(NBCNC) - A change in the way we buy our cars has led to change in the cars we buy.
Used car sales were down the first quarter of this year, but not the sale of all used cars.
Sales are up for certified pre-owned cars.
Joe Spina at Edmunds.com says consumers are obviously finding the certified pre-owned offerings a lot less costly alternative to a new car.
"Really the cream of the crop," Spina says. "It's been inspected thoroughly."
"Usually that means that the customer is basically getting almost a new car," says certified car
inspector Kevin Breidenthal.
Volkswagen, for example, requires a 112 point inspection.
"The rims cannot be damaged, there can't be any misalignment in the doors, check all the lights, windows, no cracks, no hoses are leaking or missing clips," Breidenthal explains. "Mechanical and aesthetics that must be almost as if the car was brand new, but just slightly used."
That way the certified pre-owned vehicle comes with a factory backed warranty, which some dealers are marketing as aggressively as their new cars.