Mercedes C-Class C43 Sedan Red

Should You Buy a Used Mercedes-Benz? (Read This First)

If you’re here, it’s safe to guess you’re considering stepping into the world of luxury cars, specifically by owning a Mercedes-Benz.

But not just any Mercedes – you’re considering buying one that’s been pre-owned, right?

The question in your mind must be, “Should I buy a used Mercedes-Benz?” It’s a great question, and we’re here to help you find the answers!

We’ll delve into the good, the bad, and everything in between when buying a used Mercedes-Benz. We’ll talk about maintenance costs, reliability, and high-mileage concerns and even guide you on the best and worst used models to consider.

So, sit back, relax, and let’s embark on this journey together!

The pros of buying a used Mercedes-Benz

Stepping into the world of Mercedes-Benz ownership is an exciting prospect.

Let’s start by discussing the benefits that make buying a used Mercedes-Benz a tempting choice:

  1. Value for Money: The most apparent benefit is cost savings. Brand-new Mercedes-Benz cars can come with a hefty price tag that might not fit everyone’s budget. However, a used Mercedes-Benz allows you to experience luxury without emptying your wallet.
  2. Quality and Craftsmanship: Mercedes-Benz is well-known for its high manufacturing standards and attention to detail. That means even a used Mercedes can offer a luxurious driving experience, often comparable to a brand-new vehicle.
  3. Depreciation Advantage: All vehicles depreciate, but luxury cars like Mercedes-Benz often see the steepest drop in the initial years. By buying used, you avoid the highest depreciation years.
  4. Selection and Variety: The used Mercedes market offers a large selection. Whether you fancy an elegant sedan, a sporty coupe, or a spacious SUV, the used market will likely have a Mercedes that fits your needs.
  5. Certified Pre-Owned Programs: Mercedes-Benz offers a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program, providing used car buyers with added assurances like extended warranty and thorough vehicle inspections.

The cons of buying a used Mercedes-Benz

Remember, while the above advantages sound compelling, you must understand that buying a used Mercedes-Benz, like any other vehicle, has its downsides too.

Let’s dive into some potential pitfalls that come with buying a used Mercedes-Benz:

  1. Potential for Expensive Repairs: Mercedes-Benz is a luxury brand, and maintaining that luxury isn’t always cheap. The parts and specialized labor can be more costly than for non-luxury brands.
  2. Uncertain Vehicle History: Unless you’re buying from a very trusted source or a certified program, there’s often an element of uncertainty about how the previous owner(s) treated the car. This could include everything from regular maintenance and repair to accidents and part replacements.
  3. Potentially High Mileage: Used cars generally have higher mileage, and while Mercedes-Benz cars are built to last, high mileage may still lead to more frequent and costly maintenance or repairs.
  4. Out-of-Warranty Risks: If the vehicle’s warranty has expired, any repair costs will have to come directly from your pocket.
  5. Advanced Features: While Mercedes-Benz is known for its advanced features, technology in automobiles evolves rapidly. Depending on the car’s age, you might miss out on the latest tech advancements found in newer models.

Are used Mercedes-Benz cars expensive to maintain?

Mercedes-Benz AMG CLS 63 engine exposed

“Expensive” is a relative term, but it’s fair to say that maintaining a Mercedes-Benz, even a used one, can be pricier than many other car brands.

This comes down to several factors:

  1. Luxury Parts and Labor: Mercedes-Benz cars are engineered with a high degree of precision and use top-quality parts. This means that replacement parts can be costly, and the labor isn’t cheap either.
  2. Regular Maintenance: Like all cars, a used Mercedes-Benz needs regular maintenance to stay in top shape.
  3. Unexpected Repairs: While Mercedes-Benz cars are generally reliable, no car is immune to unexpected issues. Depending on the car’s age and how well it’s been maintained, you might need to make some repairs.

Overall, while a used Mercedes-Benz can be more expensive to maintain than other brands, it’s important to remember what you’re getting for that cost.

You’re driving a car known for its comfort, performance, and safety features. For many, this makes the extra maintenance cost worth it. However, it’s crucial to consider this aspect when budgeting for your used Mercedes-Benz.

Are old Mercedes-Benz cars reliable?

Mercedes SLK Cabrio Grey

Mercedes-Benz is a brand that prides itself on manufacturing vehicles that stand the test of time.

Generally speaking, even older models can offer a reliable ride if appropriately maintained.

However, like all machines, the potential for issues increases as a car ages.

It’s important to remember that a car’s reliability is often a reflection of how it’s been treated.

Regular servicing, correct driving habits, and proper storage can significantly affect a car’s lifespan. If the previous owner(s) of an older Mercedes-Benz took good care of the car, it’s more likely to be reliable.

Some older Mercedes-Benz models have gained a reputation for being “bulletproof” because of their impressive longevity. For instance, certain models from the 1980s and 1990s are known to clock up high mileage without significant problems.

Lastly, Mercedes-Benz’s constant innovation means they regularly update their vehicles with new technology.

While this is generally a good thing, it also means that some early versions of these technologies can sometimes have teething problems. Before purchasing an older model, research any known issues or recalls for that specific model year.

So, while older Mercedes-Benz cars can certainly be reliable, it largely depends on the car’s history and the care it’s received throughout its life.

Should you buy a high-mileage Mercedes-Benz?

Mercedes C Class Coupe 2014 grey

When buying used cars, mileage is often a key consideration. However, with Mercedes-Benz vehicles, high mileage doesn’t necessarily mean you should rule out the car.

