Saving up for a luxury vehicle can take a lifetime, especially as new-car prices continue to skyrocket. While the newest luxury cars have the most exquisite styling, don’t forget that the older models set the stage with posh leather, smooth handling, and fabulous finishes.
Instead of saving up for a brand new model that loses value the moment you drive it off of the lot, consider springing for a classic version instead. If it’s new or bust, there’s still hope to be had for your luxury car dreams. Here are five money-saving tips for luxury vehicle ownership on a budget.
Buy a salvaged luxury vehicle
The cheapest way to buy a luxury vehicle is by purchasing a salvaged one at a trusted salvage yard like Tear-A-Part. These are vehicles that have had enough damage for an insurance company to declare them totaled. But, a skilled mechanic can usually restore these cars to looking and feeling good using parts from the auto salvage. Using this route, you can have a luxury car for a fraction of the price of new or used.
Look to leasing
If you just can’t go without that new car smell, explore your leasing opportunities. Leases work differently than traditional vehicle financing. With a lease, the manufacturer sets a residual value after two, three, or four years based on typical mileage. When a buyer chooses to lease, the finance department deducts the residual from the sticker price and divides the total by the lease term.
Since many luxury cars hold their value, drivers’ monthly amount is significantly less than they would pay for a new car loan. Remember that leases usually have mileage limits to help the vehicle maintain its value and that drivers need to take care of routine maintenance to follow the lease terms.
At the end of the lease, the driver must return it to the dealership in like-new condition to avoid receiving end-of-lease fees. Leasing is the perfect option for those who’d like the luxury car experience without as steep of a financial commitment.
Because new cars lose value quickly, buyers can slip into the driver’s seat of a used car for a great price. The vehicle might not have all the latest features, but it will still be a luxury vehicle at a low price. Hire a mechanic to check out the engine and drivetrain, so you aren’t surprised by any costly repairs. Lastly, consider having the car detailed to bring it back to all of its exclusive glory.
Consider shopping at an auction
Dealerships charge premium prices for vehicles because they have so much overhead to cover. If you want to save money, consider shopping at a local auction or online auction. Cash is king at local auctions, so bring paper money to win the best price. Remember that auctions sell vehicles as-is, so you might have to put some cash into tuning up the car you buy.
Buy a used rental
Another place to buy a luxury vehicle for a lower price is from a rental company. Many offer luxury vehicles for their customers, and eventually, the companies want to sell them to upgrade their fleets. Because these agencies have so many cars to clear out of inventory, rental car companies often sell their older models lower than dealerships.
You have options if you want a luxury car but don’t want to empty your bank account or make massive monthly payments. With a bit of creativity and thoughtful shopping, you can burn rubber without burning cash.