Hi Steve and Sajeev,
I’m a longtime reader but first time commenter. I am looking for a late model “luxury” SUV for my wife who will only accept a BMW, Mercedes or Lexus.
Given that the German brands are known to be somewhat maintenance intensive, that has left me looking for a Lexus GX 470. My issue is that almost all of these are being sold by dealers rather than individuals, and many of the cars are 100+ miles away. I’ve read Steve’s “how to buy a used car” series, which was exceedingly helpful, but am still unsure of how to proceed. Another option is to have a dealer go to the auction to purchase one for me – a local shop offered to do that for $1000…
Look forward to hearing your feedback!
My advice is to do more due diligence and be patient.
Because you are hitting the absolute heart of the financing world. A dank, dark torturous place filled with poor long-term value and terrifyingly high drive out prices.
There is a wide swath of vehicles that rarely get into the hands of a second owner who is willing to pay cash these days. The steep decline in new SUV sales during the 2009-2010 time period in particular has lead to some unique situations where the financing price of a popular late model luxury SUV can become surprisingly close to the original drive out price.
You want to buy a 2010 Lexus GX470 or a 2011 Mercedes GL550 tomorrow? Stand in line then. Right behind the new car dealers and their CPO programs. The exporters with his highly favorable exchange rate. The sub-prime used car dealers who caters to the pseudo-riche.
At the auctions, the few late model premium brand SUV’s that do squeeze past the fortified barricade of CPO programs are usually either repossessions or possess some nasty past history. Unless you are willing to deal with a court order title or a lemon law buyback, it’s going to be near impossible for you to find a fair deal.
Is there a ray of sunshine within all this?
Of course! You get to enjoy my six favorite words when it comes to any poor value.
“Don’t spend money, don’t buy anything!”
Steve is right, as per usual. Problem is, you need to buy one of these beasts…or get a divorce. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration. You can certainly try to sway a loved one from another brand, or a different platform. I’m sure this won’t piss off one’s concept of The Sanctity of Marriage, or so says the single guy.
Then again, you never told us how much federal green you got in your wallet. Got a lot? Just shut up and write the check for a GX that both of you like. You can do much worse.
Don’t got a lot in your pocket? Well, that’s a little more complicated: time to figure out what’s really important to you. Home? Kids? Vacations? A Man Cave with a Home theater? Fantastic Shopping sprees? Because there are plenty of other things I’d rather buy than a luxury SUV from those automakers. Good luck with that.