Used MB SLK, what's Starmark Certified? How? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Used MB SLK, what's Starmark Certified? How?

I'm about to purchase a used SLK from CarMax here in Houston. Heard about Starmark Certified stuff here in some forums. How do I get it Starmark Certified? Can I ask CarMax to do it? How can I protect myself against a possible "lemon" SLK?

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 09:59 PM
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Starmark is the old Mercedes Certification Marketing system for used cars. For a Mercedes Certification you would need to buy at a MB Dealer unless they have changed the rules. It tends to add a couple of thousand bucks to the cost of the car as there are pretty strict requirements for things like new battery, tires etc. It also has a 100,000 mile warranty.

If you are buying at an independent dealer, the "equivalent" certification would be full inspection of the car, NO WRECKS, clean CarFax, clean title, new tires, new battery, up to date service, no scrapes on paint, no tears on leather, new shocks if over 70K miles and a 3 year, up to 100,000 mile warranty.

Most high end independent dealers will provide aftermarket warranty plans that are very good. If they don’t want to “give” you one, you might negotiate a reduced price on one. As an example, IF the computer module goes out on your car, the cost will be more than the entire cost of the warranty package. Same goes with the tranny or pretty much any electronic item. Just make sure the coverage addresses all the electronic computers in the car.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-10-2007, 07:56 AM
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I can add very little to what McBear wrote, other than the term Starmark is no longer used except out of habit - they are Certified Pre-Owned and must still be certified by a franchised MB dealership. In order to qualify, the car has to have been in service (date of original sale to an individual) no longer than 6 years and have less than 75,000 miles. In other words, MB will not warranty a car for more than 7 total years and 100,000 total miles. Extreme example: If you buy a 6 year old CPO car with 75,000 on it, you get 12 months/100,000 maximum. The way to buy those right is with 4 years and around 50,000. You can then pay to extend that to 36 months (buy 24 months beyond the 12 that comes with them) and so you also get ~50,000 miles.

Interestingly I think, is that Mercedes pioneered the CPO concept as a marketing tool for their dealers to move used inventory more quickly off their pre-owned lots. I was told by a dealer's general manager that MB encourages all the dealers to certify anything possible, but that it is ultimately at the dealer's discretion (after all, it does cost them something that may or may not be re-couped from the buyer). Now, pretty much every other car manufacturer has their own version of this plan.

In my opinion, there are no aftermarket warranty companies that work as well with dealers as the MB CPO warranty, but obviously, there are some nice MBs for sale that you cannot buy as one of their CPOs. This forum is littered with threads on the pros and cons of aftermarket warranty companies. Try the search feature and you will see that.

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Last edited by Musikmann; 07-10-2007 at 08:35 AM.
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