Buy a previous loaner car

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Fortune
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:36 pm

Buy a previous loaner car

Post by Fortune »

hi
We are planning to get a new car for us. I am looking for a previous loaner small SUV (BMW, Acura, Lexus or Audi). These vehicles with less than 10k miles are priced $4-5k below current prices from dealer websites.

What factors should I consider in buying these loaner cars. Any suggestions to get a good bargain.
How should I factor premium vs regular fuel in estimating expenses.

Thanks
Last edited by Fortune on Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Something I would consider with buying a BMW loaner, is if it requires premium fuel, how many times do you think people filled up with regular before returning the car? I'd think about 100% of the time. $4k or $5k off new price? Is that off MSRP or off what you feel is the lowest price a new car can be negotiated for? Let's say the BMW is $50k new and they're offering $5k off, or 10%. If you could negotiate $4k off new, would you still think a 1 year old car (with less warranty) is a bargain at only $1k off? Or are they offering it as a CPO car with a longer warranty than new? Lots of questions.
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NoblesvilleIN
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by NoblesvilleIN »

In 2014, I bought a loaner mini-cooper (2013) with about 2,500 miles on it. All-in-all, I have been pleased. The car did not seem to have been driven hard (it is a 2-seat coupe (think min-cooper sports car)). It does call for premium fuel and that has led to buyer's remorse for me every time I fill up. I refuse to purchase premium, but do get the mid-grade - I've never done the math, but I bet it really hasn't cost me as much as I think. The few times that I have used premium, I did notice a slight improvement in gas mileage. I have not noticed a difference in performance, but I rarely get into the throttle. With mid-grade, the engine does not knock - the engine management software adjusts. I would think this would be true for most vehicles. I have accidentally used regular a couple of times and did not really notice a difference. However, I am afraid to do this very often.

Another option for you to consider is a vehicle that has been a rental. My daughter purchased a 1 year old Kia (2017) that had been a rental vehicle after she finished grad school last summer. It had more miles that you are looking for (about 40k, if I remember correctly). Again, it appeared to have been taken care of. It seems that people are afraid of rental vehicles, but what I have seen is that people seem to be careful with rentals.
sixty40
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by sixty40 »

We bought a 2017 Corolla in early 2018 dealer loaner car with about 10k miles, it was still under factory 3yr 36k mile warranty. It has not had any issues.
I don’t think it’s a problem getting a late model loaner, just make sure it has at least 1yr 15k mikes bumper to bumper warranty remaining
stan1
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by stan1 »

Fortune wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:31 am hi
We are planning to get a new car for us. I am looking for a loaner small SUV (BMW, Acura, Lexus or Audi). These vehicles with less than 10k miles are priced $4-5k below current prices from dealer websites.
What you describe may not be a good deal. Sometimes new cars are sold well below the prices that dealers advertise on websites. You could be paying almost as much for a prior year's rental car as you would for a brand new car with 10 miles on it.
runner3081
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by runner3081 »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:00 am Something I would consider with buying a BMW loaner, is if it requires premium fuel, how many times do you think people filled up with regular before returning the car? I'd think about 100% of the time. $4k or $5k off new price? Is that off MSRP or off what you feel is the lowest price a new car can be negotiated for? Let's say the BMW is $50k new and they're offering $5k off, or 10%. If you could negotiate $4k off new, would you still think a 1 year old car (with less warranty) is a bargain at only $1k off? Or are they offering it as a CPO car with a longer warranty than new? Lots of questions.
The computers are pretty good in modern cars. Running regular fuel may restrict performance, but is not likely to cause damage.
ellink
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by ellink »

I bought a BMW 3 series with ~3K miles on it from the dealer. Never used high test gasoline. Traded it in at 100K miles. Never had a problem.
delamer
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by delamer »

I wouldn’t buy one without a CPO warranty that extends the new car coverage.
SR II
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by SR II »

Bought a loaner 2005 Volvo S60 in February 2006 with 3,300 miles on it. It was a stick shift and nobody that needed a loaner at the Volvo dealer wanted to drive it! I watched the price of it on autotrader go down as a resale at the dealer until it was under $20k. They couldn't sell it either! Bought it with still over a two year new car warranty. Never looked back. Still have it with only 78,000 miles on it.
MotoTrojan
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by MotoTrojan »

Blown away that anyone would buy a high end car and not use the recommended fuel. Also I personally wouldn’t want a loaner or rental, do you all drive those as if they were your own brand new car? I know I don’t.
J295
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by J295 »

Loaner should be fine if that's what you desire due to price, etc.

