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S-Class (W221) 2007-2013: S 320 CDI, S 350, S 450, S 500, S 550, S 420 CDI, S 600

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Old 09-03-2010, 02:19 PM   #1
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Can You Afford A Mercedes Benz S550?

I saw a very interesting topic on the C class forum about how much u need to make to afford a Mercedes Benz. This makes me ask the same question on here. (Include gas and insurance)
How much do you need to make annually to comfortably afford a Brand New S550 with a price range of $85k and up?
How much do you need to make annually to comfortably afford a Used S550 with a price range of $60k-$45k?
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:03 PM   #2
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It depends on every person's life style and priorities. There's no "one size fits all" answer.
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:12 PM   #3
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Yeah, that question is nuts.

What if you buy the car for cash? For that matter what if you buy your S and E or any other cars with cash? Once you have done the initial hit at purchase then the expenses are mighty low from then on - in comparison. You could be a pauper and afford a car that was paid for.

Are you talking people with lease or bank payments?

If so then they are in a hell of a pickle (read: like the mortgage crisis) if they have to consider the monthly payment of an S Class in their lifestyle equation at all.
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:33 PM   #4
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Well you are right about those who pay for this vehicle in cash, I guess they have nothing to worry about. But that scenario I'm quite sure doesn't hold for majority of S550 owners.

So you are right, my question doesn't apply to cash purchases but Financing and Leasing.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:20 PM   #5
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I agree, financing and pay for maintenance is more difficult.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:30 PM   #6
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Financing/leasing is much easier, since people get to spend the money they don't have (and the banks are quite happy with that). I would personally love if they only sold S-Class to cash paying customers ;-)
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:54 PM   #7
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Financing/leasing is much easier, since people get to spend the money they don't have (and the banks are quite happy with that). I would personally love if they only sold S-Class to cash paying customers ;-)
Why?

Like mentioned this could vary so much. So many variables. Let's say you got a 2008 S550 loaded. $64K, only 21K miles on it. You pay $20K down, finance the rest, have a decent salary, let's say $70K. You also have a side internet cash cow business that brings in about 2K a month in addition. The car is under regular warranty, no repair bills for at least 2 years.

You get the extended 4 yr/100K warranty, pay for that in cash.

Finance is 6% or less on $44K for 48 mos.

You are covered for repairs until 2014, the car will be paid for by then. Payments would be about $1039/mo. You just pay for wear items and routine service. Depending upon the rest of your lifestyle, you could afford it.

However, like in the example....so many damn variables. It's hard answering the question in a concrete fashion. Almost impossible.

This is one of those "you have to answer this yourself and use common sense" questions.

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Old 09-03-2010, 07:07 PM   #8
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Why?
Fewer W221s on the road in general, much fewer (if any) "tricked out" racers in particular, and better resale value. Once again, a purely egocentric approach ;-)
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:35 PM   #9
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Fewer W221s on the road in general, much fewer (if any) "tricked out" racers in particular, and better resale value. Once again, a purely egocentric approach ;-)

And just think you would get the privilege of paying $250,000 for your S class b/c you are spreading r+d over a very small population. They already do offer that option, it's called a Bentley. Be what you wish for- like most things learned in the classroom, practical application takes on a whole new meaning...



Back to the question. Nope can't afford it. Sold the house, wife, kids, fake gold watch and pinky ring(s). I now live in my car and could not be happier...
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:54 PM   #10
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And just think you would get the privilege of paying $250,000 for your S class b/c you are spreading r+d over a very small population. They already do offer that option, it's called a Bentley. Be what you wish for- like most things learned in the classroom, practical application takes on a whole new meaning...
Mercedes already makes barely anything on the US cars, so would be not as dramatic. Yes, the price may go up a bit (on par with the rest of the world) but the resale value would go up more. Let me dream a little ;-)

