Ever since he was in primary school Lee has dreamed of owning a luxury limousine; it’s almost been an obsession.
Now in his early 30s and working as a sales rep, Lee believes driving a BMW 7 Series or S-Class Mercedes would impress his clients. Buying new is out of the question, as he cannot afford or even try to justify the $200,000-plus price tag.
Live the dream
But with a budget of $30,000-$40,000, living the dream is on the cards. In luxury cars, depreciation is horrendous for new buyers, however it can be a bonanza for the used car buyer prepared to look at vehicles 10 years old or more.
The astute buyer can still get a car with a prestige image, plus comfort, space, the opulence of high-quality soft leather, plenty of features and strong performance.
Long-wheelbase versions have even more legroom than standard models – the back-seat space in these is cavernous. And these elegant, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedans come in a wide range of models with different petrol and diesel engines.
The Mercedes badge speaks of pure luxury, while BMWs have more sporting-luxury appeal. As the flagships for their respective brands, older S-Class and 7 Series models are still packed with features and safety equipment.
The cost of ownership
But before you get too excited, serious consideration needs to be given to the ongoing ownership costs, such as servicing, repairs, spare parts, fuel and insurance, which can be quite expensive in older prestige cars.
These vehicles are technically complex machines with a lot more features and equipment than the average sedan, so there are more things that could give trouble and require specialist knowledge and equipment.
Choose the wrong car and the dream can quickly become a nightmare. We have heard of cases where the cost of repairs easily exceeds the car’s value.