What does one do if one has always wanted to travel in the manner of Kim Kardashian’s arse, but you can’t find Kanye’s wallet anywhere? Buying a used Cherman luxury vehicle: That’s next.
This question about buying a used luxury car from ze Chermans comes up all the time:
"I see used Audi A8s heavily depreciated and they seem like an attractive purchase, same as high level CLS Benz offerings. Is this too good to be true? Am I missing something?" - Antony S
Used Cherman premium whatever. So attractive, seemingly.
Today, you can buy a then-range topping 2012 Audi A8 L quattro for about $50 grand. This is a car that sold here in Arse-tralia for $250,000 new (plus on-road costs, and with as much as $100k in available options).
So: Just right for steaming down the Autobahn at 200, spraying Volkswagen Group diesel filth upon the proliteriat from the 4.2-litre twin turbo V8, on the way to fire 500 workers in Arse-fart, before jumping in a hot tub full of premium hookers at Duselspanken after a light lunch of deep-fried pig’s knee and a gallon of beer at West Hogschitter.
Next, the flagship, three-point swastika CLS - the CLS 63. Yessss! Looks like a cockroach, but goes like a cut cat. $265,000 new; about $70 grand today. Seems like a pretty good deal.
4.4 seconds to 100. 5.5-litre biturbo V8 with 386 kilowatts and 700 Newton-metres. Yesssss!
Both of these first owner dudes so far have blown about $200k each in depreciation over six years. Bragging rights. That’s about $650 a week - which is nothing to them, I’m sure…
...but it pales in comparison to the depreciation experienced by the compulsive public masturbator who procured the flagship BMW 7 Series back in 2012. That’s the 760 Li, with its six-litre twin turbo V12, 400 kilowatts and 750 Newton-metres.
And if you wanted one back then - $400 grand. That’s bog standard - without options and before on-road costs. The ‘poverty pack’ of 760 Li BMWs...
Today, though: Let’s call $75,000. That’s over $1000 a week, in depreciation, for six years. A lot more than you’re paying those workers in that sweatshop in Guatemala to injection mould that novelty rubber dog shit that put you on the map and made you the man you are today.
So, to you: the serial perusor of the used-car classifieds, I say: Why not lunch off the tsunami of depreciation suffered at the hands of the self-obsessed twat who owned them first?
These are simply beautiful cars. In more than one sense you’re looking at the epitome of comfort and capability.
And the price, used - while still significant for most of us - is certainly a steal in relation to the cost of buying one new.
But in order to do the risk assessment on this, I really think you have to look at the dark side of a deal/steal such as this. And the dark side here is: the cost of replacement parts and repairs.
See, at six to seven years of age, it’s gunna be pretty hard to get a consumer law-type claim up for a breach of the ‘acceptable quality’ Consumer Guarantee.
I was talking to an insurance industry insider a couple of years ago - and they do endless research into the cost of replacement parts. He tells me - not for attribution - that the replacement cost of an Audi A8 headlamp is...
Six thousand dollars. Six grand. So, you park your used four-ringed wankmobile outside the local Rubber Dogshit R US, and while you’re inside, perusing the flavours - I’ll take two Great Dane and a Schnauser - some tradie reverses into your fine Cherman carriage, smashes the headlamp, leaves no note, of course, and you’re up for six grand.
And it’s not just that. Tyres are likely to be well over $1000 per corner.
And then, of course, something major could go wrong.
What I’m saying here is that yes - these gorgeous luxury vehicles are available at what appear to be ‘fire sale’ prices. But you have to jump into this with your eyes wide open.
If there is some major component failure … your V12 masterpiece loses compression on cylinders three and five, or the injectors pack up on the four-ringed spanking chariot … this could well set you back half of what you paid for the damn car, or more.
The parts and the repairs do not depreciate in concert with the value of machine. You can successfully prosecute the argument that, if you cannot afford the new one, you might well not be able to afford keeping the old one on the road.