Comparing Bentley to S Class is a huge insult to Mercedes. No matter how much money I get, I would never even consider switching.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:24 PM   #11
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Not comparing the vehicle. Just the low volume high price...
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:21 AM   #12
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I believe MB, BMW, Audi, etc. makes quite a bit of money in the US market, because we buy more volume than any other country.That's one key reason for lower prices compared to other European and Asian countries. These automaker don't just import their vehicles her for *****$ and grins. I've been to many countries and when it come right down to it volume plays a key role in pricing. In most of these countries you would be lucky to see a MB. Hand down the US is one of if not the largest customer that these automakers have.
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:38 AM   #13
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Let me put it like this. I know a kid I went to school with years back who drives a brand new 2011 C350 Fully loaded. Sooo thats a $40,000+ car. Guess where he liveS? In a old run down trailer.(Only in upstate NY). Cant afford to do anything like go out to dinner or upgrade the rims on his car or buy decent clothes. But my god he has a brand new car everytime he goes down the road lol. This kid makes maybe 30k a year if that. Soo like everyone said its life style and priorities. Tons of people can buy brand new cars. Can they afford it is the question.
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:38 AM   #14
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For various financial, tax and liability reasons, perhaps majority of new 65s are $0-down leased, at least in Woodside/Atherton/PaloAlto region, by those who have far, far more than $200K in their checking accts...many elderly 30-somethings in W/A/PA have leased new AMGs for all their adult lives and have never bought a car in their lifetime

Most G550s are also financed...or rented through NetJets by many who could write a check for a $50MM bird

Car prices are awfully cheap, like any smartphone or computer

S500 of early '90s MSRPd about same as today's S550, despite much cheaper leases of today...and much greater hp/tq, safety, reliability, etc of today's cars....just adjusted for inflation (not cheap leases), today's S550 should MSRP for ~$140K, to compare to S500 of '92....thus today's $200K 65s are damn cheap

MBs are quite analogous to latest iPhone/iPad....about a 2 yr lifespan; easily rented and disposable; price doesn't change much over yrs but perf keeps increasing for a daily-use pleasure, necessity and commodity

Agree, the VW/Bents are rather laughable in lack of tech/perf/safety/reliability/quality of materials vs 65 (or even a humble 550)....clearly zero R&D and just overpaid union workers and inept suppliers and execs...and moronic custs who can't drive and/or understand basic engineering...to explain the $250+K asks....everyone in the auto industry has horrible profit margins anyway vs more lucrative industries like software/Net or hedge funds
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skrontz View Post
Financing/leasing is much easier, since people get to spend the money they don't have (and the banks are quite happy with that). I would personally love if they only sold S-Class to cash paying customers ;-)

No cars not even Fords would sell. Other then myself I dont know too many people who buy cars with cash.
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:55 AM   #16
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No cars not even Fords would sell. Other then myself I dont know too many people who buy cars with cash.
QFT.

Most people I know that even have the cash to do so would rather put the money into investments, etc. than into a car.

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Old 09-04-2010, 08:28 AM   #17
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QFT.

Most people I know that even have the cash to do so would rather put the money into investments, etc. than into a car.

+1
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Old 09-04-2010, 08:54 AM   #18
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Most people I know that even have the cash to do so would rather put the money into investments, etc. than into a car.
I get your meaning but keep in mind that the current state of the investment world is not entirely tantalizing. There are less ideal investments available then say 10 years ago. So in reality purchasing a reliable vehicle for some cash today is not a turn off.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:26 AM   #19
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I get your meaning but keep in mind that the current state of the investment world is not entirely tantalizing. There are less ideal investments available then say 10 years ago. So in reality purchasing a reliable vehicle for some cash today is not a turn off.
Understand that about some investments, but I am talking from a reality based perspective and actual people. Even with current situations.

At the end of the day, it comes down to preference.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:34 AM   #20
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I get your meaning but keep in mind that the current state of the investment world is not entirely tantalizing. There are less ideal investments available then say 10 years ago. So in reality purchasing a reliable vehicle for some cash today is not a turn off.
It is a guaranteed loss though. Let's face it, with ultra low interest rates it just does not make sense to pay cash for a depreciating asset. The problem I see everywhere I go is the comment "but there is no good place to invest in this economy/market". That is problem with investors. You DON"T WANT TO invest when things are going great. You want to invest when they are doing poorly prepping for the next cycle...

