Some say buying a 10-year-old Mercedes Benz is a great way to avoid the effects of rapid depreciation, while others believe that buying a 10-year-old Mercedes is a bottomless money pit. Although almost everyone can agree on the desirability of the brand, whether or not you should buy a 10-year-old Mercedes is a bit more complicated. Here’s why:
Is it a good idea to buy a 0-year-old Mercedes?
The bottom line is that an older car is more prone to issues, which is a given. However, buying an older Benz is not necessarily such a daunting prospect, as long as you check its information on Carfax and hire an independent inspector to inspect the car before you purchase it.
It’s crucial for you to check the entire maintenance history as well. The more you know, the better. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and you might end up with a really good deal.
Maintaining an old luxury car costs a pretty penny, but the market will push down the value of the older cars to the point where the price balances the costs. If you pay market price, you are getting a fair price with all the factors accounted for, except the aspects that are unique to that particular car or the specific model.
For example, the Mercedes G class is considered to be a fairly desirable model and it holds a steady value. So, a 10-year-old G class (if it’s properly maintained) is priced similarly to a brand-new A-class, or even more in some cases.
So, if a lower entry price to get into a used Mercedes is something that makes you to consider buying one, you should also take into consideration the amount of money you will spend to keep it in a satisfactory condition.
Maintaining an older Mercedes
An old Mercedes won’t become easier to work on with age. Parts and labor prices are not very consumer-friendly and underlying technologies are still fairly complex, so it’s not necessarily a type of car for an average local repair shop.
Visiting a Mercedes certified shop for regular maintenance is rather pricey. When it comes to extended warranties for older higher mileage cars, the coverage is rather limited. These policies typically will cover catastrophic failures only.
Extended warranty companies covering a broader array of vehicles with little to no difference in mileage should be avoided at all costs.
3 reasons why buying a 10-year-old Mercedes is a good idea
As cars depreciate, they become more affordable, but not necessarily less valuable. All the shiny trim options, upgraded infotainment, heated seats, upgraded stereo systems raise the price tag of a new car significantly, but they don’t play such a massive role in the second-hand market.
Additionally, buying an older car usually means all the defects of specific models are very well known, and most of them are ironed out.
Depreciation is the price difference between the price of the car when you buy it and when you eventually sell it. Most cars tend to lose a lot of value early in their lifespan. While some models handle depreciation a lot better, others not so much. Older Mercedes models that have seen a fair share of asphalt have a high rate of depreciation.
Despite all the benefits that come included with new cars, such as warranties, free maintenance and low financing, the inevitable effects of depreciation remain a substantial cost and a prominent reason to shop used instead.
A Mercedes that is 10 years old will already have depreciated a lot, so the loss won’t be as high if you sell it again after a few years.
Monthly payments and running costs
If you buy a car that’s a couple of years old, your lease or financing payments are usually 50% lower than for a comparable newer variant. Also, cars that cost less outright, cost less to insure when compared to a newer car.
Some might not notice the difference between a 3-year-old Mercedes and a brand-spanking-new one, but rest assured, your insurance company definitely will. If you pay cash, you are most likely restricted in your budget, and exceeding it might be a huge risk.
However, if you opt for financing, you can often afford to buy a better car because you don’t have to pay for the whole car at once.
3 reasons why buying a 10-year-old Mercedes is a bad idea
Lack of warranty
A great benefit of buying a new Mercedes is that as long as you perform regular maintenance, the dealer or manufacturer will address any and all potential defects. That makes the ownership experience considerably less stressful and reassures you that the extra money you have saved over the years will not go into your car repair bills.
All you have to do is tick all the right options, and keep your end of the agreement, and your new car ownership will be hassle-free.
Over the course of 10 years, the car industry has made tremendous leaps forward in terms of the kinds of features a vehicle can offer. Many different brands offer a lot more features as standard nowadays than what they did 10 years ago.
For example, in the US new cars must come equipped as standard with a backup camera, which is mandated by the federal government.
Furthermore, Mercedes infotainment systems nowadays are a far cry from the older Mercedes systems. Contemporary Mercedes MBUX systems can be controlled in many different ways, from touch inputs to futuristic voice controls which can alter pretty much anything you want.
Lack of personalization
Let’s imagine you finally decided you want to buy that C 300 you’ve dreamt about buying a couple of years ago. You investigate all the different sites and you just can’t find the right options to match the car you have been dreaming about.
Maybe it lacks the AMG package, or the larger infotainment screen, or the wheels you want, the colors is a bit off, you just can’t seem to find the one you want.
That’s one of the benefits you experience when you buy a new Mercedes. You are able to tailor-make the entire car based on your preferences. You can choose the color, the trim, the packages, engine options, and a lot more.
FAQs about buying a Mercedes
What should I look out for when buying a used Mercedes?
A good purchase is more dependent on the condition than the age of the vehicle. Proper service history, pre-purchase inspection, and condition of the car should be looked out for as the key elements when buying a new used Mercedes.
You should also pay due diligence by asking all the right questions. Consulting with an experienced independent car dealer could shed light on specifics an amateur buyer would never think of.
What should I avoid when buying a used Mercedes?
It’s imperative for you to avoid any unrealistically low prices. A seller not inclined to answer all the specific questions and not willing to cooperate should also be avoided.
Also, you should steer clear of older AMG models, even if they are priced fairly decently if you are not able to pay for the gas prices for thirsty V8 and V12 engines.
You should also to check all the legitimate sources for different offers. There might just be a better offer someplace you have not checked yet.
What questions should I ask the seller when buying a used Mercedes?
Purchasing a used Mercedes may seem like an intimidating experience, but if you ask the right questions and acquire proper information, you can navigate the process easily and with confidence.
You should start by asking why is the car being sold in the first place. Maybe the car does not suit the seller anymore, or maybe it’s just time for an upgrade. It’s a good question to ask because you might run into the same issue down the line.
Additionally, you should ask how long the owner actually owned the car. If they purchased it only recently, there might be something wrong with it.
You should continue by asking where the seller bought the car. By asking this question, you should be able to get more details about how the car was driven.
Remember to ask all maintenance-related questions, and ask the seller to show you all the maintenance records. You should generally ask as much as possible. It does not hurt to ask, the more you know, the easier the buying process.
An older Mercedes or a newer car from a more affordable brand?
For some, it’s more comfortable to spend money on a reliable and affordable car than getting into a potential money disaster. Some would prefer to not buy an older Benz if they are not able to comfortably afford the expenses.
Newer cars come with better incentives, offer a broader selection, and are offered with longer warranties. But they usually don’t offer the same level of premium experience. Let’s not forget, cars are also an emotional purchase. Life is too short to drive boring cars, so you should buy the car that makes you happy, even if it isn’t the right choice for someone else.