What is an approved used car?

Last updated May 25 2021

Used and approved schemes offered by some dealers and manufacturers run comprehensive checks on vehicles to ensure they are in a good mechanical and aesthetic condition. Approved used cars will never have been written-off and will have no outstanding finance. Furthermore, cars with high mileage or in poor visible and mechanical conditions will be unlikely to qualify. By purchasing an approved used car, you are provided with the assurance that it has met the high standards set by the dealership or manufacturer.

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What qualifies as an approved used car?

The qualifying criteria is based on the individual manufacturer or dealership, but some that may be included are:

  • Mileage checks – cars with high mileage are unlikely to be selected for the approved used schemes.
  • Vehicle history check – the dealership will verify ownership history and ensure that it has never been written-off.
  • Full-service history – an approved used car will have full-service history so you will be aware of any issues in the past, but also be beneficial to you if you choose to sell on the vehicle in the future.
  • Comprehensive quality checks – the dealership is likely to conduct a quality check across all elements of their vehicles with some consisting of up to 120 checks.
  • Warranty – some approved used cars may include a manufacturer warranty with any purchase and some manufacturers will offer this to be extendable for an additional fee.

Are all used cars sold by a main dealer approved used?

Not all vehicles sold on the forecourt of a dealership will be approved cars. As mentioned in the section above, the cars that qualify for approved used status have gone through comprehensive quality and mechanical checks. These cars will also qualify under a certain criterion of mileage and age, which are determined by the individual manufacturer or dealership. The standard used cars you may see on a forecourt may be cheaper, however, they will not come with the same level of guarantee as an approved car.

What are the benefits of buying an approved used car?

The benefits of purchasing an approved used car are within what qualifies it to be listed in this category. When purchasing a used car, your car may be missing some service history, may not have had MOTs completed at approved garages and the condition can vary. Some dealerships and manufacturers may offer warranties on their approved used range of cars, so you will be covered should there be any faults with the vehicle that are covered under warranty. Therefore, the primary benefit of buying an approved used car is that you’re removing the uncertainty around the vehicle you have bought without paying the premium price it could cost to buy a brand new car.

What are the drawbacks of an approved used car?

Although there are benefits to purchasing your car through an approved used scheme, this can mean you end up paying more than if you were to buy the same car without the guarantees. However, if you don’t want to pay a premium to buy a brand new car, but still want some guarantees on the vehicle, then an approved used scheme could be a valid option.

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Manufacturer approved used car schemes

  • Audi Approved Used

  • Alfa Romeo SelectedForYou

  • Aston Martin Certified Pre-Owned

  • Certified By Bentley

  • BMW Approved Used

  • Citroen Select

  • Dacia Approved Used

  • DS Certified

  • Ferrari Pre-Owned

  • Fiat Found

  • Ford Approved

  • Honda Approved Used

  • Hyundai H Promise

  • Isuzu Approved Used

  • Kia Approved Used

  • Jaguar Approved Used

  • Jeep SelectedForYou

  • Land Rover Approved Used

  • Lexus Approved Used

  • Maserati Approved Used

  • Mazda Approved Used

  • Mercedes Approved Used

  • MG Approved Used

  • MINI Approved Used

  • Mitsubishi Approved Used

  • Nissan Approved Used

  • Peugeot Approved Plus/Standard

  • Porsche Approved Pre-Owned

  • Renault Approved

  • Rolls-Royce Provenance

  • SEAT Approved Used

  • Skoda Approved Used

  • Smart Approved Used

  • Subaru Proven

  • Suzuki Approved Used

  • Tesla Approved Used

  • Toyota Approved Used

  • Vauxhall Network Q

  • Volkswagen Das WeltAuto

  • Volvo Selekt