Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

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ElmoHongZito
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Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by ElmoHongZito » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:10 pm

I thought it would be difficult to search the forums for car buying tips and strategies so I thought I would start a new thread.

I am in sales and spend a good amount on of time in my vehicle and putting miles on my vehicle. I have been doing 15k mile per year leases but I always end up paying for excess miles. I’m ready to purchase a couple year old pre-owned car for cash (unless you can give me a more sound strategy) and sell it in a few years and repeat. I get tired of my cars about every 2.5 years.

I would like something sporty, luxury, sedan that I will enjoy since I spend so much time in my car.

If a 911 Carrera was a good every day driver and could resell without losing much I would be all over it. But since that is not the case, I am thinking of a Mercedes C43 AMG or a CLA 45 AMG. I saw a 2014 CLA 45 AMG today with about 30k miles selling for 31k. Also a 2011 C63 AMG with 42k miles selling for $26,500. By the way I have never owned a Mercedes. I drive an F-150 Lariat right now.

Can you share your thoughts on anything I should take into account regarding “luxury/pre-owned/Mercedes/buying cash/etc”???

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Cycle
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by Cycle » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:25 pm

How many hours do you spend in the car per year?

I drove 1000 miles last week, comfort would be my biggest need

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Alexa9
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by Alexa9 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:38 pm

Would this really help you with your job or do you just want a nice car?
Can you write it off for tax purposes? If so, leasing might be a good option. The first 3 years of a German Luxury car are more likely to be trouble free. After that they can be fairly reliable or a nightmare if you're considering buying used. AMG cars are not driven lightly by grannies either.
Don't forget to factor in maintenance, insurance, depreciation, and repairs that are much more expensive on German Luxury than your Ford truck.
A slightly more conservative/reliable approach would be a Lexus GS.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by GoldStarDude » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:07 pm

Do it!

I purchased a CPO 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350, as I too drive 15-20k per year, and wanted something safe and comfortable. The ride was exceptional, and the performance was VERY good. Not AMG good, but it never lacked for power, and rode like it was driving on glass. The car consistently averaged 34-37 mpg on the highway, and 28 combined. It was never in the shop, except at the 10,000 oil change interval, and was incredibly reliable. I was very impressed by the German engineering.

I was hit head on a month ago, and the car was totaled. BUT, I walked away without injury. It absolutely was everything I expected a Mercedes-Benz to be... Safety truly is their hallmark.

I replaced it with a 2018 Ford F-150, my second. It's definitely no Mercedes-Benz, so in a few months it's going to my son, and I'm going looking for another Mercedes.

While I have no experience with the AMG models, I highly recommend Mercedes-Benz. Built like a tank (safe), comfortable AND reliable.

tim1999
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by tim1999 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:13 pm

If you want a used Mercedes, buy a 1-2 year old one with the Mercedes Certified Pre-Owned Warranty, you get unlimited mileage coverage for 5 years from the car's initial in-service date.

Don't buy an out-of-warranty high-end MB like the C63 unless you are knowledgeable about cars and know a good independent Mercedes repair shop.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by Watty » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:27 pm

ElmoHongZito wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:10 pm
I’m ready to purchase a couple year old pre-owned car for cash (unless you can give me a more sound strategy) and sell it in a few years and repeat.

......

Can you share your thoughts on anything I should take into account regarding “luxury/pre-owned/Mercedes/buying cash/etc”???
The sales tax on changing a car so often may be significant depending on your state. As I recall with a lease you only pay the sales tax on the lease amount.

If you are going to do that I would take a hard look at the numbers to compare that to leasing. You may be able to lease a used car but that would be much less common.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:33 pm

I too am in sales and drive a lot. I know you want a nice car, I did too, but I got over the urge and ended up buying a 6MT Civic. Upon reflection I should have gotten an Accord, but this is nice enough. When you drive a lot you have a higher chance of getting a ticket. I don’t need a car that’s “exciting” considering most of my time is spent doing cruise control at 70 mph. I sure do love getting 45mpg highway. If I do 2000 miles in a month I get a nice check for $1090 and I’ve only outlayed around $150 in gas. Plenty left for maintenance and saving for the next car.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:55 am

My indirect experience watching my father own a Mercedes was that maintenance is quite expensive. Nice cars though. Just make sure to factor that in.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

ElmoHongZito
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by ElmoHongZito » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:58 am

Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts. You definetely have given me some things to seriously think about in making this decision. Thank goodness I did not make an impulsive decision yesterday and trade in my truck for that CLA 45 which no longer had factory warranty.

