Luxury Used Car Bargains

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Get a Used Luxury Car at a Non-Luxury Price
We've all heard the classic saying that a brand new car loses a lot of its value the second you drive it off the car lot. Generally speaking, the average car will lose between 15 and 20 percent of its value each year according to Of course some vehicles depreciate more than others. Case in point, high-end luxury sedans such as a Mercedes-Benz C-Class or a BMW 5-Series can lose over 50 percent of their original value after just three years.
Imagine buying a quality luxury vehicle that was leased for three years. Because leasing requires the person leasing the car to take very good care of it, keeping the vehicle serviced and maintained, and because there are limits on mileage, a luxury car returned to a dealership after three years is often still in like-new condition. We're talking about a premium vehicle with all the bells and whistles that is for sale at half its original price tag. In many cases, the savings are even more astounding.

Shopping Used Luxury

For instance, a high-performance Jaguar F-Type sports car depreciates 54 percent after five years and has a resale value of $45,409. A luxurious Mercedes-Benz C-Class with all the latest infotainment features and driver assist tech will depreciate 53 percent after five years and have a resale value of just $25,387. If you really want to save on a luxury vehicle, a five-year-old BMW 5-Series sedan "Ultimate Driving Machine," wrapped in sophisticated technology, will depreciate an amazing 57 percent after five years and have a resale value of just $25,343.
There are many good reasons for considering the purchase of a three- to five-year-old luxury car. For one thing, these are cars that were absolutely packed with every possible luxury amenity. We're talking rich leather seats, a real walnut dash, high-performance turbo-charged engines and the latest chassis and suspension components. These are cars that were at the top of their respective lines just a few years ago and usually little has changed between them and this year's model.
Are you a high tech junkie, always wanting the absolute latest technology when it comes to driving? 
Then look no further. These used luxury cars include the top-tier infotainment and smartphone app integration such as the Mercedes-Benz MBUX system or BMW's iDrive. Likewise, you'll get premium driver assist features that border on autonomous travel, everything from adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking to park assist, lane keep assist, and more.
By buying a used luxury car, you can afford a better car than you might expect. These are vehicles that come with higher trim levels and are loaded. Plus, leased cars that have been returned usually flood the market at about the same time and therefore offer more room to negotiate a lower price.

Bottom Line: A pre-owned or leased luxury sedan gives you a lot of quality for the money. These are immaculate cars that look and perform as if showroom new at half the cost. While a midsize SUV or pickup truck might depreciate anywhere from just 23 to 33 percent in three years, the average luxury car can take a hit for well over 50 percent. That's because SUVs and pickup trucks are currently the most sought-after vehicles in the marketplace and are more likely to keep their value.

Top Five Best Luxury Bargains

A company called compiles used car values and found the following high-end luxury sedans that depreciate the most over the first three years. The top five vehicles that depreciate the most and therefore are the best used car bargains include the BMW 5-Series which ranked as number one, depreciating 52.6 percent with an average used car price of $30,846; the Mercedes-Benz E-Class which depreciates 50.7 percent with an average used car price of $34,010; the BMW 3-Series which loses 49.8 percent for a value of $24,024; the Audi A3 depreciates 47.9 percent and has a value of $21,120; and the Cadillac SRX sedan loses 47.2 percent of its value and is priced at $26,291 on average.
When we look at longer term depreciation, the vehicle landscape changes a bit. According to, the top five luxury vehicles that depreciate the most over five years are:

  • Maserati Quattroporte drops 72.2 percent
  • BMW 7-Series drops 71.3 percent
  • BMW 5-Series drops 69.2 percent 
  • BMW 6-Series drops 69.1 percent
  • Jaguar XJL drops by 68.9 percent
Interestingly, of all the luxury high-performance vehicles available, the legendary Porsche 911 holds its value the best, only depreciating 45 percent after five years, having a resale value of $101,583.
Used Luxury Car Tips
Even though there is an excellent chance that you can find a used luxury car at a great value, as with any car deal, look for bargains. Using services such as Driveway allows you to find a good quality used luxury vehicle from outside your area for extra savings. Driveway will handle the entire deal and bring your slightly used luxury car right to you...driveway.
Certified Pre-Owned
Many luxury car manufacturers certify three-year-old luxury vehicles if they are in excellent condition and meet certain high standards for quality and reliability. CPO cars come with a manufacturer's warranty just like a new car and often include limited service/maintenance warranties and even roadside assistance. All this plus you'll still save over 40 percent compared to a new car of the same make and model.
Arrange Financing
It's a good idea to visit your bank or credit union to arrange for financing of your used luxury car before you visit a dealership. This can help you to negotiate a better price rather than worrying about the monthly car payment. Let your salesperson know if you already have financing arranged but also give the dealership a chance to offer you more attractive terms on a car loan.
Let Lithia Help!
To really take advantage of the used luxury car climate and to recognize a true bargain, it's important to research the current market and pricing on the vehicles you are interested in. Lithia can help with that. With over 260 auto dealerships all across America and Canada and many thousands of used cars for sale, we can help you find the right vehicle at the right price to fit your needs.
To start with, you need to know what your used car is worth in trade. Just enter your car's year, make, model and trim level as well as the VIN number and current mileage to the Lithia "Value Your Trade" tool.
Keep in mind that a three-to-five-year-old used luxury car has a lot of life left. When well maintained, it should last at least 200,000 miles. Remember to get a vehicle history report on the car you're thinking of buying. Lithia Auto dealers will provide a history report to you, free of charge. If there is a specific used luxury car that you have in mind, you'll find it here.