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It’s A Buyers Market For Luxury Used Cars, But For How Long?

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Looking for a luxury-model car, but at reduced prices? Market insiders have consistently said that buying a used car makes economic sense, and dealers are even more motivated to close year-end sales.

Cars predictably register their largest drop in value in the first six-to-12 months of ownership ranging from 20% to 40% – which makes the luxury used car market all the more attractive for the savvy buyer. As an added incentive, pundits say, now is time when dealers are needing to move stock – meaning bargains can be found for those buying a two-to-three year old car with savings of up to 60% as dealers seek clear out the old and bring in the new.

“There are literally hundreds of good deals out there,” agrees Marcus Faraji, VP in Madrid, Spain of Schloz Wöllenstein GmbH & CO KG, one of Europe’s largest dealerships specializing in used luxury Mercedes-Benz cars.

“A smart buyer can actually buy a used car, drive it for a year, and be able to sell it in a year at the same price they paid a year earlier,” Faraji says, adding that not only are there huge savings, but buyers are practically getting the same quality as a new car.

As an example, Faraji notes that a brand-new Mercedes-Benz CL 600 Brabus could cost around 360,000 euros, whereas a two-year old model would run considerably lower at around 100,000 euros, adding that he just happens to have one of the world’s fastest and most powerful coupes on stock.

Top-line dealers also mention that there are other advantages of buying used, number one being fast delivery as buyers don’t have to wait for a car to be manufactured and they come with certified guarantees.

But if you think prices are going to continue to plummet, buyer beware.

According to a recent report by Kelley Blue Book while buying a car should never be a hasty decision, those who are in the market should buy a used car sooner, rather than later.

That’s because, according to the automotive research firm, used-car prices could rise by as much as six-percent in the coming months. This price increase is in part driven by a new-car production declining since 2008 after the arrival of the world economic crisis – meaning that used cars that are just a few years old are in short supply.

Still, as dealers seek to clear stock, Kelley Blue Book says that ahead of that price rise there could be room for extra deals of around three to four percent.

That quick fluctuation leaves little time for buyers to take advantage of lower prices, according to the research firm’s predictions.

Noting this trend, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that year-end competition is generating high-end offers, with “Luxury brands over the past decade or so have been gradually transforming once humdrum year-end clearance sales into holiday ‘events.’”

According to Jesse Toprak, VP of Industry Trends and Insights for TrueCar.com, December is “a good month to buy a luxury vehicle or large truck/SUV. But car buyers should remember to do their research before buying a car by locking-in an already negotiated price, which can result in significant savings and in a pleasant buying experience at the dealership.”

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