Why are BMWs so cheap

Luxury models from the used market : Big cars for little money

A new Mercedes S-Class costs at least 80,920 euros, an Audi A8 starts at 76,700 euros. And a 7 Series BMW is not available for less than 74,200 euros. You have to be a company boss or a very-much-better-earner to be able to afford such a luxury sedan. Or be patient. Because as used, the upper-class models are affordable: The Mercedes S-Class from 2000 is available for an average of 6765 euros, a 14-year-old 7 Series for 7250 euros, the A8 of this year for 5580 euros - Michael Gebhardt from the online marketplace Autoscout24 can do it give numerous examples.

The reason is logical: The usual 50 percent depreciation in three years is significantly more important with a very high new price than with a low one, explains Morvarid Talaei-Außenhof from the market watcher Schwacke. In addition to the absolute loss in value, the percentage values ​​of luxury cars tend to go up. This is not least due to the technical upgrade: "In general, special equipment loses value more quickly than the bare vehicle. Since the level of equipment in luxury models is particularly high, this also has a negative effect on the loss of value," explains Talaei-Außenhof.

Twelve-cylinder cheaper than six-cylinder

The spirit of the times is also bothering the big ships, says Dieter Fess from the residual value specialist Bähr & Fess: "Swallowing woodpeckers have gone out of fashion." Upper-class sedans with eight or more cylinders would have their tires flat when used, and even large-volume and powerful diesels lose significantly more of their value than more moderately powered variants: "It can happen that a model with a V12 is suddenly cheaper than that Six-cylinder. "

According to Fess, this applies to the used car market not only for the engines, but also for entire model series: "The residual values ​​of the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Mercedes ML in the world are up to four percentage points worse than the smaller models X3, Q5 or GLK . " Bad for the previous owner, good for bargain hunters.

Preferably at least five years old

If you want to benefit from this development, the experts give you a few tips: "Regardless of the segment: It's best to drive with used vehicles that are at least five years old, have a few kilometers and as much equipment as possible," says Fess. "Because in the first few years the loss in value is greatest." A prime example of this in the luxury league are the models of the recently discontinued Mercedes S-Class: "Examples with well under 80,000 kilometers and very good equipment are already available for 25,000 euros."

But because many people know that, the models from Mercedes or BMW generally leave the yard faster than those of the competition, says Malte Krüger, managing director of the used car platform Mobile.de. He therefore advises taking a look at the VW Phaeton: It costs half as much as an average luxury car and waits a comparatively long time for a buyer. "That is also a reason to discuss the price with the retailer again."

Exotics are often much cheaper

According to Krüger, it can be even cheaper if you look a little further: It doesn't always have to be German. The mobile boss names the models Cadillac CTS, Lexus LS and Maserati Quattroporte as examples. "Here the range is mostly manageable, but exotic brands are often much cheaper than the German competition due to the lower demand."

But be careful: whether the German top dog or imported model - even the luxury bargains from the used car market can really go into the money, warns Gebhardt from Autoscout24: "Upper class remains used upper class," says the expert with regard to high fixed costs and spare parts prices. "That's why the usual criteria also apply when buying luxury bargains: arrange a test drive, check the body for rust, inspect the engine."

Residual value remains more stable in the later years

Particular attention should be paid to the electronics, which were used earlier and more extensively in the luxury-class models than in smaller vehicles: "If there are defects, the owner can usually not repair them himself. Then it can be really expensive", warns Gebhardt.

But if you find the right car, you can not only fulfill your dream of a luxury car cheaply, you can even make good business. "The loss in value is significantly greater in the first few years and noticeably decreases with age," says price expert Fess. "Anyone who drives a used S-Class or a 7 Series for another six years will be surprised by the high residual value."

In rare cases, the residual value can even be higher than the purchase price: "The BMW Z8, for example, is more expensive today as a used car than it was back then as a new car," says Fess and expects a similar development for the Mercedes SLS that has just been discontinued. "But there is a catch," he warns hurried bargain hunters: "You first have to pay the purchase price and then have enough air to be able to last the car for five to ten years. Otherwise the shot might backfire." (dpa)

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