Here’s why:

  1. Quality Engineering: Mercedes-Benz vehicles are known for their robust engines and quality manufacturing. They are designed and built to last, so a well-maintained, high-mileage Mercedes-Benz can still offer many years of driving pleasure.
  2. Maintenance History: A high-mileage car properly cared for can be a better choice than a lower-mileage car that hasn’t been maintained. Always ask for the car’s service history. Regular oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine maintenance are good signs that the car’s been taken care of.
  3. Cost-Effective: High-mileage cars are usually cheaper to buy. If you find a high-mileage Mercedes-Benz that’s in good condition and has been well-maintained, it can be a great way to experience luxury driving at a more affordable price.

However, there are potential drawbacks to consider:

  1. Increased Maintenance: As vehicles age and accrue mileage, they may require more frequent maintenance. This could mean more frequent visits to the mechanic and higher costs over time.
  2. Resale Value: High-mileage cars tend to have lower resale values. If you’re considering selling the car in the future, this is something to consider.
  3. Potential for Major Repairs: While Mercedes-Benz cars are built to last, major components can start to wear out on high-mileage vehicles. This can lead to expensive repairs.

In conclusion, a high-mileage Mercedes-Benz can be a good buy, especially if it’s been well-maintained. However, having a trusted mechanic inspect the car before purchase is crucial.

What is the best used Mercedes-Benz to buy in 2024?

Edmunds used 2016 Mercedes C-Class for sale

Finding the best used Mercedes-Benz to buy can be a thrilling pursuit.

Are you looking for a sophisticated sedan for your daily commute? Or perhaps a roomy SUV for family trips?

Each Mercedes-Benz model brings a unique blend of attributes to the table. And within each model, different model years might be more desirable due to updates, upgrades, or the ironing out of previous kinks.

Let’s take a closer look at some specific used Mercedes-Benz models that are considered particularly good choices:

  1. 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: The C-Class is an excellent entry point into the Mercedes-Benz lineup, offering a balanced blend of luxury and performance. The 2016 model, in particular, is well-regarded for its reliability.
  2. 2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: The E-Class is known for its luxurious interiors and cutting-edge technology, and the 2015 model is no exception. It delivers a comfortable ride, precise handling, and advanced safety features. Plus, its selection of powerful engines can satisfy anyone seeking a bit of thrill in their drive.
  3. 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS: If you’re after a spacious luxury SUV, the 2017 GLS could be the perfect match. It offers ample room for seven passengers, a plush and quiet cabin, and a comfortable ride.
  4. 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC: The GLC is a compact luxury SUV that offers a refined blend of comfort and practicality. The 2019 model year benefits from many updates, including a refreshed exterior and interior design.

Want to learn more? Check out our article: The 6 Best Used Mercedes Models to Buy In 2024

Which used Mercedes-Benz should you avoid?

It’s just as important to know which used Mercedes-Benz models to steer clear of as it is to know which ones to pursue.

As with all used cars, some models have earned a reputation for being less reliable or having more issues than others:

2012 and 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

While the C-Class is generally a great entry into the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the 2012 and 2013 models have been known to experience certain issues.

These could range from electronic problems to issues with fuel systems.

This doesn’t mean every car from these model years will give you trouble, but statistically speaking, these years have seen a higher-than-average number of complaints.

For a more detailed rundown on these issues, check out our article Mercedes C-Class Reliability: Top Picks And Ones To Avoid.

Mercedes-Benz models with M156, M272, and M273 engines

Mercedes M156 engine

Some used Mercedes-Benz models come equipped with the M156, M272, and M273 engines.

These engines, while delivering powerful performance, have been known to exhibit problems over time, such as premature wear and tear, balance shaft issues, and more.

If you’re considering a Mercedes-Benz with one of these engines, it’s important to be aware of these potential issues.

You can find more detailed information on these engines and their potential problems in our article 5 Most Reliable Mercedes-Benz Engines Ever (+3 to Avoid).

Remember, buying a used car always carries some risk, but by doing your homework, you can mitigate these risks and find a vehicle that delivers both value and reliability.

Now, before we conclude, let’s discuss some essential things to consider before buying a used Mercedes-Benz.

What to consider before buying a used Mercedes-Benz?

When purchasing a used Mercedes, it’s crucial to ensure you’re getting a good deal.

Here are five tips for you to make sure everything goes smoothly!

  1. Research the car’s history. Dig into the car’s past. It’s essential to know its history, including any accidents, previous owners, and maintenance records. A super handy tool for this is carVertical, which provides a detailed report of the car’s history.
carVertical vehicle history check
  1. Have the car inspected by a mechanic. Just as you wouldn’t buy a house without an inspection, don’t skip this step for your car. A qualified mechanic will check for hidden issues and give you peace of mind that you’re making a wise investment.
  2. Negotiate the price. Don’t take the price tag as the final word. Channel your inner negotiator and haggle. Be armed with information about the car’s history and inspection, and don’t be afraid to bargain for a better deal.
  3. Consider warranties and certified pre-owned (CPO) programs. Think of warranties as a safety net for your car. Check if the car comes with any existing warranties. Mercedes often has excellent certified pre-owned programs with extended warranties and thorough inspections.
  4. Check for recalls. Ensure that the car had no manufacturer recalls or, if it did, that the issues were addressed. This will ensure that your car is safe and has no lurking issues.


Let’s wrap things up!

So, is it worth buying a used Mercedes-Benz?

Yes, a used Mercedes-Benz is worth buying. When chosen wisely, it can offer a blend of luxury, comfort, and performance usually associated with new high-end vehicles but at a significantly lower cost.

Of course, like any used car purchase, it requires careful consideration, thorough research, and, ideally, an expert inspection.

However, with these boxes checked, a used Mercedes-Benz can be a fantastic investment, offering you a taste of premium driving experience and potentially many years of enjoyment.

And finally, remember that buying a car is not just a financial decision but also an emotional one. Choose a Mercedes-Benz that you not only can afford but one that you’ll love to drive every day. Happy car hunting!

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