A few comments from things that were brought up in your replies...

I am not reimbursed for miles. I get a $750 per month car allowance and 100% of my gas is paid for which is why fuel efficiency is not a huge priority for me.

Sales tax is about 6%. The numbers they showed me yesterday had me paying 2k on a 34k taxable amount.

A few of you mentioned leases however I would think this would be out of the question based on the amount of miles I drive and anticipate driving. 15k miles per year is the most you can get on these leases and then its like $0.25 cents for every mile you go over.

@tim1999
Your reply really got me thinking. I am not very knowledgeable about cars nor do I have the time or desire to. I don’t know a trustworthy mechanic or independant mercedes mechanic shop which scares the crap out of me. Your idea of getting a 1-2 year old certified one with warranty really resonates with me. It will probably be very expensive because of that especially if I want the AMG version. I don’t mind more expensive (because I have the cash) as long as it doesn’t lose too much value and I limit my loss when I go to resell it. Thoughts on that?

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:32 am

You're taking good advantage of buying a used AMG Mercedes as they depreciate faster than anything I can think of sans a Maserati.
ONLY consider a CPO car and look into additional factory backed coverage, if needed so that you are sure you'll be covered for as long as you plan to own the car. You want to understand what the CPO covers....not just the bold letters of "up to xxxx".
I'm not a sales person, but technical support for sales, so travel and have a car plan like you do. A critical requirement for me is that I need to be able to get to a customer anytime. This guides my car choices to cars that I would not expect to be back at the dealer.....even when the service is free. If the dealer is very near your home, this can work. If you have to drive half an hour the wrong way to drop off your car, take a loaner and then get it back by 5pm, that doesn't work for me.
Don't use your $750 car plan determine what you're buying unless there's a mandate. I have worked for companies who do mandate what I buy with specifications or with a list of cars that are acceptable. But if you're free to buy whatever you want, finding a cheaper, comfortable, good handling car can put a lot of $$ in your pocket. In my office, I have the full range of cars, from a Mercedes E class to a Ford Focus. At the end of the day, if the guy with the Focus is fine with his car, after 5 years, he's going to have a pile of money more than the E class guy.
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by stoptothink » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:08 am

There is a reason the depreciation on AMGs is insane, they are incredibly expensive to maintain. My brother's E63 wagon has been a maintenance nightmare to the point where he bought a Subaru Outback for his daily and the AMG sits in his garage collecting dust because he is underwater on it and is kind of afraid to drive it because something else will go wrong. He did have two MBs prior, it was his first AMG, which he bought used with <20k miles.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by randomguy » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:26 am

Watty wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:27 pm
ElmoHongZito wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:10 pm
I’m ready to purchase a couple year old pre-owned car for cash (unless you can give me a more sound strategy) and sell it in a few years and repeat.

......

Can you share your thoughts on anything I should take into account regarding “luxury/pre-owned/Mercedes/buying cash/etc”???
The sales tax on changing a car so often may be significant depending on your state. As I recall with a lease you only pay the sales tax on the lease amount.

If you are going to do that I would take a hard look at the numbers to compare that to leasing. You may be able to lease a used car but that would be much less common.

Taxes issues are state specific. Some give you a credit when you trade in. Others don't. Some only tax lease payments. Others tax the sales price.

If I was driving 20k miles/year, I would probably go the CPOed c class where I had like 4 or 5 years (buy a 1 year old loaner) of unlimited mileage coverage. No it isn't the cheapest way to drive but that is a crap load of time to spend in a car that isn't comfortable.

And I wouldn't touch an AMG car for this job. Get a weekend car if you want something sporty.