I suspect most fueling is done by the dealership and not the customers, so ask if they put in premium (with or without ethanol).

There's a split between the "car jocks" on the need for premium. In our case we use premium with no ethanol. It's more expensive, but if you can afford a vehicle that the owner's manual recommends premium then you should be able to afford premium.

We drive our current vehicle a lot and wanted new, so bought the Lexus GX 460 and have put on 70k miles in 3 years.

There are a few threads on negotiating for new vehicles via the internet sales departments.

Be aware that repairs on BMW are typically pricey.

I'm biased towards Lexus and Acura, but that's based on the ride I features I value.

Also, in my experience the rides in the brands you are considering can vary significantly.

Fun times .... best of luck.
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Fieldsy1024
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by Fieldsy1024 »

MotoTrojan wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:55 pm Blown away that anyone would buy a high end car and not use the recommended fuel. Also I personally wouldn’t want a loaner or rental, do you all drive those as if they were your own brand new car? I know I don’t.
Agreed. Even if the car was cheap and needed premium, I wouldn't even consider cheaper gas.
sambb
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by sambb »

bought several loaners. no issues. (then again, never had any real issues with BMW) Funny that people are worried about the fuel that was placed in the car - i would be more concerned if any used car had any damage to it that was repaired. This would have more of an effect on resale than anything. That being said, with the discount these are often really good deals. if you have nay issues, the car is under warranty. Keep it for a few years and have fun. BH isnt a good forum about cars sometimes. I would go to a BMW or similar forum and ask.
Trism
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by Trism »

Lots of discussion of great deals on loaner/demo BMWs with < 5k miles on leasehackr.

These are apparently heavily discounted and treated by BMW FS like new vehicles for leasing purposes, even though the dealer is technically the first owner.

https://forum.leasehackr.com/c/marketplace
lazydavid
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by lazydavid »

Two of our last three cars have been demos or service loaners. A 2007 Lexus RX350 we purchased in May 2007 with 11k miles and traded last year with 170k miles, and a 2011 BMW 335d we purchased in October 2011 with 9k miles, which currently has 97k. Both were great, and saved us quite a bit.

$4-5k off of MSRP (if that's what you mean) would not be enough for me--we got $7k off of a new Q7 with 7 miles on it without really trying hard. Our RX stickered for $59k and we bought it for $50k. The 335d was $55k, and we bought for $38.5k.
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hand
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by hand »

sambb wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:28 am bought several loaners. no issues. (then again, never had any real issues with BMW) Funny that people are worried about the fuel that was placed in the car - i would be more concerned if any used car had any damage to it that was repaired. This would have more of an effect on resale than anything. That being said, with the discount these are often really good deals. if you have nay issues, the car is under warranty. Keep it for a few years and have fun. BH isnt a good forum about cars sometimes. I would go to a BMW or similar forum and ask.
If I was a dealer, it is unlikely I would populate my loaner fleet with first quality, easy to sell vehicles.
While I'd want my loaners to reflect positively on the brand, and I'd keep them clean and reasonably well maintained, I'd likely use the loaner fleet as a way to offload cars with shipping damage, weird options or otherwise difficult to sell.

Conceptually, I’d think loaner cars should include discounts for both the loaner service AND whatever flaws caused the cars to be relegated to loaner service in the first place.
lazydavid
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by lazydavid »

hand wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:08 pm If I was a dealer, it is unlikely I would populate my loaner fleet with first quality, easy to sell vehicles.
While I'd want my loaners to reflect positively on the brand, and I'd keep them clean and reasonably well maintained, I'd likely use the loaner fleet as a way to offload cars with shipping damage, weird options or otherwise difficult to sell.
This has not been my experience with either the loaners I've purchased or ones I've actually had as service loaners. Of the ones we bought, one was completely loaded with nearly every available option, and the other was well-equipped but not loaded (no nav, for example).

