CPO Cars - Sick of the unrealistic hype... - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 08-09-2009
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CPO Cars - Sick of the unrealistic hype...

I must take a negative stance on Certified Pre-Owned (dealer) cars. I think CPO is bogus advertising.

Any 300+ point inspection or whatever they do for CPO, can be done cheaply for any car. What is important, in addition to that certification inspection, is the maintenance history of the car.

Let's be honest: many CPO cars are beaten lease mules that people never cared about in the first place. Really, if you truly LOVED the car, and really, really wanted it, why would you lease it expecting to be in something else in 2 or 3 years anyway?

Instead, many private seller cars come from people who truely loved their cars and had the dealer do the same inspection the CPO car gets. They may have also saved the original window sticker and brochure when the car came out (these things both being missing is sure sign of a lease.) However, the advertisements and "perception" of CPO cars makes people avoid the private cars that might have been more taken care of.

No dealer could offer an LS430 in the condition, with options, that we offered ours for when we put it up for sale. We had manauls, brochure window sticker, it was driven well and always taken care of. It had the same 300+ point inspection they do on cars for certified Lexus, done by the same dealer that handled the purchase and all service of the car. However, people would rather buy worse off, more expensive cars because Lexus convinced them certified was better.

So you know what we did with it after not being able to sell it for six months? Took it to the autocross, beat it around, and took it back to the dealer for the end of the 3 year single payment lease. Someone payed $8,000 more for the car from the dealer after I whipped it like a red headed step-child, and we kept the brochures, records of all the services, etc., Thank you!

For me, a car that has been serviced regularly, even if it has been raced, is worth more. Especially if it has car show plauqes around it, and an owner sorry to have to let it go.

After all, I've seen what people who love cars, like me, do to leased cars, and even worse, I've seen what people who do not love cars do to leased cars!

If a car has been leased, forghettaboutit!

How about CRASH instead? Certified, Recorded, Amended* Service History. *Amended being recorded Body Shop visits documented as well.
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#2 Old 08-09-2009
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Definitely some valid points. I purchased two used SLKs based on low mileage, car condition, and price. I must have been right with my choices.
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#3 Old 08-09-2009
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Originally Posted by -1- View Post
Definitely some valid points. I purchased two used SLKs based on low mileage, car condition, and price. I must have been right with my choices.
Yes. And should you go to sell one of your cars, you are shot in the foot by the manufacturer who is hyping CPO's for their dealers to make more money. You end up having to settle for less cash, and the buyer ends up paying more. I think the manufacturers have to stop footing the advertising, as they are hurting the buyers. Let the dealers pay for their own CPO pushing.
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#4 Old 08-09-2009
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So I've got a bit of a different perspective I guess. Full disclosure up front - my '350 and my last two C classes were all CPO'd cars. I purchased both for about 2k over the price of a comparable non-CPO'd. All were within a year of the warranty expiring, and the extension of a year's warranty was something I was willing to pay for.

On the '350, it's paid off in spades with the COMAND + HK AGW repair - both were replaced with zero cost to me, and I'm 99.9% sure it was just the AGW overheating that was causing the problems.

On the current C, it's been a loss, as I've had nothing at all wrong with the car, and just a minor repair to the A/C controls.

I agree that having full MB service history (one of the theoretical requirements for CPO in the states) is very important to me.

My gut feeling is that it's really down to the quality of the dealership - some are serious about their CPO'd cars, others are more willing to take a risk. I've heard some shocking stories of problems with CPO'd cars, but I've also seen first hand some of the problems folks have had with non-CPO'd cars with full service history...

The '55 was sold as a CPO car 3 months before I picked it up in a private purchase - and so far, so good! :-)



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#5 Old 08-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UK-C200 View Post
So I've got a bit of a different perspective I guess. Full disclosure up front - my '350 and my last two C classes were all CPO'd cars. I purchased both for about 2k over the price of a comparable non-CPO'd. All were within a year of the warranty expiring, and the extension of a year's warranty was something I was willing to pay for.

On the '350, it's paid off in spades with the COMAND + HK AGW repair - both were replaced with zero cost to me, and I'm 99.9% sure it was just the AGW overheating that was causing the problems.

On the current C, it's been a loss, as I've had nothing at all wrong with the car, and just a minor repair to the A/C controls.

I agree that having full MB service history (one of the theoretical requirements for CPO in the states) is very important to me.

