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For decades, Mercedes-Benz has been a star in the galaxy of luxury vehicles. So, it’s only appropriate that the iconic Mercedes-Benz logo features a three-pointed star inside a circle.
The Mercedes-Benz brand, born in 1926, exemplifies automotive engineering and innovation. In fact, this engineering and innovation prowess dates back to 1886, when Carl Benz was awarded the first patent for an internal-combustion-powered car, a decade before Henry Ford’s first vehicle. Forty years after Benz’s invention, the world’s two oldest automakers — Benz & Cie. and Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft — merged into what now is Daimler AG.
Daimler AG remains the parent company to this day, offering financing on its luxury vehicles in the U.S. through Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC, which was named No. 1 in the retail credit-luxury captive category of the 2018 J.D. Power U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study. It was the fourth year in a row the Farmington Hills, Michigan-based company earned the top spot.
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (MBFS) provides three primary ways to get behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz:
First Class Lease — Lease terms lasts anywhere from 24 to 60 months, which we’ll describe in more detail below.
First Class Financing — Terms range from 24 to 72 months in most states.
Balloon Financing — This type of financing allows buyers to defer a large portion of the retail financing payment to the end of the term, paving the way for lower monthly payments. MBFS says the “balloon” method, which is not available in every state, combines the advantages of ownership with the benefits of leasing.
Of course, you don’t have to finance through MBFS in order to buy a new Mercedes-Benz. In fact, even if you do plan to use one of the company’s financing options, it’s a good idea to shop around to see what your bank, credit union or an online bank may be able to offer. You can fill out an online form at LendingTree to compare pre-approved auto loan offers from as many as five lenders.
Whether you choose leasing or financing, MBFS extends special deals to “qualified” customers though, on its website, MBFS doesn’t define what a “qualified” customer is and MBFS declined to answer questions regarding its financing programs or requirements.
Featured offers — As of this writing (Jan. 9, 2019), MBFS offered special financing between 2.99% and 3.99% APRs for 24- to 72-month leases on certain 2019 models.
Certified Pre-Owned — As of this writing (Jan. 9, 2019), MBFS offered special financing on certain used vehicles, including 1.99% APR for 36-month financing of Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles (excluding leases and balloon contracts) plus credit for the first month’s payment.
MBFS notes that when special offers are not available, you can negotiate the APR and payment terms with a dealership, just as you would negotiate the price of the car.
MBFS lets a prospective customer apply in one of three ways:
To apply online, you’ll need to supply:
The My MBFS app also lets you apply for credit. Then, if you’re approved, you can manage your account via the app.
MBFS’ First Class Lease program offers maximum annual mileage levels of 7,500, 10,000, 12,000, 15,000 (standard term) and 20,000.
Any miles drive above the limit spelled out in the lease cost 25 cents a mile. However, you can buy additional mileage for 20 cents a mile when you sign the lease; that sum can be rolled into your monthly payment.
In addition, you face charges associated with excess wear and tear, and early termination of the lease.
MBFS does not require a security deposit for its standard lease program. But in some states, it offers the option of paying multiple security deposits. This reduces the monthly lease payments. When the lease expires, you can request a refund of the deposits or ask that the money be rolled into your next First Class Lease.
If you do go with an MBFS lease, you have three options when it ends:
If you’re leasing, you’ll typically enjoy a lower down payment and lower monthly payment. It can be a good option if you don’t drive a lot.
However, the big drawback is that you’re borrowing the car and won’t own it at the end of the lease term unless you pay to purchase it. Also, you’ll be financially responsible for any vehicle wear and tear that you’ve caused.
An alternative to traditional leasing is the Mercedes-Benz Collection, which is available in the Nashville and Philadelphia markets.
This month-to-month subscription program has no mileage limits. Maintenance, insurance and “flips” to different cars are included. All vehicles in the program are from the three most recent model years.
Through the Mercedes-Benz Collection app, you can apply for your membership. If you’re approved, you can switch to a different Mercedes-Benz when you’re ready. A Mercedes-Benz concierge will deliver the chosen car to you once you’ve requested it through the app or by text.
Cost: Depending on the tier of vehicle you select, the subscription costs $1,095 or $1,595 a month in the Nashville area, or $1,595 or $2,995 a month in the Philadelphia area. The subscription service also charges a one-time activation fee of $495.
So, what if MBFS doesn’t approve your application or you don’t want to finance through MBFS? You’ve got other options at your disposal, including banks, credit unions, financing companies and online lenders. It’s recommended that you shop around so that you can get the best financial terms for your situation.
Also, consider getting pre-approved for financing. This way, you can be up to speed on the financial terms, such as the APR, the length of the financing contract and the maximum amount you can borrow before you pick out your car. Being equipped with that information will give you more negotiating power when you head to the dealership.
Being pre-approved before you go to the dealership also helps ease anxiety about figuring out financing and other details when you’re there. Furthermore, it lets you focus on financing separately from focusing on the car purchase itself.
Keep in mind that most credit bureaus will look at several auto loan inquiries during a certain window of time — usually 14 days — as one single inquiry. This takes into consideration the fact that you’re shopping for a loan and not buying several cars all at once.
You’re no doubt aware that Mercedes-Benz makes cars. But did you know that Mercedes-Benz and its parent company Daimler, also produce vans, trucks and buses?
Aside from Mercedes-Benz and Daimler, other brands under the corporate umbrella include Freightliner trucks, smart cars and the car2go car-sharing service.
You might be familiar with Daimler thanks to its 1998 merger with American automaker Chrysler Corp. to form DaimlerChrysler AG. That marriage lasted until 2007, when majority stakes in Chrysler and its associated North American financial services business were sold.
Gradually, Daimler also severed its ties to Asia’s Mitsubishi Motors and Hyundai Motor Co.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Daimler has forged a joint venture with rival BMW Group. The two companies will collaborate on an “urban mobility” system that’ll feature a one-stop shop for car-sharing, ride-hailing, car-charging and other transportation needs.
Daimler also has made news for the government-mandated recall in 2018 of nearly 700,000 diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Europe. In the wake of those diesel woes, Daimler says it believes diesel engines should be improved, rather than banned.
Daimler says that it’s “not seeking to dodge the issues or make things seem better than they are. We are clear that we bear responsibility for reconciling the demands for individual mobility, climate protection and clean air. And that is precisely why we fully back the diesel engines of today as a part of the drive mix of tomorrow.”
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