We’ve all gazed longingly at those bargain basement luxobarges in the classifieds, put off only by the intergalactic miles on the clock and the threat of impending financial doom.
But according to Glass’s, there’s never been a better time to buy one of those prestige cars that have covered ‘starship mileages’ of 150,000 or more. In fact, 150,000 miles could be the new 100,000 miles.
In a blog post on the Glass’s website, head of valuations Rupert Pontin, said: “A high-level Mercedes, BMW, Audi or Jaguar that has covered 100,000-150,000 miles at five to eight years old is probably worth at least 10% less than identical models that have only done an average of 10,000 miles per year.
“However, if it has been properly maintained, the starship car probably looks every bit as good and, thanks to good build quality, is probably not much less reliable or more expensive to run. It’s a cost effective way of getting behind the wheel of a nice car that will impress the neighbours.”
He has a point. Whereas once upon a time, a car would be considered over the hill at 100k, modern vehicles are capable of reaching 150k, 200k and even 250k without breaking sweat.
Of course, proper maintenance is essential and an S-Class or 7 Series won’t be as cheap to run as sub 100g/km CO2 supermini, but at least you’ll be travelling in style.
‘These vehicles can make an excellent buy’
And just think how smug you’ll feel knowing that somebody else was responsible for the catastrophic depreciation. This truly is a win-win situation, assuming you don’t buy a lemon. As Pontin says: “If you make the basic checks on condition and ensure that they have a comprehensive service history, these vehicles can make an excellent buy.
“They are potentially no more than half way through their lives. What tends to eventually kill older cars of this type is not the fact they were no longer viable vehicles, but that the repairs needed to keep them on the road are no longer economically sustainable.”
But this needn’t be the case. The UK lost far too many perfectly serviceable cars during the scrappage scheme of 2010 and we live in a society where vehicles are seen as disposable items. A new family hatchback will probably be cheaper to run, but will it offer the grace, space and pace of a luxobarge? Certainly not.
Remember, the interior of a prestige car will last longer than that of a volume model, while a larger engine will have enjoyed a relatively stress-free existence. And the UK has a network independent specialists to lavish care and attention on your luxobarge for much less cash than a main dealer.
The market is finally catching on to the appeal of these bargain prestige motors. Approach a deal with your eyes wide open and you could be driving home in something that, only half a dozen years ago, would have been the preserve of a UK captain of industry.
Have you been tempted by a bargain-basement executive express? Did you live to tell the tale? Let us know.