And since it has to be thrown in, if you can fit the daily mileage in, a Tesla with the 8 year unlimited mile power train warranty might make sense. I am sure it will be relatively expensive over 8 years but Tesla will foot the bill fixing all the battery/motor issues that people have had.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by midareff » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:28 am

I had a Mercedes C350 I bought new and drove for 5 years. It was a great, comfortable and trouble free car and I traded it for a 2018 AMG C63S Sedan I custom ordered. I've had it for 6 months now, also trouble free. Remembering I am a 70 year old retiree this car is great for me, pure fun to drive. If I was working and had to be driving 1K a month or more it might be the wrong car. Just too much on the ultra high performance/ track car side. Pure fun to the Mall, Doc's office and grocery store, a real thrill on the x-way but not for everyone. I test drove a C43 along the way and didn't like that car at all compared to my C350. It was (too) noisier, rode harsher and offered very little in performance improvement. A CPO C350 or E350 (depending on your size needs) would be a perfect fit on a program with miles and warranty covered. They are great cars for the street while an AMG is a car that's ready to go to the track that can still be readily driven on the street.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by Leemiller » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:30 am

I bought a 2014 CPO E350 convertible as my daily drive. Love it. No comparison to our Honda and now my husbands wants a Mercedes as well. I had an issue but since my car was under warranty, it wasn’t a big deal. With your car allowance and driving, I’d definitely get a car that is more fun/nicer to drive. I’m not enough of a car person to understand the difference between the E class and AMG. I did drive a C class loaner and could tell a big difference.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by alfaspider » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:34 am

The c43 isn’t a “real” AMG. It’s more like the BMW Mxxx vehicles. That’s somewhat of a good thing, as it will be cheaper to maintain.

The CLA is not going to be up to the quality levels you probably expect from Mercedes. It was built to a price point, and it shows. You buy one of these for the badge rather than it’s independent merits.

If you are driving a lot of miles, you will probably be better served by the standard Honda/Toyota suspects. Doubly so compared to a very used Mercedes like that 2011.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by ChinchillaWhiplash » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:42 am

Lexus, Infiniti, or Accura? Those might be a better choice. Cheaper and less expensive maintenance. Comparable quality, comfort and performance.

ElmoHongZito
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by ElmoHongZito » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:53 am

alfaspider wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:34 am
The c43 isn’t a “real” AMG. It’s more like the BMW Mxxx vehicles. That’s somewhat of a good thing, as it will be cheaper to maintain.

The CLA is not going to be up to the quality levels you probably expect from Mercedes. It was built to a price point, and it shows. You buy one of these for the badge rather than it’s independent merits.

If you are driving a lot of miles, you will probably be better served by the standard Honda/Toyota suspects. Doubly so compared to a very used Mercedes like that 2011.
So glad I posted this thread. I did not know that about the CLA. Probably all the more reason to make sure I have warrantee on it if I were to chose to go that route.

Do you guys know if all certified pre-owned mercedes come with a warrantee other than whatever is left of the factory 4yr/50k miles?

Also can you guys tell me your thoughts on the following 2 luxury sport vehicles as well?

I came across a 2016 BMW M4 hardtop convertible for $50k with 15k miles (one accident reported). Not CPO (its from OffleaseOnly.com)

Also came across a 2018 Audi A5 2.0T quattro Premium cabriolet (convertible soft top) with 15,500 miles for $40k. Also not CPO (looks like it was a trade in at a Lexus dealership).

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by SQRT » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:05 am

I drive a BMW M5 which is comparable to some of the cars you mention. Getting a 2 year old used M5 with manufacturers extended warranty (BMW’s version goes out for a total of 6 years) would make some sense. Never owned a MB as I really like the handling characteristics of BMW’s. Buy what you enjoy (as long as you can afford it).

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by SQRT » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:07 am

ChinchillaWhiplash wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:42 am
Lexus, Infiniti, or Accura? Those might be a better choice. Cheaper and less expensive maintenance. Comparable quality, comfort and performance.
I would beg to differ on “performance”. Certainly with regard to AMG or M models.
Last edited by SQRT on Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by fatmike91 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:37 am

I think you will find there is a very different ownership experience with Mercedes Benz (and BMW, and others) whether you are buying a car in warranty or out of warranty.

