From stylish design to enjoyable driving dynamics, owning a late-model Mercedes-Benz can be a rewarding experience. Increasingly, smart car shoppers are discovering the value of purchasing a car through a manufacturer’s certified pre-owned (CPO) plan like the Mercedes-Benz CPO program.
The numbers are worse for the larger E-Class sedan: A 47% loss in vehicle value for the first three years, according to caredge.com.
Of course, saving money is always a good idea. And the Mercedes CPO program takes advantage of the depreciation that hits almost all cars, especially luxury vehicles. A Mercedes C-Class sedan, according to Edmunds, will lose 38% of its value over the first three years of ownership.
That depreciation climbs past 58% over five years. The numbers are worse for the larger E-Class sedan: A 47% loss in vehicle value for the first three years, according to caredge.com. Like driving a new Mercedes GLE SUV? Then say goodbye to 63% of that car’s value over the first five years.
That works out to an $866 monthly loss of value. Ouch!
Cars bought via Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned, the official name for the program, already takes this loss of value into account, and cars still benefit from a Mercedes-Benz warranty. Let’s review the details of Mercedes’ CPO program.
Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned: How It Works
To be certified under its CPO program, Mercedes requires its cars to be less than six years old and have fewer than 75,000 miles. Like most CPO programs, eligible Mercedes CPO cars come from trade-ins, end-of-term leases, auctions, service loaners, and Mercedes company cars. Prospective CPO cars must be accident-free, show a documented maintenance record, and have a clean history.
Mercedes-Benz uses a 165-point inspection process to verify that the candidate CPO car meets its quality requirements. This evaluation assesses exterior appearance and structure and interior fit and finish. A technician then looks at and tests electrical and mechanical components, including engine and transmission operations.
The company’s CPO process also includes a road test where the perspective vehicle is judged for its performance of the steering, brakes, suspension, driveline, and overall ride quality. The review also looks for noise and vibration problems.
Following a successful inspection, the Mercedes dealer pays a fee to the company to add CPO warranty and benefits coverage to the car.
Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned Warranty And Benefits
The Mercedes CPO program extends the vehicle's original 4-year/50,000-mile new car warranty by an additional year. The CPO warranty can be extended for up to two years by purchasing additional coverage.
Keep in mind that Mercedes’ Certified Pre-Owned warranty is made of two parts: the original new car, bumper-to-bumper, coverage, and an extended CPO warranty. Except for wear- and tear-related items, new car protection covers most things on a Mercedes.
The Mercedes CPO warranty deals with major components, but bulbs, batteries, squeaks, rattles, and other minor things may not be covered. This isn’t a complete list, but this coverage protects:
- Audio/Navigation Systems
- Electrical System
- Climate-Control System
- Central-Locking System
- Convertible/Retractable Top Systems
- Other Components (windshield wipers, seat belts, etc.)
Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned benefits include a seven-day exchange period, roadside assistance, and trip interruption protection. The CPO warranty can be transferred to a subsequent, private party buyer without a fee.
Like many other luxury brands, Mercedes offers a competitive CPO leasing program that offers lower monthly payments than a traditional car loan.
What To Consider When Buying A BMW CPO Car
It’s A Used Car: Mercedes CPO cars are used, not new, vehicles, so most lemon laws won’t apply. Depending on where you live, other consumer protection laws may protect your purchase.
Age of Vehicle: You may not be able to choose from the current body style as most CPO cars are two to four years old.
Fewer Choices: The availability of Mercedes Certified Pre-Owned Cars is limited. Unlike with a new car, you can’t order a vehicle with your specifications. You may have to skip certain options or colors.
Wear & Tear: Your Mercedes CPO vehicle may have some minor interior or exterior imperfections. This is normal; it’s not a brand-new car. Before buying, be sure to inspect the tires and brakes. Chances are, these components are original and may soon need replacement. Keep this in mind when negotiating with the dealer.
Choosing The Best Mercedes CPO Car
Read on as we suggest some “sweet spots” among popular Mercedes-Benz model years. Avoid potential “teething problems” and skip the first year for an all-new model. The prices mentioned here are general ranges base on current information from Mercedes’ CPO website.
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Prices will vary depending on equipment, availability, and location. Pay attention to the remaining new car warranty period: Mercedes coverage for this is four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first, from the first in-service date.
Mercedes’ best-selling sedan was recently redesigned, so we’ll focus on the previous (W205) generation. Looking at the 2018 model year, you can find examples in the $26,000-$27,000 range that originally stickered for around $45,000. Ideally, you can find one with at least a year of new car warranty remaining before CPO coverage applies. Dropping down to a 2017 model may save you about $3,000, but you’re unlikely to find any cars with remaining new car coverage.
Moving up to the brand’s midsize sedan means more room but at a higher price. The fifth-generation (W213) E-Class was redesigned for 2017, so we’ll skip that first year and look at the 2018 edition. With an original MSRP in the $60,000-$62,000 range, a 2018 E-Class in CPO form will run around $35,000.
In-demand SUVs mean a better resale value than sedans and a higher selling price, but CPO GLC-Class vehicles will always cost less than new. The GLC (X253) was launched in 2015 and refreshed for 2019. Going for a 2019 model is the sweet spot as you’ll save about $18,000 over new and benefit from an updated exterior and improved feature set. You should be able to find one with about two years of warranty coverage on top of CPO coverage. A 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC will run about $35,000. Going with a 2018 version gives you the previous exterior design for $3,000-$5,000 less.
With a 2019 redesign, we’d suggest going for the 2018 GLE (W166) to avoid potential first-year problems with the latest generation. A 2018 model that had a $62,000 price when new sells for a CPO price of about $37,000.