For car shoppers looking to buy a luxury vehicle for the upgraded features or just for the luxury badge (hey, we don’t judge), buying new may not be a realistic proposition. The good news is that it is possible to get your hands on a quality luxury car without paying the luxury price tag. The trick here is to buy used. In fact, buying used is a very good move because luxury vehicles depreciate faster than mass-market cars and you can bypass the bulk of this depreciation by choosing a pre-owned model. Just like buying any used vehicle, there is some level of risk involved, so you'll want to do some research and planning. Learn the secret to buying a luxury car for less and see which models offer the best deals.
Tips for Buying a Used Luxury Vehicle
The process of buying a used luxury vehicle will look very similar to buying any other used car. This means you'll want to look for warning signs that the car has had major damage or simply has not been maintained well. The difference in buying a luxury used car compared to mass-market is that you'll notice a larger price discrepancy between buying a new model compared to one that is a few years old.
Look for Vehicles Coming Off Lease
Many people lease luxury vehicles instead of buying them which helps you as a used car shopper. Most leases last for a three-year period, and there are mileage restrictions. When a luxury vehicle's lease is up, the dealership will be looking to get it off their lot and you'll benefit from a gently used, low mileage luxury car at a bargain price.
Avoid Compact Cars
According to iseecars.com, compact cars are rebounding in demand due to the recent rise in gas prices. When buying used, you may not find as good of a deal on a compact vehicle compared to something larger. Unless you specifically need a small car for your driving needs, look for mid-size sedans or SUVs for the best deals.
Inspect the Car and Dig Into its History
If you find a luxury used car you're interested in, get it inspected. Even if the vehicle had only one owner, he/she may not have maintained the vehicle well. Luxury vehicles typically have lower reliability ratings so you'll want to have a mechanic take a look and sign off on its condition to ensure good working condition. Make sure you also get a full vehicle history report for the car. While you may be getting a great price, you don't want to end up with a vehicle that constantly breaks down.
5 Best Deals on Used Luxury Cars
iSeeCars.com did a study on vehicles that depreciate the fastest, making them good options to buy used. The average depreciation among all vehicles is 35% after 3 years. Out of the top 10 vehicles that depreciate the fastest, over half of them are luxury vehicles with depreciation rates that fall far above this number. These top 5 luxury cars will give you the most bang for your buck.
1. BMW 5 Series
The BMW 5 Series gets the top spot as the luxury vehicle with the fastest depreciation. The 5 Series not only gives you a great deal, but also a spacious back seat and a comfortable ride for both driver and passengers. Plus, it has a large trunk for cargo and features like Integral Active Steering.
- Average used price: $30,846
- Depreciation rate: 52.6%
2. Mercedes Benz E-Class
The Mercedes E-Class will give you an undisputed taste of luxury, with sleek materials throughout, customizable lighting, and a 23 speaker sound system. You'll also enjoy the adaptive suspension and the safety features like the 360-degree surround-view camera.
- Average used price: $34,010
- Depreciation rate: 49.9%
3. BMW 3 Series
The BMW 3 Series. is a sporty, compact sedan that gives you a smooth ride with excellent handling. It's quick but also quiet and composed on the road. Inside the cabin, it offers superior interior cabin quality that won't let you forget you bought a luxury vehicle.
- Average used price: $24,024
- Depreciation rate: 49.9%
4. Audi A3
The Audi A3 packs a punch with its power and handling. When it comes to technology, you'll enjoy a great audio system and the driver-focused Audi virtual cockpit will impress. Best of all, buying used means you'll bypass the high depreciation and score a luxury vehicle at a mass market price.
- Average used price: $21,120
- Depreciation rate: 47.9%
5. Buick Enclave
If you're in the market for a luxury SUV instead of a sedan, the Buick Enclave is a large, 3-row option that is a good choice for families or those looking for more space. It offers a comfortable ride for all occupants along with a quiet cabin.
- Average used price: $26,620
- Depreciation rate: 46.8%