This is especially true for any AMG (or M from BMW).

My last Mercedes was a zero miles 2015 bought as "new" at a material discount in 2016 with a 5 year 100K CPO warranty. I was the first title holder. That's the way to go if you can find a spot like that.

Good luck.

/

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by MikeG62 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:49 am

ElmoHongZito wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:10 pm
=

Can you share your thoughts on anything I should take into account regarding “luxury/pre-owned/Mercedes/buying cash/etc”???
OP, I have owned Mercedes AMG (and non-AMG) as well as BMW (Land Rover, Lexus, Audi, among other brands). I would say it is highly likely with an AMG or BMW that you are putting north of 15K miles per year on, you need to be prepared for large annual maintenance costs. A brake job on an E63 for example can run you $6,000. A BMW out of warranty is probably going to run you four figures every time you bring it in for service (other than an oil change - which itself will cost you $200).

If you want bulletproof reliability I'd strongly consider a Lexus (we have one now and had one several years ago). Never, and I mean, never in the shop for repairs. Just change the oil and off you go.
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by tibbitts » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:26 am

I don't understand a lot of the discussion because I only see two issues:

1. comfort, which is very personal depending on size, shape, etc.

2. price - whether it's important to profit on the allowance.

Interestingly the OP didn't mention passenger or cargo capacity, which is a little unusual for a salesperson - usually there is some requirement for those things, but maybe not here.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by IntangibleAssets » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:02 pm

MikeG62 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:49 am
ElmoHongZito wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:10 pm
=

Can you share your thoughts on anything I should take into account regarding “luxury/pre-owned/Mercedes/buying cash/etc”???
OP, I have owned Mercedes AMG (and non-AMG) as well as BMW (Land Rover, Lexus, Audi, among other brands). I would say it is highly likely with an AMG or BMW that you are putting north of 15K miles per year on, you need to be prepared for large annual maintenance costs. A brake job on an E63 for example can run you $6,000. A BMW out of warranty is probably going to run you four figures every time you bring it in for service (other than an oil change - which itself will cost you $200).

If you want bulletproof reliability I'd strongly consider a Lexus (we have one now and had one several years ago). Never, and I mean, never in the shop for repairs. Just change the oil and off you go.
I would second this as well, specifically, look for F-sport packages (since you prefer sporty), or depending on your budget/tastes, GS-F. Lexus/Toyota have been 1/2 in reliability for years and Lexus traditionally has comfortable seats as that is one of their selling points and general demographic for older people.

I have not had direct experience with other luxury brands, however I know several persons with Audi/BMW/Mercedes etc. and after 3-5 years it seems to be a crapshoot. The German car makers sure do know how to make a beautiful interior though, no question.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by delamer » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:07 pm

GoldStarDude wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:07 pm
Do it!

I purchased a CPO 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350, as I too drive 15-20k per year, and wanted something safe and comfortable. The ride was exceptional, and the performance was VERY good. Not AMG good, but it never lacked for power, and rode like it was driving on glass. The car consistently averaged 34-37 mpg on the highway, and 28 combined. It was never in the shop, except at the 10,000 oil change interval, and was incredibly reliable. I was very impressed by the German engineering.

I was hit head on a month ago, and the car was totaled. BUT, I walked away without injury. It absolutely was everything I expected a Mercedes-Benz to be... Safety truly is their hallmark.

I replaced it with a 2018 Ford F-150, my second. It's definitely no Mercedes-Benz, so in a few months it's going to my son, and I'm going looking for another Mercedes.

While I have no experience with the AMG models, I highly recommend Mercedes-Benz. Built like a tank (safe), comfortable AND reliable.
We also own a 2014 E350, bought as a CPO.

We find the seats to be uncomfortable — the back is fine, but the actual seat is not. Something about the way it is curved. My husband has an Audi, and we both like those seats much better.

At any rate, spend some time in the car. We were offered the opportunity to take the car home overnight before purchase for a more thorough test drive and I wish that we had.

(Also not fond of the COMAND infotainment setup, but everybody seems to find those annoying regardless of the manufacturer.)

