Thursday,21 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1366, (26 October - 1 November 2017)
Thursday,21 February, 2019
Issue 1366, (26 October - 1 November 2017)

Ahram Weekly

German bargains

Why buy a new car of rubbish quality when you can get a well-built one for half the price?

#Mercedes-Benz W140 (1992-1998) # BMW E31 and E32 #Mercedes-Benz W126 (1979-1991)
# # #

Prices of cars are staying up. Speculation that they might drop by the end of the year seems unconvincing to many consumers, reports Mohamed Abdel-Razek. The dilemma revolves around the fact that most cars on display are dramatically overpriced and don’t meet the value of money invested in them. It doesn’t sound convincing or digestible by many customers spending, for example, half a million Egyptian pounds on a Korean car or a quarter of a million on a Chinese car with very bad quality and unpredictable resale value. 

Another problem buyers find disturbing is the fact that most cars in showrooms are from the years 2015 and 2016, and few of them 2017. Now, across the world, the 2018 models are delivered in most countries. So is the Egyptian buyer offered the latest range of cars with prices that reflect the real value of the cars? No. Will the Egyptian customer get a return on investment for what he/she spent on a new car? Probably not. Buying a German second hand car, especially a Mercedes or BMW, is maybe the best option in the current period, if you are looking for a well-made car, equipped with all the options you may and may not find in brand new cars. Regarding value, most German second hand cars have already lost a lot of their value so there is no room for another dramatic downfall in the car’s value.

Even spare parts and maintenance costs for German cars are cheaper than new cars in Egypt, different from Europe and the US. Most German cars from the 1980s and 1990s and even early 2000s reached such an extent that the value of maintaining them equalled or even exceeded their actual value, which pushed lots of them to the graveyard. There, they are disassembled and sold as spare parts to many countries like Egypt, extending the lives of similar cars in the country with lower-priced spare parts.

Also, getting the right pair of hands to service your German car in Egypt is way cheaper than abroad and cheaper than taking your new car to the dealer for an oil change. That’s if you find the right mechanic.

For example, the Mercedes W140, the S-Class of the 90s. This car is equipped with tons of technology that you won’t find it in most new cars today. Soft closing doors, electronic cabin mirror, fully electric seats with memory and message, dual zone electronic air conditioning, ABS, traction control, double glazed windows for insulation and many other options with extraordinary powerful electronically injected engines. You can get a decent W140 starting from 250K up to 380K depending on the condition, so if you know the right parts you need to replace to get the car running, why not? And at the end of the day, when you’re asked what you drive, the answer will be a Mercedes, not the standard fare.

Getting to “new old cars”, meaning a car from 2009, for example, an S-Class 2009 second hand model with 100,000km on the clock is sold for around LE1 million; a BMW 7 series from the same year around 600K. While the brand new Mercedes E-class is sold for over LE2 million, without any details, which one sounds better? The S-Class might even be equipped with toys not in the E. Even the comparison in size of the exterior and interior is unmatched by all means, and for the 100k kilometres, such cars are made to pass the million kilometre mark.

At the end of the day, you will be driving the same car the CEO is driving — unless you are the CEO. You don’t need to make up your mind on that one.

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