Before we begin, let’s get one thing straight. Buying any used passenger car is not the same as buying a used luxury passenger car. The moment brands like BMW, Tesla, Bentley, Audi or Aston Martin enter the picture, everything changes.
These are luxury brands, which have bells and whistles not found in the vast majority of ‘lesser vehicles.’ Luxury cars are expensive and plenty of people purchase used models.
Unlike brands like Hyundai, Suzuki, Toyota and Subaru, most luxury vehicles will have high-end rims like Savini Wheels, better tires, keyless entry systems, more airbags on all sides, more features across the spectrum like cruise control, better safety ratings, and so on.
It stands to reason that purchasing a ‘second-hand’ deluxe vehicle is a slightly more difficult proposition than most passenger cars. You will have to be on your toes.
Here are a few pointers that will help you.
Pro tips for purchasing a used luxury car
Here are some of the most critical points you must keep in mind.
- Inspect the vehicle to start off: The first step is to inspect the car with a fine-toothed comb. This should be a technical and a legal inspection of the car’s history, including police records and warranty issues.
It is best left to automobile experts to go over the technical side. You must be careful if you are purchasing a vehicle without a warranty. It is advisable to always take along a witness in this situation since you are buying the car on an ‘as is’ basis, which means that you are taking cognizance of defects and everything.
Should there be any complications later, your witness can testify that you had indeed asked all the right questions to reassure yourself that the vehicle worked perfectly and as advertised.
Remember that the ‘Lemon Law’ does not apply to used vehicles.
- Check the security features personally: You are likely paying a pretty large amount for the vehicle. It might even boast high-quality forged Method Wheels or Fuel rims to ensure that the resale value goes up a few notches. It is your responsibility to ensure that all the security features work perfectly.
Since luxury cars have a very wide range of these features, take it easy and check the braking mechanism& ABS, the clutch, steering-mounted controls, theft-protection systems and every automatic lock on-board.
Once you are satisfied with the interiors, exit and recheck every door handle at least once. Check the trunk door too. Finally, give a good yank at the emergency brake while taking a test drive at low speeds.
These might sound very obvious points, but you can never be too careful. Especially when you are purchasing a luxury vehicle designed to provide complete peace of mind!
- Check rims and tires closely: It is imperative that you have a good hard look at the rims on the car. Are they the OEM ones? If not, are they branded aftermarket majors like Ferrada Wheels or other reliable names like Black Rhino?
Even more important is the condition of the tires and their pedigree. No self-respecting luxury carmaker (or any car manufacturer for that matter) will use unbranded tires. Does the vehicle retain their branded tubes? Some of the biggest names in the global tire market are Michelin, Goodyear, Hankook, Nexen, BFGoodrich and Cooper – among several others.
Check whether the tread blocks and the rubber are in excellent shape. High-end tires also have a sturdy sidewall, a higher aspect ratio, sipes and small channels to prevent water build-up while driving on wet roads, and are generally heavy.
You will almost certainly get a set of tubeless tires. Ask your technician to check them for deformities or any internal defects.
Finally, if you plan to adorn your new vehicle with a set of high-quality Savini Wheels, you will require a certain tire size. You might need to replace the tires, but it is advisable to keep the original tubes in good condition. Think of it as your Plan B!
- A word on modifications: A significant majority of all luxury vehicles are often ‘modded.’ Sure, a custom set of faux leather seat covers looks and feels pretty good. But if the vehicle you’re eyeing has been heavily modified – from pedal replacements to new suspension systems and so on. It would be wiser to check out another vehicle.
You might not like these special fitments and will have to spend extra on removing them. Sometimes, extreme modification aficionados might end up changing the character of the vehicle!
Note that replacing the OEM rims with a handsome set of Method Wheels, Enkei or Moto Metal rims is acceptable. In some cases, they are welcome!
- Have a quick dekko of the CCS: Apart from the engine, the one thing that should work perfectly and in tandem is the Central Command System or CCS. This is the functionality hub and everything has to be in perfect shape, especially in a luxury vehicle. From the AC to the Bluetooth audio system and from the LED screen that displays all sorts of data to the turn indicators, every single piece of equipment has to be in ideal working condition.
Besides these 5 main pointers, you must draw up a budget and ask yourself if you really need a slew of fancy features!
I got most of it. Any idea which used cars are the most expensive?
In the luxury car market, models from Tesla, Acura, Porsche and Lexus usually have very high resale values.
If you are buying a Tesla Model S, for example, you could perhaps experiment with a set of forgedand polished Savini Wheels.
After all, what’s the point in spending a mini-fortune on a premium Acura electric sedan or a Porsche 911 Turbo if they don’t stand out?!