Article By Acklam Car Centre

What Should You Look for When Buying a Used Luxury Car: A Comprehensive Manual

The allure of owning a luxury vehicle is undeniable, but the costs can put it out of reach for many. However, the gleaming world of high-end vehicles becomes more accessible when you consider used luxury cars.

Luxury vehicles depreciate considerably in a few years, which means that you can own a prestigious car for a fraction of its initial price. Indulge in the pleasure of driving an Audi A6, Lexus GS, Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, or any other luxury vehicle without the exorbitant cost. However, purchasing a pre-owned luxury car requires careful consideration and due diligence. This guide will assist you in navigating the complexities of buying a used luxury vehicle.

1. Conduct a Thorough Vehicle Scan

Luxury vehicles are equipped with advanced technology and numerous sensors and controllers that monitor their performance. Ensure that the vehicle undergoes a full diagnostic scan, preferably by a dealer technician, even if there are no warning lights on the dashboard. The scan can detect any potential issues that may not be immediately evident but can lead to expensive repairs in the future.

2. Get the Vehicle Inspected and Update

A Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) is crucial when buying a used luxury car. A trained technician can inspect the vehicle for any underlying issues or potential problems. If any are identified, negotiate the price accordingly. Also, ask the dealer about any software updates that can help prevent future issues. Keeping your luxury car updated can save you from unexpected troubles.

3. Avoid Models with Air Suspension

Many luxury vehicles come with air suspension systems. However, as these systems age, they are prone to leaks and failures, which can lead to expensive repairs. While air suspension can enhance the vehicle's ride, the potential repair costs often outweigh the benefits. If you still choose a model with air suspension, consider getting an extended warranty to cover potential repair costs.

4. Test the Central Command System

The central command system controller is a vital part of any luxury vehicle. Whether it's iDrive in BMW, COMAND in Mercedes, MMI in AUDI, CUE in Cadillac, or RTI in Lexus, ensure the system functions perfectly. Test all the features, including Bluetooth connectivity, making and receiving calls, and playing media from various sources.

5. Be Wary of Modifications

If the pre-owned luxury car you're considering has been extensively modified with cheap parts, it's best to avoid it. Modifications can increase the vehicle's power but can also lead to engine damage and void any remaining warranty coverage. Stick to a model that's as close to the stock as possible for maximum peace of mind.

6. Tread Cautiously

A luxury vehicle with modified engine management software can have more power but also risks damaging the engine and voiding the warranty. Poorly installed suspension modifications can cause wear and handling issues. Oversized wheels can cause fitment issues and are more prone to damage. It's safer to choose a vehicle that is as close to the original factory specifications as possible.

7. Check the Battery and Electronics

Modern electronics can malfunction in the presence of a weak battery. This issue is even more pronounced in luxury vehicles with numerous high-tech features. A weak battery can cause sporadic warning messages, flickering lights, and random non-functionality of various features. Consider investing in a trickle charger to maintain the battery's health, especially if the car will be idle for an extended period.

8. Test All Features

When you go for a test drive, take the time to test all the high-tech luxury features in the car. Check the stereo, power trunk closer, ventilated seats, rear-seat entertainment system, head-up display, and keyless entry. Verify that everything is in working condition before you make the purchase.

9. Consider the Additional Costs

While you may be able to afford the purchase price of a luxury car, the ongoing costs can add up. Luxury vehicles typically cost more to insure, require premium gasoline, and are more maintenance-intensive. Replacement costs for items like brakes, tires, suspension components, and lighting provisions are often higher as well. Ensure your budget can handle these additional costs before making the purchase.


In conclusion, owning a luxury car is a thrilling experience. However, buying a pre-owned one requires careful consideration and research. Follow the tips in this guide to make an informed decision and enjoy the luxury ride you've always dreamed of.