Buying an old luxury car vs Newer economical

InsanityOfPigsInsanityOfPigs Member Posts: 1
edited July 25 in Mercedes-Benz

Hi!

So I’m finally retiring my 2006 Chevy Impala — it’s gotten to the point where there’s so much wrong with it that it costs too much to fix it than it’s worth, plus after my deployments and such, the exterior just looks horrible. Otherwise In this market I might debate just fixing it up until the prices drop. However, the AC and power steering don’t work, and those are pretty big factors in California.

I’m looking at buying a used car, and I’ve had a lot of varying opinions from varied people. My budget is up to 18k, and I can roughly pay cash up to 10k, which is what I’d prefer so I’m not financing.

My situation is, I can buy a Mercedes/some other luxury cars that are dated from 2008 to 2011 with mileage around 60-90k for under 12 to 10k, which is perfect. I understand their maintenance costs are higher, and obviously I would make sure any car I purchased had its maintenance up to date where I could.

Or I can take the potentially safer route and buy a Honda/Toyota/Mazda/Hyundai/Whatever reliable brand, in the years ranging from 2014-2018 for around 15-19k, with mileage varying around 50-90k as well.

I’m on the fence in some ways because I feel the more economical choice might be safer overall, but it will cost more (especially with the inflated prices right now).

Or I could buy a luxury car, and possibly one of my dream vehicles and use all that savings to fix whatever might come up (it helps I have a friend who gets a discount on Mercedes parts and has a mechanic she trusts with her Mercedes which has 300k miles on it, but I don’t want to bank on that factor alone). I could also keep that vehicle and maintain it until the car pricing goes down and maybe sell it back without losing too much and buy a more economical car, as Mercedes retain their value a bit more (and it’s already a 2008 so I think it’s depreciated a lot already). I figure this will give me a chance to own a nicer car for a little and get a taste for it, as I am only 33 and might want one in the future and at least then I won’t be blowing a lot more money on one if I decide it’s not for me. I wouldn’t say I’m
Poor, but I’m definitely not well off enough to afford a brand new car of most types.

Obviously I’m a bit biased towards the Mercedes route, but that’s why I posted here to see if anyone can bring up some good points to dissuade me. I appreciate your insight and time! Thanks!

Comments

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoModerator Posts: 194,612

    Hi!

    So I’m finally retiring my 2006 Chevy Impala — it’s gotten to the point where there’s so much wrong with it that it costs too much to fix it than it’s worth, plus after my deployments and such, the exterior just looks horrible. Otherwise In this market I might debate just fixing it up until the prices drop. However, the AC and power steering don’t work, and those are pretty big factors in California.

    I’m looking at buying a used car, and I’ve had a lot of varying opinions from varied people. My budget is up to 18k, and I can roughly pay cash up to 10k, which is what I’d prefer so I’m not financing.

    My situation is, I can buy a Mercedes/some other luxury cars that are dated from 2008 to 2011 with mileage around 60-90k for under 12 to 10k, which is perfect. I understand their maintenance costs are higher, and obviously I would make sure any car I purchased had its maintenance up to date where I could.

    Or I can take the potentially safer route and buy a Honda/Toyota/Mazda/Hyundai/Whatever reliable brand, in the years ranging from 2014-2018 for around 15-19k, with mileage varying around 50-90k as well.

    I’m on the fence in some ways because I feel the more economical choice might be safer overall, but it will cost more (especially with the inflated prices right now).

    Or I could buy a luxury car, and possibly one of my dream vehicles and use all that savings to fix whatever might come up (it helps I have a friend who gets a discount on Mercedes parts and has a mechanic she trusts with her Mercedes which has 300k miles on it, but I don’t want to bank on that factor alone). I could also keep that vehicle and maintain it until the car pricing goes down and maybe sell it back without losing too much and buy a more economical car, as Mercedes retain their value a bit more (and it’s already a 2008 so I think it’s depreciated a lot already). I figure this will give me a chance to own a nicer car for a little and get a taste for it, as I am only 33 and might want one in the future and at least then I won’t be blowing a lot more money on one if I decide it’s not for me. I wouldn’t say I’m

    Poor, but I’m definitely not well off enough to afford a brand new car of most types.

    Obviously I’m a bit biased towards the Mercedes route, but that’s why I posted here to see if anyone can bring up some good points to dissuade me. I appreciate your insight and time! Thanks!

    If you find a good used car that has been well cared for, the luxury route makes a lot of sense.

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  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,840
    Some older luxury cars with reasonable prices are going to be nightmares when it comes to repairs. You might watch some of this guy's videos....

    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,840
    edited July 26
    As you no doubt have heard, it's a very tough market to be in because of the chip shortage that has cut the production of new cars, and prices for both new and used cars have soared. You mentioned that you'd prefer not to finance, but Hyundai does still have 0% financing for 5 years on the new Elantra, which starts at about 22k. Hyundai has a 10 year warranty on the engine and transmission, and they even pay for scheduled maintenance for the first three years.

    https://www.hyundaiusa.com/us/en/offers
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 15,180

    My philosophy is that life is much too short to drive boring appliances. There are a few BMWs and Mercedes that are relatively easy to maintain. The key is knowing the right cars to look at AND have the cars thoroughly inspected by a technician who knows the brand inside and out. Finally, any BMW or MB needs to be maintained by the book at a competent shop. They don’t tolerate sketchy service at quick lubes or other low price franchises.
    As a point of reference I have owned 12 BMWs and one Mini over the past 38 years. Be aware
    That a lot of self-proclaimed “experts” are just parroting third or fourth hand hearsay from clueless individuals who haven't even SAT in the car that they are expressing an opinion about; the people who heard that their best friend's sister's college roommate knew a guy who went to a dentist that had a patient who hired a plumber who had a customer that said that his cousin told him that he heard that it costs $900 to change the oil on a C Class...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2018 330i xDrive

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,081
    Really depends on the model and how it has been cared for, and your tolerance for maintenance that will be more than on a non-luxury car, even if usually not as much as the horror stories try to claim. Get a specialist PPI on anything. MB cars of that era are usually not too bad to live with, if they've been cared for. That kind of money might get you into an early W212 E-class, early W221 S-class, or W204 C-class, all of which aren't scary if they are properly maintained - but that's a big if, as the cars age.
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