A true luxury car means the difference between coming home after a long day’s work stressed or relaxed. You may drop your bag on the floor, and head directly to the couch to relieve the stresses of the day, or you could get home relaxed, refreshed and ready for the second half of the day because you were comforted by your Cadillac all the way home. The luxury cars of today are able to carry you away in comfort, unbothered by those around you. Hopping into a used Cadillac is the absolute best way to achieve the highest quality luxury at an unbeatable value.
There is no argument to what proper luxury means. Take a long road trip in an XT5 and you will understand what the meaning behind true comfort is. It’s not just having the best features, the softest seats, or the rarest leather from the far stretches of Spain. Its all of it combined into the right package to deliver a driving experience that is set apart from the rest. The best part about this is, it can all be had with great value too. Purchasing a used Cadillac can bring you into the top-tier luxury experience while still saving you on the initial cost of a new car.
Let’s start with depreciation. Depreciation is the reduction in value of an asset over time, particularly due to its wear. So what does this mean exactly when it comes to purchasing a used Cadillac?
When purchasing a new vehicle, you are paying for the privilege to be the first person to own that car. You know everything that has happened with the car since the day that it arrived on the lot of the dealer, sometimes even before then. You know that the car has not been taken down dirt roads, abused by a teenager, or had a cup of broccoli cheddar soup spilled under the front seat. This privilege come at a cost, however, and there is no way to avoid depreciation. As soon as the papers are signed, a vehicle loses on average 10-15% of its value.
A vehicle will depreciate at a predictable value throughout time. This depreciation is calculated based on a variety of different factors, including, but not limited to reliability records, repair costs, insurance rates, salvage values, market values, and current market trends. These factors all help to determine how much value a vehicle will lose each year, and coincidentally, also are what determines leasing rates, but we will cover that on another day.
Unfortunately, depreciation afflicts luxury vehicles more than others. This means when purchasing a new Cadillac, the value will drop more than when purchasing a Chevrolet or Toyota. That being said, depreciation values have significantly dropped in recent years as residual values are slowly on the rise. What all this means to you, the intelligent car buyer, is that a great deal on a used Cadillac is available right now and for a better price than you might expect.
What to Look For
When searching for the best deal on a used Cadillac, there are some specifics to keep an eye out for. First, stay away from the very high-end unique trims. These are going to hold their value more than any others because of their rarity. Unless some of the features of the very top-trim level are on your “absolute must have” list, its best to avoid these vehicles. Same goes for color. If the only color that you absolutely must have had only 300 optioned with that code, it is going to be much more difficult to find and typically, much more expensive when you do. That being said, if you must have the Red Horizon Tintcoat with the Cinnamon leather seats with chevron perforated inserts, go for it! Only you can decide on what is worth settling on and what is worth the added due diligence.
Mid-range used Cadillacs are going to be the most abundant and lowest priced options on the market. The very top range features will drastically raise the price and are not essential for a good majority of customers.
On the opposite spectrum, stay away from the lowest trim levels that have no features at all. A bare car will have little resale value when the time comes to inevitably sell. Residual value relies heavily on important features, such as a backup camera or heated seats. Remember, the features that are important to you, are also most important to other people as well.
CPO or No?
Certified pre-owned (CPO) Cadillacs are the creme de la creme of used Cadillacs. The GM certified program is a thorough, efficient system that ensures that every CPO vehicle that rolls of the lot is as mechanically sound as a brand new vehicle. Each GM certified vehicle has a clean title, is no more than 5 years old and has a maximum of 75,000 miles. GM puts each vehicle through a 172-point inspection and a reconditioning process. Any part that is outside of very strict parameters is replaced with new, genuine GM parts. All wearable items must be within a pre-set tolerance and if found to be outside of that value, are replaced before selling. The certified used Cadillacs also come with an additional warranty as well, 6-year/100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. Sounds like quite the deal! So what’s the catch?
The price. A used Cadillac marked as a CPO will on average cost anywhere from $2,000-3,000 more than an equivalent non-CPO vehicle. The certified process is very expensive to the dealer and can potentially cost them thousands on the vehicle and what parts need to be replaced or what future warranty work is performed. It does, however, have many benefits for both the customer and the dealer. The dealer has many different incentives to certify and sell more used Cadillacs, and clearly for the customer, the benefit is you get into a top tier vehicle for a great price with a warranty.
So is it worth it? Yes. Cadillac has one of the absolute best customer experiences for their pre-owned programs. The warranties are worry free and the customer care teams genuinely care for the customer, what a concept! Purchasing a non-CPO used Cadillac is still a safe bet, but the 6-year warranty and peace of mind that if anything breaks, from a cracked engine block to a faulty vent control, you are covered, is worth the extra amount.
Overall, purchasing a brand new car is an exciting concept, however, the hit on the initial depreciation is so great, it’s not worth the loss. This is particularly true when Cadillac offers such a great CPO program on their vehicles.
Luxury comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. It can be judged by many different parameters, but it’s hard to beat sitting in traffic in one of the most prestigious brands, having your back massaged or the hands-free driving via Super Cruise whisks you along back to your home. The only truthful way of beating that, is knowing that you saved thousands and have the peace of mind that if, dread the thought, anything does happen, you have the backing of a GM certified pre-owned warranty on your used Cadillac.