Buying and Maintaining Secondhand Luxury Cars
You probably spend a lot of time in your car every day. Whether you’re driving to and from work, picking up the kids from school, or just out and about enjoying a day of good weather, your car is important to you. So, why shouldn’t your vehicle be luxurious and exciting.
Unfortunately, that’s a problem for a lot of people, nowadays. It’s just a fact that all those bells and whistles come with a high price that many can’t afford.
Luckily, there are a couple of ways to enjoy a luxury vehicle without paying the full price of brand new from the dealership. We are talking about buying second hand.
It still won't be cheap, but it will be a lot more accessible than heading to the local car lot for the latest BMW, Lamborghini, or Porsche.
We’re going to go over some of the main points you should consider when finding your dream car at a price that won’t totally wreck your bank account. What to look out for and how to get the most out of any true deals you find. Plus, we will discuss maintaining your luxury vehicle to ensure it lasts.
Let’s get started.
Finding Great Deals on Used Luxury Cars
Thanks to modern online record keeping, dealership standards, and your ability to quickly educate yourself before making a purchase, secondhanded isn’t really a bad thing. In fact, it has several benefits over buying a car brand new.
First you need to decide on what luxury vehicle you would like as some are naturally cheaper than others. Then it is time to start searching for them.
Here are a couple of the places you can reliably find used luxury cars for sale. Don’t worry; neither of them requires you to drive around for hours on end hoping to see a “For Sale” sign in a window.
Luxury Car Dealership
This is hit or miss, but if you do find a deal, it’s usually one you can trust. Dealerships, even the more high-end ones, tend to take trade-ins, fix them up, and initially try to sell them on their lots in special pre-owned sections.
After a short while, those get sold to auction houses. The dealership invests money into refurbishing these cars before they go on the lot. So, if you act quickly once finding a deal, you can snag a quality car at a great rate. Plus, you can get it financed from the dealer and trust that it runs properly.
To do this, you need to keep an eye out online. Look up the sites for the various high-end dealerships in your area, bookmark them, and check their stock frequently. When something good shows up, get on the phone and arrange an inspection.
Online Private Listings
Of course, you can also turn to online marketplaces as many people use them when selling their cars.
You have a better chance of finding someone selling a used luxury car privately online than you do stumbling across one at a dealership, and they’re usually a little cheaper than what you’d pay at a dealership with the above method.
However, there are some drawbacks. You’ll usually have to accept a few flaws, and you’ll have to fix those flaws on your own.
If the car is perfect, private sellers can tend to get overzealous with their pricing. Also, you can’t really finance a car in a private sale. Sellers want their money upfront and in full before you get the keys.
If you accept a car that will need a reasonable amount of work, you have bargaining power so the cost can be cheap. However, underestimating repair costs or not doing your due diligence can end up costing you big time. So, make sure you know what you are getting into before finalizing any deals.
How to Tell if Your Luxury Car Purchase is a Good Deal
Once you start seeing a few options that fit into your budget, how do you know if they’re deals worth acting on?
Always look up the online reports available for a used car. They will tell you everything from how many owners the vehicle has had and how many miles it has been driven, to whether it was in any substantial wrecks and how many service trips it had.
Sellers, and even dealerships, can sometimes try to withhold this information and steer you towards a car that has seen way more action than you should be willing to deal with. So even if it costs a bit for these reports, they can be well worth it.
You might think that decked-out Escalade is a great deal at $10,000, but when you check the odometer and it says "200,000", you know it can end up being a money pit.
Well-maintained cars can easily get up to 300,000 miles before being worn out beyond repair, but at 200,000, you typically start seeing frequent problems. This isn’t bad if the problems are small, but a poorly maintained car will have much bigger problems that pop up.
Sometimes, it’s worth spending a little more on a slightly less used car.
When you're talking about luxury cars, you should expect the parts to be more expensive than others, but certain cars are so rare that just doing basic repairs can be a major financial investment.
Take a moment to check the average repair cost of the model you're looking at and determine whether that fits into your long-term budget. Which leads us to our next point.
Maintaining a Secondhand Luxury Car
Maintaining a secondhand luxury car is just like properly maintaining any other car. However, if you got a high-end car for a low price, you may need to put more money and effort into maintaining it.
First, there are the basics.
- Changing the oil every 3000 miles or so.
- Using the best quality fuel possible
- Regularly and properly washing and waxing the car to prevent dirt and debris build up
- Avoiding unnecessary damage by exercising a bit of gentleness
- And of course, driving safely.
However, over time parts do fail. Even when you do everything right.
The biggest difference with luxury cars is that you want to use genuine or at least high-quality parts. Don’t opt for weird generic things you find on the market for cheap.
Find the parts that, that car was made with, and use those for replacements. If they’re too expensive, you can always visit an auto wrecker to find cheaper parts salvaged from the same type of car. You might need to do some hunting but with persistence you should be able to find what you need.
Doing these things will not only keep you driving around in that luxurious bargain ride for years to come, but it will also allow you to preserve the car’s value over time and get some money back when you’re done with it.