But the vehicle has lots of nice features and is well made.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by alfaspider » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:57 pm

SQRT wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:07 am
ChinchillaWhiplash wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:42 am
Lexus, Infiniti, or Accura? Those might be a better choice. Cheaper and less expensive maintenance. Comparable quality, comfort and performance.
I would beg to differ on “performance”. Certainly with regard to AMG or M models.
Depends which Lexus. The “F” models aren’t quite as quick as the AMG equivalents, but they are quicker than non-AMG cars. Pretty cool that Lexus will still sell you an naturally aspirated v8 in a luxury sport sedan.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by ElmoHongZito » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:54 am

So after reading all your responses and looking around I think I have narrowed down my options to either a 2018 Mercedes CLA 250 with low 9k mileage (not CPO) or a 2015 Lexus CT200h with around 30k miles (CPO).

For the maximum 2 to 3 years I would keep the car before I get bored I should be covered under both of these options as far as warranty. Mercedes still has most of its 4 year 50k mile warranty left on it and the Lexus CPO has a 6 years from purchase unlimited mile warranty and even offers complementary maintenance covering next four factory-recomended services for 2 years or 20k miles from when you purchase the CPO vehicle.

I have always put “exterior looks” as my number one criteria when buying any car and I really like the way these 2 vehicles look in white with the aftermarket body kit accessories available for them. They are both luxury vehicles so the interior cannot be too bad either.

Still open to any thoughts you guys have on this as well as what you think of my 2 potential choices above. Btw Lexus discontinued the CT200h in 2017. Apparently they were not selling as many as they anticipated in the US market. I did not even know this vehicle existed until I read JD POWERS August 2018 article for the 8 MOST RELIABLE CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED CARS where they included the Lexux CT200h.

Here is the article: https://www.jdpower.com/Cars/Certified- ... e-CPO-cars

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by tim1999 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:15 am

Sorry to poke insult at one of your narrowed-down choices, but in my opinion the CLA250 is a cheap unrefined excuse for a Mercedes that was meant to hook in millennial fashionistas to the brand at a price point that makes for a relatively cheap lease. It looks good but that's about it. You pay for half a Mercedes, you get one. The transmission is awful.
Last edited by tim1999 on Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by omibogle » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:16 am

Why do you think 911 Carrera doesn't meet your criteria? They are great daily drivers and hold value really well.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by ElmoHongZito » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:49 am

omibogle wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:16 am
Why do you think 911 Carrera doesn't meet your criteria? They are great daily drivers and hold value really well.
Even if I am driving it 1500 miles per month?

So how would I get a used one that will stay under warranty for the next 3 years will all those miles I would put on it?

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by ElmoHongZito » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:55 am

tim1999 wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:15 am
Sorry to poke insult at one of your narrowed-down choices, but in my opinion the CLA250 is a cheap unrefined excuse for a Mercedes that was meant to hook in millennial fashionistas to the brand at a price point that makes for a relatively cheap lease. It looks good but that's about it. You pay for half a Mercedes, you get one. The transmission is awful.
I am not disagreeing with you but the way I was looking at it is that as long as it is under warranty for the 2.5 to 3 yr timeframe I will have it, I am ok with it not being as top grade as a C class or E class. I was also considering a 6speed manual WRX or a Civic Si (if the rear was not so ugly) which may show you that looks and sporty drive feeling is what I want as long as I have warranty for unexpected repairs.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by Ron Scott » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:36 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:49 am
ElmoHongZito wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:10 pm
=

Can you share your thoughts on anything I should take into account regarding “luxury/pre-owned/Mercedes/buying cash/etc”???
OP, I have owned Mercedes AMG (and non-AMG) as well as BMW (Land Rover, Lexus, Audi, among other brands). I would say it is highly likely with an AMG or BMW that you are putting north of 15K miles per year on, you need to be prepared for large annual maintenance costs. A brake job on an E63 for example can run you $6,000. A BMW out of warranty is probably going to run you four figures every time you bring it in for service (other than an oil change - which itself will cost you $200).

