Should I keep or sell my 1995 Mercedes C280?
June 16, 2006 8:11 AM   Subscribe

What should I do with my 1995 Mercedes C280?

I inherited the car from my dad. This was his office commuter car that he used before he passed away. So I have some sentimental attachment to the car. But it has 160,000 miles on it and is costing, on average, 2000-2500/year to maintain. (I can afford to maintain it, but I'm not sure if it's worth it) The body, paint, engine, tranny, everything is mint. The car was garage kept its entire life and still looks damn good. But I'm going back and forth about whether I should sell it or maintain it. I love the car. It's smooth, quiet, comfortable, and elegant. But I'm young and want a two-seat roadster.

Is it responsible to keep the car and maintain it or should I sell? If I should sell, what price should I get? Is it worth selling at all? What needs to break on the car (besides the engine) that is an indication that I need to sell? Help me!
posted by SeizeTheDay to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
From a purely financial standpoint, it is costing you $208 a month to support this car. You could not buy a Mercedes C280 for that a month, especially given its ment condition. Go to Kelley Blue Book and E-Bay Motors to price cars in your condition. I bet you probably won't get more than $10,000 for it. Look for the kind of roadster you want and see if you can do without the comforts the car has. You might be surprised about what you now become accustomed to. It's hard to say if it is a good to sell or buy given the personal nature of car buying. I'd rather have a Mercedes C280 in perfect, albeit slightly older condition, than say a Miata -- but that's just me.
posted by geoff. at 8:21 AM on June 16, 2006

Would maintenance be that much if you garaged it, got the little car you want, and used it occasionally? That's a cool car for a road trip or outing, I'd try to find a way to keep it. Its worth probably 8K max.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:24 AM on June 16, 2006

It's a desirable car, so why not sell it to someone who will appreciate it more than you? There's a good bunch of Mercedes fans, including collectors and mechanics, on Google Groups. Post a copy of your questions there. You could even sell it there.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:30 AM on June 16, 2006

I know this isn't very helpful but... roadster, roadster, roadster, roadster.

A little more helpful: Before you decide you want to take on the task of selling this car, go test drive what you are interested in and see how much of your time it is worth. It is a fun way to spend an hour or so, rather than the somewhat stressful idea of selling this car.
posted by 517 at 8:33 AM on June 16, 2006

Kelly Blue Book is the first place to stop to get an idea of how much to sell it for. can also help you figure out the pricing and the upcoming maintenance costs. (that link is for pricing in the Beverly Hills area, I don't know what your zip code is.)

Auto trader can help you figure out what the local market is actually doing, along with,, and
posted by 517 at 8:46 AM on June 16, 2006

You might also ask yourself how you feel about getting rid of this item that is associated with your deceased father. We put tons of money into an inherited VW golf, primarily because we missed my wife's mother-in-law. There were other factors, but that was part of the equation.

It also depends on whether you have a reliable, honest mechanic. That takes a lot of hassle out of the ongoing maintenance.

You might also ask your mechanic what s/he thinks will go next and what it will cost.

I'd go for the small roadster, personally, but I am a 40 year old male working at the same job I'm going to have 20 years from now, with four kids and a big mortgage.
posted by craniac at 9:16 AM on June 16, 2006

I knew it'd be a tough question to answer. I appreciate all your input. After reading the "Volvo glovebox" thread and people talking about owning a car for 20 years and driving half a million miles, I realized that no amount of money under 10K is enough for my car, and since getting that much is virtually impossible with the number of miles my car has, it'd be smarter just to keep this car, drive it minimally, and save up for my roadster.

Not exactly a glamorous solution, but the most practical, and I'll have a decent car for moving people around in case I need it after I get my two-seater. Thanks all.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:42 PM on June 19, 2006

Even more reason to check out the Mercedes forum on Google Groups. You'll get lots of hints on doing routine maintenance yourself. You'll save a pile of money.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:40 PM on June 20, 2006

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