As far as the question goes. Every one is different. If your love in life is cars you can allocate a much higher percentage of income to that love than someone who loves vacationing or something else. If a car is an appliance to you then your payment should be as small as possible up to the point of meeting your safety, comfort needs.

In the end, you should still be able to put money away month after month for savings. If you cannot do that, you are overspending on a car...
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:47 AM   #21
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It is a guaranteed loss though. Let's face it, with ultra low interest rates it just does not make sense to pay cash for a depreciating asset. The problem I see everywhere I go is the comment "but there is no good place to invest in this economy/market". That is problem with investors. You DON"T WANT TO invest when things are going great. You want to invest when they are doing poorly prepping for the next cycle...

As far as the question goes. Every one is different. If your love in life is cars you can allocate a much higher percentage of income to that love than someone who loves vacationing or something else. If a car is an appliance to you then your payment should be as small as possible up to the point of meeting your safety, comfort needs.

In the end, you should still be able to put money away month after month for savings. If you cannot do that, you are overspending on a car...
This. Touches on what I said, and expands some.
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:31 PM   #22
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This. Touches on what I said, and expands some.
Yes, well said.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:44 AM   #23
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Financing/leasing is much easier, since people get to spend the money they don't have (and the banks are quite happy with that). I would personally love if they only sold S-Class to cash paying customers ;-)
Wow,imagine that.They wouldnt be selling many cars.I personally lease my S-class with no money down and just make the paynents thru one of my 3 corporations...real simple...end of lease do it again.Now is that a good use of funds?? Absolutly,now i wouldnt do that if i coudnt write it off thru a business.My dealer says that his dealership is at 80% lease on there s-class buyers and all of them are self-employed corp owners.But everyone has a different application...
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:55 PM   #24
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Bottom line it is an individual choice. There are several factors to be considered which only that person can make.

Lease; you loss the money and have to take better care of the car and watch mileage etc, and own nothing at the end you are still without a car.

Buy; you make payments plus interest, own car at the end.

Pay cash; you are out all that money all at one time, and you own it outright.

Buy through business; tax and mileage right off etc, so you do get something back.

There is another option that i have looked at and i know a lot of people would not agree but think about it, if you have the age to do it.

Use some thing like your 401K loan. Every cent of interest you pay back to yourself, every payment goes back to your account, you own the car from day one. Clear and free title. And at the end you have the car, the money, all the interest. Car+money+interest= more money in you account, all yours. If you do payments/lease you still have to pay for XX years anyway. There is risk in any which way.
Your are investing in yourself, if you can't trust yourself then who can you trust.
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:29 PM   #25
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Bottom line it is an individual choice. There are several factors to be considered which only that person can make.

Lease; you loss the money and have to take better care of the car and watch mileage etc, and own nothing at the end you are still without a car.

Buy; you make payments plus interest, own car at the end.

Pay cash; you are out all that money all at one time, and you own it outright.

Buy through business; tax and mileage right off etc, so you do get something back.

There is another option that i have looked at and i know a lot of people would not agree but think about it, if you have the age to do it.

Use some thing like your 401K loan. Every cent of interest you pay back to yourself, every payment goes back to your account, you own the car from day one. Clear and free title. And at the end you have the car, the money, all the interest. Car+money+interest= more money in you account, all yours. If you do payments/lease you still have to pay for XX years anyway. There is risk in any which way.
Your are investing in yourself, if you can't trust yourself then who can you trust.
You forget one major problem when taking a 401k loan- the amount withdrawn as a loan is no longer gaining any interest whatsoever until it is replaced. 401k loans should be used only in absolute emergencies, b/c they really stink in every way...

Oh and on to the leasing, if anything most people don't take care of the cars they lease b/c they don't own it. Yes, at the end you do not own it, but the leasing company takes the risk of the residual value. When you factor in taxes, it is rare that purchasing a car makes sense if you get a new car every 2-4 years...
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