This looks nice! But ..... - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 08-14-2008
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This looks nice! But .....

Trawling through the auto trader spotted a peach of an slk350 150 miles away but sounds well worth the trip.
Unfortunately not with a Mercedes Dealer but an independant Merc specialist so no 12 month warranty (guess I can buy a warranty from MB or 3rd party)
Anyway the car is a 2005 slk350 obsidian with cream designo leather/suede seats and it sounds like whoever ordered it originally ticked every option including HK Stereo (YES!!!!). car has done just under 30k miles and is up at Ł22,500.
One issue is that the car already has had 4 owners which for a 40month old car seems a lot to me, the last keeper had it for 7 months.
So question is should I be put of by the number of owners and also am asking for problems buying from an Indie rather than a MB Dealer?
Needless to say the car has a full MB service history and was last serviced 300 mile ago.
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#2 Old 08-14-2008
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If you're really interested (year, color, options, ,mileage, price) take the time to check it out in person. Four owners is a lot but there must be a reason. It's easy to fall in love with a SLK. After a while, some will realize it might not be practical unless they have another vehicle. The key would be ANY accidents, damage, etc. At least it's been properly serviced and that's very important. Good luck.
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#3 Old 08-14-2008
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Like Don said go check it out, i wouldn't say 4 owners is normal for that age car but its certainly not a lot and I'm sure some of it can be explained by the rising costs associated with a car such as the SLK.

Get its VIN and have the local dealer verify the service history plus they can print the EPC datacard that will have the car's vital stats so you can compare, also ask the dealer to book the car in for an inspection and have the seller agree (in writing) that the sale is conditional on the results of that inspection.

A Mercedes warranty will set you back about 1k for a year so factor that into the decision also.
#4 Old 08-15-2008
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You know, one of the things that bugs me about a newer car with a lot of owners is the possibility that it is a lemon.

There is a very high possibility that 1 or 2 of those previous owners dumped the car while still owing on the loan. That means they were probably paying more for maintenance and unexpected mechanical work than they could afford, and it was easier/cheaper to write off the car and take on any remaining debt. Think about this: Would you sell a car for less than you owe? What kind of things would cause you to do this?

I just doubt that many people who couldn't afford a base SLK would buy a fully-optioned SLK and then realize they couldn't afford it. Maybe 1 of those 4 owners was in that position, but my guess is that there are some kind of electrical/mechanical issues with the car that should make it a lemon, but somehow it hasn't been lemoned yet. Either that, or it's been in an accident and repaired.

I would avoid that car, personally. Sounds like a bad deal waiting to happen. The likelihood that this car is in great shape and just too expensive for the previous 4 owners is EXTREMELY lower than some of those things I mentioned. Why take chances? Keep looking, and you'll find a better SLK soon.
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