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How to buy a premium car without spending premium money - in 4 simple tips

We look at ways to buy a big-ticket motor at a (relatively) small price.

Image: DoneDeal

MANY OF US have found ourselves whiling away a coffee break looking wistfully at some of the more premium cars for sale.

It can be tempting, particularly since some cars that once cost three-figure sums when new can now be bought for the same as a budget hatchback. But before you go jumping at the first one you see, there are a few things to take into consideration. Happily, these can all be used to your advantage.

1. Choose a size

If your preference is for the having a car with the right options and equipment, rather than space, then you could look at buying the model that’s one step down in the model range.

For example, a high-specification BMW 3 Series can often feature a better suite of equipment than a more entry-level BMW 5 Series. In a lot of cases the actual equipment will be to the same standard, so if you’re willing to forego having the bigger car, you can bag yourself something very nice.

2. Look to the last of the old models

It is well-known that as a car approaches the end of its particular cycle manufacturers will often produce what many refer to as run-out models. These are often sold with, in some cases, thousands of euro worth of optional equipment thrown in. The method is to entice buyers to go for the last of the old model, rather than holding out to buy the new car.

If being seen in the very latest new model car isn’t your thing, then this is one approach to take to get a car with above average equipment levels. And it’s worth remembering that this rings true with used vehicles. Look for those cars that appear to be registered in the final year of the model’s production, as these are likely to be loaded with extras.

For example, check out these 162-reg BMW 5-Series.

3. Choose a less common model

With so many niche models now being introduced by car makers, not every one is a guaranteed success story. But these cars are made using mainly the same components, engines and chassis designs – so you’re not exactly getting less of a car.

A good example of this is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe. Unlike the larger executive coupe, the CLK, this has a stubbier rear end, similar to the BMW 3 Series Compact.

Cars like these weren’t sold in the same kind of numbers as the more established mainstream versions, and so residual values can frequently be lower.

4. Consider higher mileage saloons

Cars like the Jaguar XF and Audi A6 are often chosen as company cars. These almost always have a diesel engine, which in the case of more recent examples makes for relatively low rates of motor tax. It’s not uncommon to see quite high mileages in these types of cars, but often this can be attributed to primarily motorway driving, and this can be less of a strain on the car.

In many instances, only the driver travels in the car, so you’re less likely to see wear and tear on the rear interior of the car, which can be a bonus. One other important point to consider is that as company cars can often be leased, they usually adhere to stricter servicing routines.

This means that the car, although having higher mileage, is more likely to have been serviced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. On the other hand, some people may not take quite as much care of the vehicle being a company car, so damaged alloy wheels and the odd car park battle scar may be evident.

About the author:

Dave Humphreys

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