If you are in the market for a used Mercedes, you have many different dealerships, franchises, private sellers, auctioneers, or independent dealers to choose from. When buying any used car, finding a trustworthy seller is the most important thing.
Finding the best deals and prices can lead to a great used car purchase or a questionable buying decision. You ought to take your time before buying a used car, research, window shop, and cross-reference as much as you can.
Whether you are buying a cheap or an expensive car, you should always be aware of all the options out there. Finding the right car takes time, and most importantly patience. Take your time, don’t rush it, and your new used Mercedes will be on your driveway soon.
You can get a good deal buying a second-hand Mercedes directly from the previous owner, but you have to make sure you trust them and still have the car evaluated by a certified mechanic.
For a safer bet, certified pre-owned franchise dealerships usually offer all kinds of warranties and loans, and they do seem like the safest place to buy a used Mercedes as they often offer the highest quality.
Mercedes franchised dealerships
The main advantage of a franchise dealership is the level of expertise when it comes to buying and maintaining certain models. Cars on offer are usually approved and certified which means that you are able to buy a car that offers specific pre-owned warranties, as well as loan and financing options.
This is beneficial if you are looking to buy a car that is only a few years old. Franchise dealerships will be able to offer you everything you need in one swing. Parts are readily available, including all kinds of payment options, legal protection, service packages, and even part exchange for your old car.
However, franchise dealerships are usually the most expensive way to buy a new used car, as all those additional benefits of going through a franchise dealership are reflected in the price of the car. Franchise dealerships also mostly specialize in newer cars, which might pose a problem if you are looking for an older model.
Franchise dealerships are the best way to buy a special Mercedes model, something like an AMG, a classic, or a sports car. This is because paying more money for a well-kept example is key for resale values, and in such instances, you need all the reassurance you can get.
Independent dealers are somewhere in the middle as they can vary greatly when it comes to expertise, specific packages, part exchange, or price negotiations. The best independent dealers are likely going to offer a service that is comparable to a franchise dealership.
But it is also well known that an independent dealer costs less on average than a franchise dealer. Independent dealers are a safer way to buy a car compared to a private seller or an auction house as they usually do offer greater legal protection and more additional services readily at hand.
But it all depends on the specific independent dealer you come across because they are all very different in almost all regards. When shopping from independent dealers, it is incredibly important for you to cross-shop as much as possible.
Be aware of all the independent dealer options out there. You should also be well aware of how the market works for a specific model you are interested in, as this can sometimes enable you to lower the asking price.
Private sellers and auction houses
Private sellers are usually the cheapest and enable you to buy the car quickly. They are often selling their old car to buy a newer one. This means that the prices are usually fairly affordable because private sellers do not run a dealership, so they are usually not bothered by keeping a car-dealership business above water.
A great advantage of a private seller is the ability to check out the car, test drive it, and talk to the seller to find out all the ins and outs of why the car is being sold, as well as all the specifics associated with that seller. It is really important to fact-check everything about the car as private sellers usually offer no legal assistance.
Auction houses, on the other hand, usually offer the best prices. They are not for the uninitiated though, as auction houses don’t let you test drive the car, nor even look at it before buying it. They also charge a special admin fee which does significantly raise the price in some instances.
Both private sellers and auction houses require you to do the most work behind the scenes as the legal protection is virtually non-existent. So, if you find the perfect car at an auction house or from a private seller, be sure to ask for advice from someone who you trust who has experience in car shopping.
What to know before you buy a used car
What are the best online car sites for scouting used cars?
In this day and age, most of the cars bought are sourced through specialized online car marketplaces such as eBay Motors, Craigslist, AutoTempest, Autotrader, or Mobile.de and Autoscout.de for the European market.
Some sites even offer you specific indicators about the price and equipment list associated with a specific listing. AutoTempest.com is the best online site for buying a used car in the US as it combines the listings for all the other car shopping websites. In Europe, Mobile.de is the most popular and trustworthy online car shopping site.
What should I always do when buying a used car?
You should primarily focus on your budget, and stick to it because you are always going to be able to get a little bit more with just a little bit more money. You should also factor in all the long-term costs and your specific credit score. Always do a Pre-purchase inspection, no matter where you buy the car from.
You should also always try to test-drive the car if possible, ask for as much car documentation and history reports as possible, check the VIN, check for any specific recalls associated with a model you are interested in, and even contact the previous owner if you know who it is.
How many miles is too many when buying a new used car?
It depends on the model, the price, and the circumstances of the specific car. If you are searching for a car that is on the very top-end of your budget you are likely looking at a high-mileage example. If the car is on the bottom end of your budget, the car in question is usually a low mileage example.
The way the car has been maintained and serviced, and generally looked after should be your main point of interest. Of course, you should not be buying a 200k-mile car, but it is more important to know how the car acquired such miles than the miles itself.