Cheap used Mercedes

After a Merc for not a lot of money? Cheap used Mercedes this way

John Evans
May 14, 2018

The prospect of a well-appointed, low-mileage Mercedes for the price of a new, small hatchback such as a Renault Clio might seem a little far-fetched.

But with around £10,000-£12,000 as your budget, it’s perfectly possible. You too can buy a car from a brand renowned for quality and luxury for the same price as a regular runaround.

Remember to go into Mercedes ownership with your eyes wide open though. Cars with a three-pronged star on the bonnet may start from the same price as a Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Astra, or Nissan Micra, but ypu will be getting an older car with higher mileage.

There are several types of Mercedes available to those prepared to consider buying used over something new and more mainstream. Here are some great used Mercedes for around £12,000:

Mercedes A-Class

  Our pick: Mercedes A180 CDI SE (2014, 30,000 miles)
Typical price £11,750  Representative finance £172 per month

The A-Class is Mercedes’ answer to those other premium hatchbacks, the BMW 1 SeriesAudi A3, and VW Golf.

The version we’re considering here, which easily falls within a £12,000 budget, was launched in 2012. Now’s a great time to be considering buying one because this year sees the arrival of an all-new one, an event that will put the squeeze on the prices of used models.

The all-new A-class will, of course, be an improvement in most respects but its predecessor is still pretty good. It’s roomy (there’s easily space for five), comfortable and powered by a wide choice of efficient petrol and diesel engines (the star is the A180 CDI BlueEfficiency with excellent efficiency).

The equipment tally is good with even basic SE trim having alloy wheels, fake but convincing leather trim, air-conditioning and an active brake system to help avoid low-speed accidents. Remaining trims are Sport and luxurious AMG Line. New, options were plentiful and expensive, so look out for them on used examples where they’ll add little to the car’s price but much to your enjoyment.
Mercedes A-Class buying guide

Buying a cheap Mercedes A-Class for under £12,000
Search for diesel A180 CDI SEs and petrol-powered A180 five-door models with around 45,000 miles, registered between 2013 and 2014

  

Mercedes B-Class

Our pick Mercedes B180 CDI SE (2015, 25,000 miles)
Typical price £11,999  Representative finance £175 per month)

The B-Class is a compact, five-seat people carrier that bears no relationship to the A-Class above. Its premium rivals include the VW Golf SV and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, both available in our sub-£12,000 budget.

It’s taller and boxier than the A-Class, which makes the interior space the car’s raison raison d'être. There’s a large, 488-litre boot for all their luggage, too. In comparison, the A-class’s boot is 341 litres.

The downside of being such a tall, boxy car is that its suspension has to be quite firm to keep it all from leaning too much in corners. As a result, the ride isn’t the most comfortable.

But there’s a good choice of petrol and diesel engines. The most powerful, a 2.1-litre diesel, is available with four-wheel drive but most people will find the economical B180 CDI BlueEfficiency diesel, or cheaper but scarcer 1.6 turbo petrol (offered in two power outputs), enough.

It feels solid and well built while equipment-wise, even basic SE trim has alloy wheels, air-con, folding rear seats and parking sensors. The model was updated at the end of 2014 and it’s worth making the stretch for its mildly restyled looks, larger display screen, comfort suspension and reversing camera.
Mercedes B-Class buying guide

Buying a cheap Mercedes B-Class for under £12,000
Look for B180 CDI SEs with around 35,000 miles, registered between 2013 and 2014

   

Mercedes C-Class

Our pick Mercedes C180 Executive SE (2013, 65,000 miles)
Typical price £11,100  Representative finance £181

The Mercedes C-Class gets to the heart of what the car maker does best: premium saloon cars that look and feel more prestigious than a standard family car. It's a crowded marketplace, as alternatives include the  BMW 3 Series,  Audi A4, and Jaguar XE.

Cars costing less than £12,000 are from the previous-generation, which was comprehensively updated in 2012 and replaced in 2014. The budget should be enough for a  2013-registered model with low mileage.

The C-Class feels sporty to drive, but is a bit tiht in the back where any passenger in the middle will find legroom a bit of a squeeze.

The 2010 update brought sharper looks, a new high-resolution colour display and a new dashboard. The engines became more powerful but also more economical. For around £12,000 your choice will probably be limited to the basic C180 petrol engine. Fortunately, this 1.6-litre motor is reasonably economical (47.9mpg) and feels reasonably powerful too.

Basic SE trim has most of the essentials (alloy wheels, air-conditioning and electric windows all round). Executive SE trim merely adds parking sensors. It’s worth looking out either for cars laden with options, which always lose value faster than the car they’re fitted to, or ones in a higher trim such as AMG Sport Plus.
Mercedes C-Class buying guide

Buying a cheap Mercedes C-Class for under £12,000
Look for C180 SEs with around 35,000 miles, most of those within budget will have been sold in 2013.

   

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