You've decided to go German. Wunderbar!
But you've also decided it just didn't make sense to pay the premium for a brand new vehicle. So now you have to ask:
Which entry-level used car makes the most financial sense? The Mercedes-Benz C300? The BMW 3-Series? The Audi A4?
We pored over 400+ vehicles in Kelley Blue Book in the San Francisco Bay Area to help you answer this question. We analyzed the vehicles on the following dimensions: 1) Year, 2) Asking Price, 3) Asking Price (as a % of original MSRP) and 4) Mileage.
Value depreciation by mile
Asking price (as a % of original MSRP) is on the y-axis. Mileage is on the x-axis. Each vehicle is color-coded by make/model. Each dot represents one vehicle. With these many data points, you can see the trends appear.
Value depreciation by year
Asking price is on the y-axis. Year is on the x-axis. Each dot represents one vehicle. The bar shows the average asking price for a given year. The average asking prices roughly decay with each year. Any fluctuations in this trend can be safely assumed to be the result of minimal data.
Everyone looks for different things when they're buying a car. Some people want the safest car out there. Some people are Honda "lifers." And some people love K-Pop so much that they will buy whatever as long as it's Korean-made.
Thankfully the J.D. Power 2016 Vehicle Dependability Study has all the right information for you, whichever type of buyer you are.
We took this information and sliced and diced it in every which way so you can make an informed decision. J.D. Power reported the number of Problems per 100 Vehicles (PP100) -- the lower the better. For the 5th year in a row, Lexus took the top spot.
For more information, download our research report here.
By Roy Mathew
Should you buy or should you lease? There isn't a clearcut answer for everyone but this cheatsheet will tell you what's right for you:
Advantages of buying:
Advantages of leasing:
By Roy Mathew
So I'm sure you've heard that you should always wait until the end of the month to get the best deal on a car. You haven't? Well guess what, it's true.
So what's the story here? Dealer Cash. Most dealerships have extra incentives if they hit certain quotas. If they hit their target, it could mean an extra $500-1,000 per vehicle sold that month. If they don't hit their target, $0. So if you come in the at the end of the month and the dealer is on the cusp of this target, you might be in the running for a deal a few thousand dollars off invoice.
It's not going to work every time, but if you can wait a few days or weeks until the end of month, it might just be worth your while.
By Roy Mathew