drive train from the date and mileage of your purchase. That is the standard deal with a certified car.

They still try to sell you on the transferable, cancelable, 7 year/100,000 mile warranty. With my plans for the car I passed. And the salesman was even honest enough with me to agree that the extended warranty was not a good idea for me.

I will state though, that beyond a well running car, a Toyota Certification means absolutely nothing. The car doesn't have to be a clean used car. It doesn't have to be dent and scratch free. It doesn't even have to have all of its parts and pieces still attached. I had to negotiate that little corner piece of the lower grill and a new passenger side roof weather stripping into my purchase.

My car also has several small dents and dings that need to be addressed, as well as residue (and some vinyl) from being fully wrapped in a previous life.

I would also suggest an extremely thorough inspection. I was thorough with mine, and I still missed stuff. Check the inside of your hatch. All of the painted areas. Mine has rub marks and missing paint from when the previous owner would load the vehicle down. This is one of the easiest places to miss something in your initial inspection. And one of the easiest places to notice it once you own the car.

Also, wherever you can easily pop off an interior panel or two, do so! You would be amazed what this can reveal about a vehicle that has been "detailed." Dirt, spiders, egg sacks, etc. Quite a nice surprise. Just really get down and take good looks at everything. Stick your head under the car and look for (excessive) rust. Peal back carpet where you can and check for moisture.

It is worth your time to take these extra precautions. Even if it means frustrating the salesman. He may think you are costing him money, or wasting his time, but YOU have to live with the car and the payment. And don't just take a "CARFAX" report as good enough. There are so many things that never get reported it isn't even funny. Unless the car was totaled and salvaged, or stolen, you aren't likely to see it on car fax. And this can include major collision, flooding and repairs.
 
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