If you want bulletproof reliability I'd strongly consider a Lexus (we have one now and had one several years ago). Never, and I mean, never in the shop for repairs. Just change the oil and off you go.
Have to laugh about how true this is...

We’ve got our Porsche’s and BMWs. Wonderful cars and money pits that feel like you’ve arrived.

But the 4Runner lasted 21 years before we sold it last year and the Lexus RX is 14 and serves as our “city car” and for leaving at the rail station. Both require 2 never ending expenses: gas and oil.
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by wabbajack » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:34 am

ElmoHongZito wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:58 am
I am not reimbursed for miles. I get a $750 per month car allowance and 100% of my gas is paid for which is why fuel efficiency is not a huge priority for me.
I assume the $750 car allowance is through your employer and that if you don't get to keep the extra if you get a cheap car?

If so, I would just lease a brand-new Mercedes E-class every chance you get. Check the 15k miles/year box and be done with it. I can tell you that you don't want to shop for a CLA - interior is lousy for the brand. I can also tell you that you don't want to own an AMG unless it's new and likely covered by maintenance (which will definitely exceed the $750).

There's a lot of room for leasing at $750/mo. That's almost a position I'm envious of.

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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by omibogle » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:53 pm

ElmoHongZito wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:49 am
omibogle wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:16 am
Why do you think 911 Carrera doesn't meet your criteria? They are great daily drivers and hold value really well.
Even if I am driving it 1500 miles per month?

So how would I get a used one that will stay under warranty for the next 3 years will all those miles I would put on it?
Porsche CPO is a bit unique it provides unlimited mileage + 2 years beyond regular warranty (or from date of sale if car has past original warranty). What is also unique is it applies to cars up to 8 years old. So you can buy a 5 year old 911 CPO with 2 year full warranty and unlimited mileage during those 2 years.

stimulacra
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by stimulacra » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:19 pm

I would buy or lease a standard issue E-class with the minimum amount of options and call it a day. You essentially have a European taxi with some nice luxo features. This isn't a bad thing.

I would not buy a used AMG to use as a sales car, especially if you are putting 15k miles on it annually. Anything breaks engine wise when you are out of warranty and it's $10-20k repair cost. The depreciation curve on AMG models are also very staggering for the first 5 years. There's a good reason why used ones look seductively cheap.

To figure out what you might be in for:

2016 C63 with 25k miles: $45,947
estimated value in 2020 with 55k miles: $28,900

2011 C63 with 42k miles: $27,500
estimated value in 2020 with 72k miles: $17,238

To echo someone else's point, avoid the CLA and GLA models. The CLA was engineered from the ground up to hit the entry level luxury price point ($29,999.99). The GLA is a platform shared with Nissan/Infiniti.

One last thing to consider. If a sales rep drove up to my office with a Mercedes AMG E63, BMW M5, or Audi RS6… I would immediately start questioning their pricing/margins and get their next 2 rivals to provide a competing quote to whatever they were proposing. You want your vendors to be successful, but I don't think you want them to be that successful. Nicely equipped Accords, Camrys, Passats, or base trim E-classes, 5-series, and A6's are able to fly under the radar in this fashion.

SoAnyway
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by SoAnyway » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:43 pm

ElmoHongZito wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:54 am
So after reading all your responses and looking around I think I have narrowed down my options to either a 2018 Mercedes CLA 250 with low 9k mileage (not CPO) or a 2015 Lexus CT200h with around 30k miles (CPO).

For the maximum 2 to 3 years I would keep the car before I get bored I should be covered under both of these options as far as warranty. Mercedes still has most of its 4 year 50k mile warranty left on it and the Lexus CPO has a 6 years from purchase unlimited mile warranty and even offers complementary maintenance covering next four factory-recomended services for 2 years or 20k miles from when you purchase the CPO vehicle.
Since both meet your top criteria, OP (pricing, warranty, exterior looks, interior comfort), based on the other posts I'd go with the Lexus. Reason: Maintenance frequency. Presumably, your warranty research has already made maintenance COST a wash. But if you're in sales and need your car to get in front of your customers, what about the TIME you have to spend getting to the dealer, checking in, waiting for the repair or getting the paperwork done for the loaner, etc. etc.? As you know, your time is money. The less TIME/HASSLE you have to endure dealing with maintenance issues (even if free), the better. Just my $.02.

