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Old 10-30-2002, 09:40 AM
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Advice on financing pre 1996 cars


I was hoping someone could give me advice on getting financing for a car that's older than seven years old as most banks will only finance a 1996 and newer car. Unfortunately the mercedes cars that I like are the pre 1996 ones so now I'm in a position where I've been approved by my credit union but can only buy a mercedes I don't really want.

Funny story but I recently had my heart broken at an auction where my fantasy came true. My fantasy of buying a E500 from someone who was unaware of its value and so getting it dirt cheap.

I ran across an 1994 e500 with 92k miles on it, the body was in very good condition, 17 inch amg wheels, but the check engine light was on, the coolant was low and I noticed a slight skip when I let the car idle. Everything else on the car worked, no leaks. The guy with me said it might need a valve job as only six of the eight cylinders were firing, this was his guess. I still thought this was a good deal and tried to get the car, it went for about 14k but since I couldn't purchase a car that was pre 1996, the dealer with me didn't want to bid on the car past 15k. I'm still trying to get over this dissappointment by purchasing a 1997 e420 and convincing myself that it's better than the e500, but it's not working especially after seeing the car and coming to this forum. I'm hoping someone will say valve jobs on the e500 cost 10k as this will make me feel I dodged a bullet. I was tempted to get a home equity loan but managed to control myself but anyway sorry for the long story, any advice on how to get older cars financed so this doesn't happen again will be appreciated. I don't want to go thru dealers because I will get a higher interest rate.

Thanks in advice
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Old 10-30-2002, 10:30 AM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
There are websites that you can obtain good percentage rates on auto loans...

...don't fret too much about losing out on the E500. Same engine as on my R129, and while reliable, the electronic components are real wallet eaters!

There may not have been much wrong with the car, but as difficult as it can be to diagnose problems, the wrong mechanic can easily throw parts at it, pretty much cancelling out whatever "deal" you may have originally gotten through the purchase.

There are nice E500/500Es every day on e-bay and other auto traders. You don't need to start out with one that could be a potential nightmare. I want one badly as well (and an R107), but there are more things to enjoy in life than wasting it all on the quest for the ultimate dream car!

You'll eventually get one, and the prices will go down on these, not up. A great one will land in your lap someday. Actually, your E420 is a great what if it's not a race car in disguise, that's mostly bragging rights anyway.

You will love your car in time, after all, it IS a Mercedes-Benz!
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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Old 10-30-2002, 11:24 AM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
Here is a great site for finance:

I've used them 2x ad have been entirely happy with the complete package.

G is on the mark about the car you saw. Take your time. And in addition, absolutely DO NOT BUY one that doesn't have a good warranty as an option. Investigate the Warranty company. Some are good and some arenít. Contact a MB dealer service department and/or inde and ask them what the good warranty companies are and you won't be unhappy about the results

Enjoy the hunt

'00 ML320 "Casper"
'92 400E "Stella"
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Old 10-30-2002, 12:57 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: South Eastern, MA
Posts: 1,743
As someone mentioned earlier, People First is a good way to get a used car loan. You'll find that on older cars (Over 7 years) the rates will be much much higher. Unfortunately these banks realize they don't have a great deal of competition so you have no choice.

When I originally purchased my car 7 months ago I used Wells Fargo Auto Finance. They had slightly lower rates and gave me a higher amount of credit. My suggestion is that if you decide to get an older car with a higher rate loan, plan on paying it off very quickly. If your not sure you can do this it may not be worth it.

Another trick which may help you is to look for your car at a Exotic car dealership. You'll end up paying a grand more for the car but they'll take care of the loan and paperwork. They can also source a warranty company for your car and included that in your loan.

Good luck with your search.

02 C32 AMG

92 500E
84 190E 2.3 5 Spd
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Old 10-30-2002, 03:59 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Seattle Area
Posts: 373
I used a home equity line-of-credit on our recent purchase ('95 E420), and it's the best way to buy a car as far as I'm concerned. I first tried to buy a car out of state and was thwarted by my local bank's auto loan program. When you get the equity check, the bank doesn't care what you buy with it since theyhave your house as collateral, and your interest (as John mentioned), is usually considerably lower.

Payments are also less if you need them to be (15 year loan in my case), but definitely DON'T wait that long! Overall, you're using an appreciating asset to pay for one that depreciates - a much more effcient manner imho. Plus, you pay for the car in cash an get the title, which is kinda nice.

look into this option if you happen to own a home.

- Ryan
'95 E420 - 'Shadowfax' 138kmi.
'92 Volvo 740Turbo Bard 193kmi
'74 240D - 'Ol' Green' 4spd Manual 104kmi. (sold )
'77 300D - 'Red' 223kmi (sold)
'75 240D - 'Bianca the Blue Bomber' (sold)
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Old 10-30-2002, 09:40 PM
Posts: n/a

Thanks for the advice, I will try to go thru Peoplefirst, I researched them before but thought it sounded too good to be true.

I did consider a home loan but with my fragile job security and the current economy(I work for Worldcom) I don't want to put my house on the line for a car.

Keep the advice coming.
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