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Discussion Starter #1
Dear Benzie Community,
I am shopping for an ML350. I can afford a 2004 well equipped. I found one in the local dealership.

The car has 19.5K Miles, Blue and has the premium pacakage. I think it was impression pacakage??

Dealer says it was a rental for a year at the dealership.

my questions:

-is this a good idea to buy a previous rental Mercedes (it's certified and has extended warranty)
-I'm a 35 year old male. Few of my friends claimed that ML is a woman's car. Is that true?
-What would be the right price to pay for it? Given that ML is changing body sytles next year, shall I offer under 30K?

Thanks in advance.
 

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ML550, W212 E350 4 matic, 1966 Corvette C2 convt.
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It most likely was a service loaner. My dealer does not rent but usually gives free an ML. They also have E class and C class loaners. But, would not surprise me if some dealers rent. Re the price, seems fair to me if you would see what else is out there and determine from that what you should offer. Be certain its Starmarked and that all the service has been done. Have them provide the service records. Why not go for an 05 they are dealing on them now and you may come fairly close to the 04 price with the incentives they offer
 

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hi erisen,

in europe the ML is definetly a mans car -
but women do like the ML very much
i´m not joking but there has been a study which showed that women like ML drivers because the car shows that HE can provide and offer safety

and its been my experience that women in my circle of friends tell their men to go off an buy an ML, while my friend (male) tell me i should ve spent my money for something sleek and fast... BUT tomorrow im packing 3 of my convertible driving friends for a skiing trip into my ML ;-) - guess why??
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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-is this a good idea to buy a previous rental Mercedes (it's certified and has extended warranty)
As long as it’s under warranty, then I’d not worry too much. Ask them to give you a Carfax report and a written statement describing any body damage or paint work it may have had. With most used cars, dealers shy away from making any official statements about this, but since this has been in their possession, it should be no problem. I would also ask for a VMI report from the MBZ Netstar system so you can make sure there are no recurring problems or other unusual service issues.

-I'm a 35 year old male. Few of my friends claimed that ML is a woman's car. Is that true?
The last time I checked, they were still selling them to men :) Seriously, I would not say that (but of course I am biased). Because of the ML’s off-road capabilities, I would think it would tend to appeal to men more than some other SUV’s, especially the Lexus RX with it’s purse holder compartment.

-What would be the right price to pay for it? Given that ML is changing body sytles next year, shall I offer under 30K?
I did a quick look on Kelley Blue Book and the trade-in value is around $30K, so my guess is the true wholesale value is around $28.5K. They will likely look at that plus about $6K plus another $1,200 for the warranty (assuming it’s an MBZ warranty and not some 3rd party crap). That puts it around $36K retail. I would start at $29K and see how motivated they are to sell. I would say that $33K would be a decent deal for both parties.

Of course if there is anything wrong with it that makes anything less than perfect showroom condition (i.e. scratches, chips, missing parts, worn tires, repaired body damage, etc.) then $33K may be a little high. Also, if the vehicle was titled, then again, you should negotiate a lower price. My local dealer uses Enterprise to handle their rentals (they do not offer loaners). If this is the case, the car will have been titled, and this can actually hurt its resale value later down the road.

Keep in mind that you have an advantage in the negotiation since you don’t have to buy this vehicle, but they have to sell it. When you look at it, make sure you point out the smallest imperfections. Don’t get “attached� to the truck or you will lose your advantage in the negotiation. See if they will let you “puppy-dog� it (i.e. drive it for a day or take it home to show your wife, parents, etc.) If you have a Carmax or similar used car dealer in your area, take it by there and get them to give you a trade-in quote and use that in your negotiation.

Good luck!

- RODNEY
 

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A friendly warning....

The registration and records for the vehicle will indicate it is a "fleet/ rental vehicle" (even if it was a dealer loaner).

This will more than likely be used against you if you either try to sell it or trade it in the future. You could get much less than its worth and some people will not even take it as some banks may not finance an auto loan for a former fleet/ rental vehicle (as its default value its lower).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thank you all for your responses.
Yes both carfax and autocheck says it was a rental car.
The car was out in Jan 2004 and has been around for about 13-14 months as a rental vehicle and collected 19,400 miles. I assume (or like to assume) that most of the mileage was people's weekend trips, so highway mileage.


What's the trade off for a rental vehicle. Is it 10%, 20%, 30% or will peple simply won't buy it.

I paid $25 to autocheck.com and most of the certified cars in the dealership are rentals.....

I am a bit skeptical to pay $30K to a private party, any advise what way I shall go?

If I get this for under or at $30K would it compansate for the fact that it's a rental?
 

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Some data points.

I just went through an exercise on which year to purchase so some numbers are very fresh in my mind.
These are from 2 different dealers in the Denver area.
04ML320 Dealer loaner with 12k miles, $32,900 without
Starmark
05ML350 Dealer loaner with 10k miles, $34,000 without
Starmark
05ML350 New, $35k MSRP discounted $6.7k

I opted for the last because I did not have to pay for the Starmark inspection, I got a full 4 years warranty and the Special Edition package is quite distinctive: Java with matte birch.

The deals on new and used MLs will likely go away soon as the dealers are clearing their lots for the W164. For example, of the 3 local dealers, one had no Ms, a second only had about 5 and the third had about 20.
 

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RE: Some data points.

mickey.1430 - 3/3/2005 11:02 PM

05ML350 New, $35k MSRP discounted $6.7k

I opted for the last because I did not have to pay for the Starmark inspection, I got a full 4 years warranty and the Special Edition package is quite distinctive: Java with matte birch.

The deals on new and used MLs will likely go away soon as the dealers are clearing their lots for the W164. For example, of the 3 local dealers, one had no Ms, a second only had about 5 and the third had about 20.
I did the same thing back in Dec and got a new 05 ML350 SE with cash off + options but went with the MBCC 39 month lease @ 3.9% and a high residual. That way I got a decent cash off MSRP, cheap financing, and MB carries the risk of the 163 depreciated value that at the end of 39 mos. is not below 57% MSRP. If the car is worth more and I like it, I will buy it out. If is is worth less, I have the option to hand it back and walk away, putting my $$ into something else like a 164 when they finally get that new car all sorted out into the 4th year. Who knows, maybe DC will have a true hybrid ML drivetrain in the 164 by then!

Good luck!
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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The registration and records for the vehicle will indicate it is a "fleet/ rental vehicle" (even if it was a dealer loaner).
This is true only if it was titled to the dealership or a rental company. In most cases, loaners are in fact titled so that they can be covered under a different type of insurance policy than floor stock. However, dealers often have cars that are used as demos or “special circumstance� loaners that were never titled and no one but the dealer will ever know.

- RODNEY
 
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