Like all automakers, Ford has an active certified used-vehicle program. What's the difference between a certified used-vehicle program and a plain old, vanilla, everyday used-vehicle sales program? Quite a lot is different, honestly.
For starters, a certified used-vehicle sales program assumes that the vehicles for sale in the program are the best of the best. In other words, a dealer may take in a vehicle that looks great but isn't the healthiest in the world, and that vehicle heads to the back line of the sales lot with the "bargains." Or, a vehicle's destiny may be a local used-vehicle auction where the dealer can maximize any investment in the vehicle.
Program Prizes Vehicles In Good Shape
Vehicles that are in very good shape are the ones prized by dealers. These vehicles don't need much investment. Some vehicles look like they are in good shape, but when you get under the hood, it is usually a case of opening the hood and closing it up again because the vehicle isn't in great shape and will require too much investment. With that said, vehicles in great shape that dealers take in are then given a close look by technicians. During that look, the techs check many items – as many as 139 or 172 for Ford, depending on the program – to make sure the dealer's investment (and the automakers that will ultimately guarantee them) is solid.
Once the check is complete, vehicles enter into the certified pre-owned program. These programs require that the techs have made the correct number of checks, and then the vehicles are registered as part of the program. And they are given warrantees that make the vehicles pretty good deals.
Ford's certified vehicle program is likely to spark as much excitement as its new vehicle programs continue to spark excitement.
Ford is enhancing its used-vehicle digital marketplace, offering buyers increased peace of mind and ensuring Ford dealers remain leaders in the used-vehicle space. Beginning this month, vehicles sold under the Ford Blue Advantage platform will include a 14-day/1,000-mile money-back guarantee.
Ford Blue Advantage, powered by industry leader Autotrader, lets customers search a wide selection of Ford and non-Ford products to find their ideal vehicle through a personalized shopping experience. The experience includes a search-by-vehicle option and preference for home delivery, at-home test drive, and video walkaround.
Vehicles Inspected By Factory-Trained Techs
All Ford and non-Ford vehicles listed through the program are inspected by factory-trained technicians and backed by Ford Motor Company warranties under two different certification levels – Gold Certified or Blue Certified. The money-back-guarantee applies to both levels and is the best guarantee offered by any full-line automaker.
The new platform meets customer demand for a seamless shopping and purchase experience by providing dealers' best and most comprehensive selection of used Ford and non-Ford vehicles. It has proven successful – internal data show that since the inception of Ford Blue Advantage.com, traffic to the site is up 500 percent over the prior Certified Pre-Owned site, while Ford certified used vehicle sales rose by 26 percent in 2021.
"The Ford Blue Advantage platform provides the opportunity to build long-term relationships with our customers by offering the peace of mind of a certified used vehicle, a comprehensive warranty, and the power of Ford Pass Rewards points – Ford's industry-leading loyalty program," says Andrew Frick, Ford vice president of sales, U.S. and Canada.
Ford-backed certification, benefits
All Ford Blue Advantage vehicles include additional warranty coverage backed by Ford Motor Company. With the ability to certify vehicles under the Gold or Blue level, participating dealers can cover up to 90 percent of their used-vehicle inventory.
Gold Certified vehicles pass a 172-point inspection and come with a 12-month/12,000-mile (whichever comes first) comprehensive limited warranty and a seven-year/100,000-mile (whichever comes first) powertrain limited warranty. Dealers can certify Ford vehicles at the Gold level for up to six years and less than 80,000 miles
Blue Certified vehicles – those 10 years or newer, with 120,000 miles or less – pass a 139-point inspection and come with 90-day/4,000-mile (whichever comes first) comprehensive limited warranty coverage. This level allows dealers to certify Ford and non-Ford vehicles for up to 10 years and at less than 120,000 miles.
Program Includes Roadside Assistance
Both levels come with 24/7 roadside assistance, and complimentary Ford Pass Rewards points that customers can use for future service visits or vehicle purchases at dealerships – 11,000 points for Blue Certified and 22,000 for Gold Certified.
Additionally, Ford runs a CARFAX Vehicle History Report on every Gold and Blue Certified used vehicle to ensure it meets rigorous Ford Blue Advantage standards.
Photo Courtesy of Ford Motors
Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise that I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.