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wabbajack
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by wabbajack » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:18 am

stimulacra wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:19 pm
I would buy or lease a standard issue E-class with the minimum amount of options and call it a day. You essentially have a European taxi with some nice luxo features. This isn't a bad thing.
(...)
Nicely equipped Accords, Camrys, Passats, or base trim E-classes, 5-series, and A6's are able to fly under the radar in this fashion.
Most people can't tell if you got the fully loaded vs base trim E-class. They're going to be put off by the MB star, or they're not. OP will have to make the judgment call on that. But otherwise, I agree it sounds like this is what would work for you.

Gnirk
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by Gnirk » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:57 am

We’ve owned Mercedes, Lexus, and Acura. Mercedes maintenance is high cost. Acura was okay. The Lexus 430 had the smoothest, most comfortable ride, routine maintenance was reasonable, never had any issues with it and it was a great road car.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:50 am

MB is a very expensive car to maintain. Parts and labor. Better lease. As a BH, I would buy a Toyota (Lexus), Honda.

Afty
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by Afty » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:16 pm

tim1999 wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:15 am
Sorry to poke insult at one of your narrowed-down choices, but in my opinion the CLA250 is a cheap unrefined excuse for a Mercedes that was meant to hook in millennial fashionistas to the brand at a price point that makes for a relatively cheap lease. It looks good but that's about it. You pay for half a Mercedes, you get one. The transmission is awful.
I was about to post the same thing, though maybe in less direct language :P

OP, don't buy a CLA, they are terrible cars. You would probably be happier in a Civic. If you insist on buying a luxury brand and don't care that much about interior space, how about a CPO Lexus IS350? Pretty fun to drive and reliable too.

neoptolemus412
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by neoptolemus412 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:33 pm

Cash deals are not that great on cars right now b/c it's a seller's market. I was looking for a car a few months back and settled on a lease for a luxury car b/c cash purchase price for a used car was not that great of a deal. If this was 2010, I'd say go with a cash offer; however, interest rates are cheap and you're not going to save a ton of money in most cases buying a luxury used car in cash vs. financing from a dealer.

Personally, I live by the rule to lease luxury and buy cheap brands for cars. I've purchased a nissan, toyota, mercedes, audi, and now a bmw. I now lease a bmw. I learned luxury car maintenance is just 2x or 3x more expensive for the most basic of items over the life of the car. I would pay too much out of pocket for basic maintenance on my luxury cars, so I swear to never pay cash for anything other than a beater commuter car again. Leasing is not a great deal financially, but as far as maintenance and care, it's usually imputed into the cost of the lease. It's more money, but no surprises as long as you don't drive your car hard and return it in decent condition.

stimulacra
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by stimulacra » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:01 pm

wabbajack wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:18 am
stimulacra wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:19 pm
I would buy or lease a standard issue E-class with the minimum amount of options and call it a day. You essentially have a European taxi with some nice luxo features. This isn't a bad thing.
(...)
Nicely equipped Accords, Camrys, Passats, or base trim E-classes, 5-series, and A6's are able to fly under the radar in this fashion.
Most people can't tell if you got the fully loaded vs base trim E-class. They're going to be put off by the MB star, or they're not. OP will have to make the judgment call on that. But otherwise, I agree it sounds like this is what would work for you.
True, but car folks will know the performance sub-line of luxury marks (AMG, M-Motorsport, S and RS) and will be doubly put off… or impressed.

ChinchillaWhiplash
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by ChinchillaWhiplash » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:13 pm

ElmoHongZito wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:49 am
omibogle wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:16 am
Why do you think 911 Carrera doesn't meet your criteria? They are great daily drivers and hold value really well.
Even if I am driving it 1500 miles per month?

