Today is the One Year Anniversary of when I got my new car! I generally lease for 36 months with 12,000 miles a year. As you can see, I am a little over on my miles. People frequently ask me what to do when they are over miles so I am going to use myself as an example.
Step 1: Evaluate
I am currently over by 1260 miles. at $.25/mile that is $315. If I continued at this rate I would owe $945 in over mileage charges when I turned in the lease on November 1, 2017. I have several options available to me and there is no reason to panic!
By the way, I did the 12,000 mile per year lease knowing that I would likely go over. I looked at the 15,000 mile lease as well but it was $30 more per month and I knew I wouldn’t be that high so I opted for the lower payment and possible over miles charges.
Step 2: Options
I can drive this car for 2 more years, owe less than $1000 in mileage charges and not worry about it.
I can call Mercedes-Benz Financial right now and add mileage to my lease, raising my payment slightly, so that I don’t have a bill at the end.
I can plan to buy the car at the end of the lease for the residual value and there are no mileage fees charged. If you are WAY over then this is sometimes the best option.
I know that Mercedes-Benz Financial generally offers a 3-5 month Loyalty Accelerator that will let me pull-forward into a new lease without any penalty. So, that gives me a 3000 to 5000 mile cushion that is perfect for what I actually plan to do which is turn it in 3-5 months early with just under 36,000 miles and get my next car!
Step 3: Keep Driving!
With these options in mind there is no reason to worry about going over miles in the lease. As long as you knew the plan going into the lease, and set it up properly, you do not need to restrict your miles or worry! I consider leasing an easy way to get a new car every 2-3 years with no surprises.
I moved to Atlanta many years ago simply to avoid the snow. I did not know that I was putting myself in the perfect position for all things Mercedes-Benz!
Germany: The vehicles arriving from Germany dock in Brunswick, GA. That is just 300 miles south of my dealership! 5 hours from “VPC Ready” to “in Stock!”
Alabama: The vehicles built at the factory in Tuscaloosa are just 225 miles west. They get on a car carrier and arrive a few hours later! Same day service!
South Carolina: Sprinter and Metris vehicles arrive in Ladson, SC for re-assembly and then ship just 300 miles to me! The Chicken Tax can’t slow us down!
Headquarters: MBUSA just relocated to Atlanta! This means I get to see the occasional test vehicle sneaking around, my training events will be close, and we will be a Mercedes-Benz town. Nothing beats community involvement for brand awareness!
Thanks Atlanta for turning out to be the center of Mercedes-Benz in the US!
It was an exciting race weekend for Mercedes AMG Petronas and Lewis Hamilton! The US Grand Prix in Austin looks like a spectacular venue and a little rain couldn’t keep the enthusiastic crowds away! I hope to attend some day!
This weekend I walked my 8th Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure! The Atlanta team raised more than $2.2 million dollars! This money is split between funding research for the Cure and donating to the local Komen affiliate, helping local families with diagnosis, treatment and care. It has been an honor to participate and I want to thank my donors, including Atlanta Classic Cars, for their support.
If you want an amazing tour of Atlanta, try 60 miles on foot!
This week I was able to drive the C450 and the C63 back to back! It was great to experience the similarities and the differences in these two vehicles in person, rather than on paper! This was a street course, not a track event, so my impressions are based on real driving conditions around Atlanta not crazy track behavior!
Notice that the AMG designation comes after the model info. That tells you that while the C450 has a lot of AMG components, it is not a one man, one engine car.
The C450 AMG is going to be a very successful model! It has some of the aggression of the AMG while remaining an easy daily driver. The AMG tuned bi-turbo V6 has more power than I could use in traffic! It accelerates quickly and smoothly in Comfort mode and then gets a little bit more aggressive in Sport Plus.
I have driven this vehicle many times and it never fails to make me laugh. The acceleration is face-flattening. The exhaust note is crowd gathering. The 2″ longer hood is obviously concealing a hand-built AMG monster of an engine and it is awesome! There is nothing not to love about driving the AMG C63!
However, I had a little trouble loving it in heavy stop and go traffic. I just wanted to go fast! The car can be tames a little in Comfort mode but you can still feel it trying to GO!
Parked in a big group it is not immediately obvious which is the C450 and which is the C63. The both have an aggressive stance, beefy bumpers and sound great! Discerning customers will see the single lamella grill and different lower front bumpers as obvious differences.
For my daily commute the C450 AMG is plenty of car. I cannot imagine a part of my day where I needed more power, more exhaust, more brakes or Race Start! I enjoyed the AMG components but felt comfortable in traffic.
For $20,000 more than the C450, the AMG C63 needs to deliver something crazy. It needs to stand out hugely from the C450. It needs to look different, sound different, feel different. It does. Motor Trend recently gave it 4th place in the best Drivers’ Car competition. It was the highest ranking for a sedan because this sedan is a MONSTER!
So, daily driver: C450. Daily driver for crazy people: C63!
So, it is the fourth quarter and you have been meaning to do something about your car all year. Come by the dealership! This is the perfect time to get to work! Here is what you should be looking into before the end of 2015!
The GLE Coupe has arrived! This sporty SUV has been getting tons of attention. I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to like it but now I love it! Every time I flip the Dynamic Select to Sport+ I cannot suppress a smile! It has a surprising amount of space on the inside and an unbeatable look on the outside! Inventory has grown and you still have time order before the end of the year.
The all-new GLC is arriving in November. This model will replace the outgoing GLK and I predict a huge success! They styling will appeal to a larger audience and it has grown a few inches. The interior is going to be leaps and bound more luxurious! With a base price under $40,000 I think this will be hottest SUV on the market!
The C450 AMG Sport now available! This AMG tuned version of the C-Class has all of the noise and fun you want from an AMG with a more mainstream price tag. I have a comparison driving event to attend next week vs. the C63 AMG and I can’t wait to try them back to back!
Deals to Be Had
I know some of you are looking for the best deal, not the latest and greatest car. There are definitely a few models you should be considering.
With the arrival of the 2016 GLE-Class we are just about out of MLs. However, there are a couple left that are looking for a good home! Also, the 2017 E-Class is just around the corner and we have lots of 2016s.
There is still a great selection of 2015 S-Class vehicles from which to choose. I’ll even let you be picky about colors and options. The only reason to spend more for the 2016 is if you are really excited about the remote start feature that comes with the mbrace Connect for 2016. (I am!)
The CLA and GLA are always the most affordable of the Mercedes-Benz models. With base prices just over $30,000 these cars fit in almost any budget! I have so many happy owners in these cars. You really should check them out before you settle for something boring.
The Metris is Pre-Production no longer! We have our first models in stock. The Metris is about the same size as the GL-Class and can come as a cargo or passenger van. Again, starting at under $30,000 for a cargo van this would be a great addition to your commercial fleet (and a great write off before the end of the year!). Come take it for a spin and let me tell you how it will save you tons of money over traditional cargo vans!
So, there you have it! A Mercedes-Benz shopping list for the fourth quarter, 2015. Don’t wait until the last minute! I cannot overnight you a car to arrive on Christmas Eve. This isn’t like buying a gift for the kids!