Service loaners I've driven have almost universally been what I'd call "popularly equipped", meaning they have most of the options that a typical buyer would want, but avoid some of the most expensive ones. To use just one example, my last BMW loaner was an X1. It was the AWD model with all three of the available packages (Convenience, Luxury, and Convenience), which means real leather and wood trim, Nav, H/K audio, heated seats and steering wheel, adaptive cruise, etc. etc. No "weird" options. Was also in Mineral Grey, a very popular color. All told, this was a vehicle with a $35k base price, and my best guess a $45-46k as-built price. About as quick-selling a configuration I could think of.

Could it have had shipping damage that was repaired? Possibly. But based on this one and the 3 other similarly-equipped X1-X3 models (all in Mineral Grey, actually) I saw being returned while I was there, I think this dealer at least is ordering dedicated loaners with an eye to being able to unload them extremely quickly when they hit the threshold age/mileage. My experience with Lexus loaners has been similar. Popularly-equipped mainstream models in non-polarizing colors that would sell easily.
delamer
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by delamer »

lazydavid wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:24 pm
hand wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:08 pm If I was a dealer, it is unlikely I would populate my loaner fleet with first quality, easy to sell vehicles.
While I'd want my loaners to reflect positively on the brand, and I'd keep them clean and reasonably well maintained, I'd likely use the loaner fleet as a way to offload cars with shipping damage, weird options or otherwise difficult to sell.
This has not been my experience with either the loaners I've purchased or ones I've actually had as service loaners. Of the ones we bought, one was completely loaded with nearly every available option, and the other was well-equipped but not loaded (no nav, for example).

Service loaners I've driven have almost universally been what I'd call "popularly equipped", meaning they have most of the options that a typical buyer would want, but avoid some of the most expensive ones. To use just one example, my last BMW loaner was an X1. It was the AWD model with all three of the available packages (Convenience, Luxury, and Convenience), which means real leather and wood trim, Nav, H/K audio, heated seats and steering wheel, adaptive cruise, etc. etc. No "weird" options. Was also in Mineral Grey, a very popular color. All told, this was a vehicle with a $35k base price, and my best guess a $45-46k as-built price. About as quick-selling a configuration I could think of.

Could it have had shipping damage that was repaired? Possibly. But based on this one and the 3 other similarly-equipped X1-X3 models (all in Mineral Grey, actually) I saw being returned while I was there, I think this dealer at least is ordering dedicated loaners with an eye to being able to unload them extremely quickly when they hit the threshold age/mileage. My experience with Lexus loaners has been similar. Popularly-equipped mainstream models in non-polarizing colors that would sell easily.
I agree, based on our experience with Audi and Mercedes loaners.
dpm321
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by dpm321 »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:00 am Something I would consider with buying a BMW loaner, is if it requires premium fuel, how many times do you think people filled up with regular before returning the car? I'd think about 100% of the time. $4k or $5k off new price? Is that off MSRP or off what you feel is the lowest price a new car can be negotiated for? Let's say the BMW is $50k new and they're offering $5k off, or 10%. If you could negotiate $4k off new, would you still think a 1 year old car (with less warranty) is a bargain at only $1k off? Or are they offering it as a CPO car with a longer warranty than new? Lots of questions.
I've been driving BMWs for 19 years. We currently have 3. I have never used premium in any of them and have had exactly zero issues. If you were driving the autobahn daily it might make a difference, but not in the US.
David Althaus
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by David Althaus »

Purchased a Mazda CX3 for run around town car. Came as top trim level. Fun to drive and trouble free for the two years owned. Did I get good deal? Don't know--but who ever really knows.

All the best

DAve
Retrograde
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Re: Buy a previous loaner car

Post by Retrograde »

Not everyone, but some people do mistreat/abuse loaner cars, which is why dealers sell them once they are a year old. Typically once a loaner gets much more than a year old, the abuse begins to show in the interior.

You can buy a loaner if you want, but I think you could do better by negotiating the price of a new car down. Especially as there are all sorts of factory incentives to help reduce the price.
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