So how would I get a used one that will stay under warranty for the next 3 years will all those miles I would put on it?
You can get an older one and an extended warranty. If it is mostly highway miles a 911 will last quite a while as long as you follow the prescribed maintenance schedule. A 997 should fit the bill. It will be a bit expensive to own. Tires are expensive. Oil change $200. A lot of other stuff isn't too bad. I replaced the rotors and pads on my 2001 996 and it cost me around $600 for the parts and I did the labor myself. 18k miles a year is nothing. Get the newest one you can afford. They continually upgrade and refine them. Also, look for a car with a good service history with records. Very important to follow the maintenance schedule on these cars.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:25 pm

ElmoHongZito wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:10 pm
I thought it would be difficult to search the forums for car buying tips and strategies so I thought I would start a new thread.

I am in sales and spend a good amount on of time in my vehicle and putting miles on my vehicle. I have been doing 15k mile per year leases but I always end up paying for excess miles. I’m ready to purchase a couple year old pre-owned car for cash (unless you can give me a more sound strategy) and sell it in a few years and repeat. I get tired of my cars about every 2.5 years...

Can you share your thoughts on anything I should take into account regarding “luxury/pre-owned/Mercedes/buying cash/etc”???
Can you negotiate more miles up front for you leases?

Are you going to trade in the car after 2.5 years or sell it private party?
I wouldn't mind buying a new car every 2.5 years but I would hate selling a car private party every 2.5 years. Also, I enjoy negotiating car purchases but searching for a great used car can take a lot of time.

I'm sure it'll be cheaper to buy used, but have you figured by how much and is the savings worth it for you?

ssquared87
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by ssquared87 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:48 pm

Afty wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:16 pm
tim1999 wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:15 am
Sorry to poke insult at one of your narrowed-down choices, but in my opinion the CLA250 is a cheap unrefined excuse for a Mercedes that was meant to hook in millennial fashionistas to the brand at a price point that makes for a relatively cheap lease. It looks good but that's about it. You pay for half a Mercedes, you get one. The transmission is awful.
I was about to post the same thing, though maybe in less direct language :P

OP, don't buy a CLA, they are terrible cars. You would probably be happier in a Civic. If you insist on buying a luxury brand and don't care that much about interior space, how about a CPO Lexus IS350? Pretty fun to drive and reliable too.
CLA is junk, and reliability is not the only reason why.

The CLA is based on a front-wheel drive architecture like a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. Most Mercedes are based on a rear wheel drive platform which provides a better driving experience. The interior of the CLA is bargain basement.

Why not just get a C class or an E class. They have much better driving characteristics and the interior is higher quality. These cars actually feel like a Mercedes whereas the CLA just feels like a Volkswagen with a Mercedes badge.

Also not understanding your comment about the 911. It is an excellent daily driver assuming you don’t need extra space and holds its value better than most vehicles. The unlimited mileage CPO warranty is great, and Porsche is more reliable than Mercedes although if something does break it’s probably more expensive to fix.

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wabbajack
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by wabbajack » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:31 am

ssquared87 wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:48 pm
CLA is junk, and reliability is not the only reason why.
(...)
the CLA just feels like a Volkswagen with a Mercedes badge.
Agree.
And disagree. I drove a new Volkswagen out of college, and then an Audi last year. The VW has a nicer interior than the CLA.

ElmoHongZito
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by ElmoHongZito » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:16 pm

Ended up buying a Honda Civic Type R. Since so few allotted to the US and there is such a high demand given the limited supply it was very difficult for me to get one at MSRP. But after contacting pretty much every dealer in the country that had one in championship white (signature color) I finally found one at a dealer that was willing to sell it to me at MSRP if I purchased that day because they had another one coming in soon. You can say that they sold a little over MSRP because they had some BS "Honda Accessory Package" option on it that they would not allow me to remove. It was like $1395 for all weather mats (including trunk mat) and nitrogen in the tires. It hurt me to agree to it but it was still a much better deal than the 5k-15k over sticker that most other dealers were charging and not willing to negotiate so I went with it.

I hope to be able to put a bunch of miles on it and in 2-3 years sell it at not too much of a loss hoping that the supply/demand ratio still works in my favor at that time.

Afty
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Re: Thoughts on buying a pre-owned Mercedes Benz cash?

Post by Afty » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:26 pm

Congrats! The Civic Type R is an excellent car. 👍

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