Luxury cars serve a similar function to that of haute couture fashion: just as catwalk designs eventually find their way into the mainstream so does the cutting-edge technology of luxury cars become a standard fitting a few years down the line. The Mercedes S class saloon, for example, introduced airbags as a standard fitting back in 1990. So, your purchase of a luxury car is not simply about high performance and plush leather seats, it’s about having the technology of tomorrow, today. The prospect of owning the latest luxury car is intoxicating but if ever you need to avoid the impulse buy this is it. If you’ve fallen in love with a luxury car don’t rush into that marriage, take your time and make sure that this is really what you want before you part with that large sum of money.
Don’t assume that because it’s new, the vehicle is perfect
You need to inspect this vehicle in detail. Is the paintwork perfect? Is the finishing exactly as it should be? If there’s more than twenty-five miles on the clock you need a good explanation.
What comes as standard?
With some makes it’s possible to practically double the cost of the vehicle with expensive optional extras. Be very clear about what comes as standard, especially advanced safety features. Do the optional extras enhance the quality of the vehicle or are they superfluous extras which you would be better without?
Test drive on your terms
Do not allow the sales person to use the test drive as an opportunity for an extended pitch. You can always book a test drive on your own or take a passenger with you who can evaluate the comfort of the rear seats and the onboard entertainment. Get the salesperson to explain all the features of the vehicle in detail so that you test out how well everything works. It’s likely that the complexity of a contemporary luxury car will take several test drives to become familiar with so don’t allow yourself to be hustled into a snap decision on the basis of a single drive. Experience the vehicle in a variety of conditions such as open road, country road and heavy traffic. This car may be a joy to drive but is it going to meet your practical requirements as well. What’s the boot space like? Is there sufficient leg room? Is it easy to get in and out of?
Check your insurance
You will need your insurance in place before you can drive this vehicle away. Luxury cars are expensive to insure so check which insurance group the vehicle falls into. Don’t simply roll over your old insurance, shop around for the best deal, the saving is likely to be considerable.
Check your documentation
You need a range of documents in order to purchase a new car, even more if a part exchange is required. Make sure that you have the vehicle’s manuals, service history document and registration document. When it comes to the sales documentation, be prepared to go through all the small print to ensure that there are no hidden add-ons and always ask for clarification if you are unsure. Do not sign any paperwork which has not been filled out in full.