Buying a car is one of the largest financial commitments most of us will ever make. The truth of the matter is that for most people, owning a vehicle is a necessity; it brings a sense of pride and achievement that we all aspire to here at MyCarHeaven.
When it comes to luxury vehicles the stakes are of course even higher, leading many of us to turn to the used car market for purchasing opportunities. So here are our top three considerations for choosing second hand luxury this summer.
Don’t Bank On The Scarcity Premium
By their very nature, luxury cars are in shorter supply than mid to lower range models. Indeed, more premium manufacturers strictly limit the numbers of models produced. This combined with longer lifespans and vehicle popularity can create a ‘scarcity premium’ that helps maintain the value of the vehicle. In some cases we’ve seen second-hand vehicles sell for more than brand new models.
This scarcity gold rush has seen many amateur speculators enter the luxury used car market over the past five years with some awful horror stories.
Our advice – buy something you’re happy to hang on to and do your homework! As well as the usual pre-purchase checks, look for other recent price points, availability of parts, common faults, offsets for ongoing maintenance costs, etc., all of these can add up to a nasty surprise when the deal has been done.
Don’t Overlook Maintenance & Running Costs
Luxury cars often require a higher degree of maintenance to keep them operational, this is something often overlooked with a first purchase, particularly by those used to buying new cars from the manufacturer.
As with scarcity premiums, the more luxury the vehicle the more this is the case and its particularly true with high performance vehicles.
As well as maintenance cost, one should also consider the usual running fees that apply to all vehicles – running an insurance quote against a number of providers and considering fuel consumption statistics can ensure you don’t take on a vehicle you later can’t afford.
There’s A Halfway House: Manufacturer Approved Pre-Owned
If it’s your first purchase then working through the manufacturer is a no brainer.
Higher purchase prices tend to come with higher levels of manufacturer accountability, so it’s worth taking advantage. Ferrari, Aston Martin and Porsche all maintain a centralized database of approved used vehicles within each respective market. These should be your first port of call when starting your search with many vehicles coming with extended manufacture warranty and additional technical checks.
On the downside, you will pay more for manufacturer approved models but, if nothing else, these price points can serve as a compass to spot anomalies in the non-approved market.
Good luck and happy shopping!