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Mercedes C-Class tops the resale charts but no luxury sedan can compete with a bakkie

Mercedes C-Class tops the resale charts but no luxury sedan can compete with a bakkie

An analysis of data on thousands of used car sales has revealed that the Mercedes C-Class retains its secondhand value best against its closest luxury competitors, the BWM 3 Series and the Audi A4.

None of the mid-sized luxury sedans however, keep their value as well as a bakkie indicating that the latter’s value is determined by its utility while the fancy sedans may be based more on emotions.

The statistics came from True Price, a South African digital platform that captures sales transactions on thousands of vehicles changing hands.

According to Darryl Jacobson, managing director of True Price, they conducted a comprehensive analysis of data generated by their system to determine the second hand value of luxury sedans. “True Price has data pertaining to thousands of vehicles sold on auction on its system. This data is utilised to provide free vehicle valuations to motorists,” he said.

Jacobson said they opted for the biggest possible sample size. “We looked at all the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 models on our system – from years 2002 to 2017, both years inclusive. This represents an extremely significant sample size. Then we calculated what percentage of its original selling price these three luxury sedans achieve on auction.”

The findings are fascinating. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the clear winner and there is a really tough battle for second place with the Audi A4 just edging ahead of the BMW 3 Series.

In the zero to 100,000 km category, the C-Class achieves 62% of its original price while the 3 Series achieves 53% and the A4 gets 56%. In the 100,000 to 200,000 km category, the C-Class retains 41% of its original price versus the 3 Series at 34% and the A4 at 35%. In the over 200,000 km category, the C-Class sells for 30% of its original price while the 3 Series delivers a 27% return and the A4 clocks in at 26%.

In another recent True Price comparison of the resale value of Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger bakkies, it emerged that low-mileage bakkies keep about 70% of their value while only the Mercedes among the luxury sedans managed to reach 62%, the other two both missing the 60% mark.

Jacobson said many people do not realise that new cars lose value the minute that they are driven out of the showroom and then, unless they are exotic cars, they continue losing value throughout their lives. “The simple fact of the matter is that most vehicles are depreciating assets!”


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SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.