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How to Hack Buying A Luxury Car

Car buying, even for luxury cars, can be an exhausting, thrilling, depressing and fantastic experience. The inevitable ups and downs are simply part of the experience of making a large purchase. When you are shopping around for a luxury car for sale, follow these tips.

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Image by NRMA Driver’s Seat.

Shop Around and Be Open

Many Luxury buyers have cash on hand or financing all wrapped up. They know what they want and they know what they want to spend. However, don’t get sucked into not being a smart buyer.
Used luxury car prices vary quite a bit and it is in your best interest to shop around. Unlike a new car purchase, there is plenty of negotiating room on a used car, especially a luxury car.

Also, don’t focus on just one brand or model. Quite often, there could be a much better deal on a similar model in a different brand. Former car salesman and editor of AccurateAutoAdvice.com says this is one of the biggest car buying mistakes.

“While I can appreciate personal preferences, they are often arbitrary,” Lancaster says. “What’s worse is that they often lead to bad decisions, as people will overlook a vehicle (or type of vehicle) that’s nearly perfect for them and buy a vehicle that’s not a good fit.”

Be An Educated Consumer

Did you know that a Denali isn’t a car, truck or SUV? Did you know that not every Lexus SUV comes with navigation? Do you know the expected price range of the models you are looking at? If you don’t know all three of these things, turn around and go back home.

Before you begin shopping, you have to become educated. For example, a Denali is a trim level offered on a variety of vehicles. It isn’t a vehicle by itself. You would be surprised at the number of people who get that confused. Make sure you know the difference between the base and upper levels. It may be the features you want are only offered on one level and not the others. This is important to know.

Next, do your research on expected price to pay. Most dealers use NADA blue book estimates for buying and selling. This information isn’t a secret only available to them. Do some research and figure out the NADA value of certain vehicles before heading off to the dealership.

Look For End of Lease Models

One of the best ways to save money is to look for end of lease models. Quite a few luxury buyers lease vehicles and these vehicles are typically your best bet when shopping for a used model.
Plus, these end of lease models are usually up to date on scheduled maintenance. This is due to the maintenance being included in the lease.

Keep an eye on the market as well. Certain brands have a higher percentage of vehicles coming off lease than others. This is due to the boom and bust of the industry and timing of new models being released. For example, a luxury maker may have released a substantially improved model which sold like hot cakes. If you want one, simply be patient. In three years, a large portion of that model will hit the sales lots. Manufactures and dealers don’t want those used models to clog up them up and they may offer substantial incentives or really low financing to move them out.

Avoid Old Luxury Cars

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Rolls Royce in the UK. Image by Georg Sander.

Buying an old classic luxury car may be really appealing, however, you have to be really careful. Even armed with a CARFAX vehicle report, you will likely need to get a mechanic to check them out. Why? Repairs can be expensive and cutting edge features don’t age that well.

Lancaster says these older luxury models are often filled with the latest features before they are offered in cheaper models. This typically means the parts they used weren’t widespread and this could make a repair quite pricey.

“The fact is that most luxury vehicles don’t age very gracefully,” Lancaster says. “Repairs can be very expensive and irritatingly frequent on older luxury vehicles such as Cadillac, Mercedes Benz, Land Rover, BMW, Lincoln, Audi, Porsche, etc. The reason is really simple – these cars always have expensive and complicated parts that require special training to replace. Often times, these parts have to be imported from another country. Add it all together and you’ve got an expensive repair that a lot of people can’t afford.”

Walk Away

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The salesman isn’t going anywhere. He’ll gladly talk to you again.

Buying a luxury car can be an exhilarating and emotional purchase. Finally getting the car of your dreams will do that to you. However, before you put pen to paper, stand up and walk away. Leave the dealership and head home. Your wallet will thank you for it.

The truth is dealers know that when customers leave, they are less likely to buy a vehicle. This is because of what we said. Buying a used luxury car is just an emotional and exhilarating purchase. When you leave, the excitement level drops and you are simply more hesitant to go back. And this drop in excitement is preciously why you will get the best deal. If a dealer really wants to make a sale, they will call you back with an even better offer. That is the offer you really want.

Also, walking away gives you a chance to clear your head and make a rational decision on whether you really want the vehicle or if the deal was really that good. The truth is you can always go back and take the deal. Don’t be fooled by deal time windows or when the salesperson is leaving for the day. There are always going to be cars for sale and the salesperson will be back.

In the end, when shopping for a used luxury car for sale don’t get sucked into the excitement. Arm yourself with knowledge, your financing and common sense. You will get a much better deal and will be happier with your purchase for years to come.

3 thoughts on “How to Hack Buying A Luxury Car”

  1. The three most important points here, in reverse order:

    #3. Walk Away. Don’t let your passion dictate the deal.

    #2. Don’t go for old models. I did that once before and will never again. Expensive repairs take away the romanticism.

    #1. Education. Walk into a negotiation knowing your position and that of your salesperson cold. Don’t overestimate nor undervalue your position. You can’t get to this sweet spot in negotiating power if you don’t do your homework.

  2. If you’re going to buy a used luxury car it’s a good idea to look for something that is certified pre-owned to make sure it’s been thoroughly inspected and includes some warranty. Good insights in those article, thanks for sharing!

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