AA Buyer's Guide: In the market for a used luxury vehicle?
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Many people just want a car that gets them from A to B. For others, a car is a reflection of lifestyle and personality, and a luxury car is a must when it comes to upgrading.
Sometimes, AA Motoring speaks to buyers who have a bit of a dilemma – they can either buy a brand new car, or a two or three-year-old used luxury vehicle that they’ve always dreamt of. So, is a used luxury car a shrewd choice?
Cheaper to buy, expensive to own
The main problem with buying a used luxury car is simple - it all boils down to maintenance and repair costs.
Although the luxury car itself may have depreciated to the point where you can now afford to buy it, parts aren't any cheaper than they were when it was new. This is compounded by the fact that luxury vehicles are fitted with all the latest and greatest technologies – they might seem nice initially, but not so much if they break further down the line and cost thousands of dollars to repair.
As the years roll by, the chances of a failure only increases further. Parts can be expensive and sometimes even just sourcing them can cause a headache. When features like special air suspension, electronic control modules and other automated systems fail, it can suck the fun out of a luxury vehicle.
It isn't just the cost of maintenance and repairs that'll get you, either. Luxury cars are also more expensive in other areas like insurance and fuel. For insurance, companies have to pay out higher claims for luxury cars if they're hit due to expensive parts and labour.
Fuel is often more expensive for luxury cars because they’re often fitted with much larger engines and require 95 octane.
Do your checks
Luxury vehicles are often cherished possessions, so they’ve generally been looked after, but when you’re looking to buy one, still take the time to trawl through invoices to understand just how well the vehicle has been maintained. This will also give you some guidance around the average servicing bills you may be facing.
If you just can’t bring yourself to buy that sensible vehicle you set out to buy, here are some simple tips that can help to reduce the risks of your new luxury.
- Ensure you can afford insurance cover
- Go for a lengthy test drive and check for any suspicious noises
- Get a diagnostic scan
- Investigate the potential repairs and their costs - if some parts are on their last legs, understand what it will cost when the repair is necessary
- Talk to a club or enthusiast group to better understand the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the particular model to look out for
- Get an AA Pre Purchase Inspection - a vehicle inspection by our experienced team will help resolve any concerns so you can buy your car with confidence