My gut feeling is that it's really down to the quality of the dealership - some are serious about their CPO'd cars, others are more willing to take a risk. I've heard some shocking stories of problems with CPO'd cars, but I've also seen first hand some of the problems folks have had with non-CPO'd cars with full service history...

The '55 was sold as a CPO car 3 months before I picked it up in a private purchase - and so far, so good! :-)
I'll agree with that. The value that you get with the CPO certification is a relief from the BS that third party warranty companies give you.


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#6 Old 08-09-2009
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Racer, those are some good points.

UK-C: the 350 you bought may have been a previous lease and to Racer's point, who knows how it was taken car, hence your CPO paid off? But then again, yours was more electrical than mechanical probs and that can happen in any car (private or leased).

I guess the moral of the story is (or atleast how i understand it), buy a car with low miles, check history and have it inspected.
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#7 Old 08-10-2009
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Originally Posted by d3athr0w View Post
Racer, those are some good points.

UK-C: the 350 you bought may have been a previous lease and to Racer's point, who knows how it was taken car, hence your CPO paid off? But then again, yours was more electrical than mechanical probs and that can happen in any car (private or leased).

I guess the moral of the story is (or atleast how i understand it), buy a car with low miles, check history and have it inspected.
So in the case of the '350, I know the first owner, so I have a very good idea how it was treated - unique in most CPO cases, and while it didn't really influence the decision, it was taken into account.

I hesitate to say that lease cars are less well cared for than those outright purchased, but never having leased a car, guess that's a gut feeling more than anything else. Some people take care of their cars, some don't.

I'm not sure what you can do to check the electrics of a car - in my case everything worked flawlessly for over a year, and then *poof* - out went the COMAND.

I'd look for full service history first, accident reports (Carfax second), and then a good mechanical inspection. Low mileage is - IMHO - not a perfect indicator in a country where SLK's tend to be third cars. Mileage is much higher, 'specially when you take size and distance into account here in England - it's damned near impossible to find an '05 with less than 20k miles on it. AMG's seem to be more "hit or miss".

My second C series over here was an '04 with 10k miles on it when I picked it up in '07, and it was priced higher due to the excpetionally low mileage. My C in Paris had about 15k miles when I picked it up, and the A/C went out the second year I owned it - I think the fill cost of the compressor replacment and a few other bits and bobs was 40 euros since they replaced a belt or something that was not covered..



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#8 Old 08-10-2009
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The warranties are available without having to buy the car from the dealer as CPO, as long as the inspection, (which for Lexus was like $150) is done.

Point is, I would rather have the opportunity to know who really drove the car first. You can really tell how things are going to go with it when you can size up the previous owner. Someone who loves the car, keeps brochures and models of it around, are not going to let any problem go on for a period of time before fixing, and making sure it was done right.
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Another thing would be to check forums? LoL

I bet you'd get some good info on the previous owner
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#10 Old 08-12-2009
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I'd tend to agree with you Racer. When they CPO the car they replace things like tires and brakes which may still have several thousand miles of wear left, but don't meet their CPO "criteria". Thus the buyer ends up paying more for things that didn't need to be fixed. The ability to have additional factory warranty and extended warranty through the manufacturer may be the only benefit of a CPO, if you're willing to pay the premium for it.

Like you, I've leased cars and currently lease my ML. Why do they make a 3 yr lease the most economical? Simply because cars like MB, BMW, Acura, Lexus have 4 yr 50k mile warranties. The dealerships get 3 yr old lease returns which still have factory warranty which they can then turn around and CPO making even more $$. It's definitely structured for the dealership to make a profit, but hey if we didn't have dealerships how would we find those great private party deals
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#11 Old 08-12-2009
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People will pay more for the peace of mind of having a warranty, or at least the illusion of it.
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#12 Old 08-14-2009
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Originally Posted by Brian_74 View Post
[SNIP...]
Like you, I've leased cars and currently lease my ML. [...SNIP]
Actually, we do not lease cars anymore. The advantage to the business write off just isn't there anymore. Besides, I'm trying ever so hard to stick to the "only get financing for something that makes money" (like education or real estate) rule. It's hard tho, real hard!

Porsche just send me coupons for $10,000 off any new Porsche, and with the economy slow down on the beach, it's a great time to get a dedicated race car... If I didn't have other obligations...

Nah, I'm so spoiled with having no car payment and having a completely bespoke car. I doubt they would have a Carrera S with rear wiper, short shifter, X51 and wind up windows on the lot!
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