What Your Customers Think About When Shopping for Used Luxury Cars

November 14, 2022

Team ACV




What Your Customers Think About When Shopping for Used Luxury Cars

ACV facts & figures

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For many dealers, customers interested in buying used luxury cars offer a unique and exciting opportunity. Used luxury cars have excellent resale value, which makes them a high-profit margin item—and the more a dealer can sell, the more money they can make per transaction. Luxury car buyers are highly discerning and knowledgeable, making effective marketing especially important. As a dealer, you need to know and understand who is buying used luxury cars and what they’re looking for.

Who Buys Used Luxury Cars?

The first step to effectively marketing used luxury cars is to understand who exactly your target customers are and what draws them to luxury vehicles. A significant portion of used luxury car buyers is loyal to specific brands. They may or may not have ever owned a car of their preferred brand, but they feel an affinity for the brand, nonetheless. Sometimes this is because they view the vehicle as a status symbol and want a car that projects wealth or social status¹.

The other portion of your customer base will be more utilitarian. These are the ones looking for unbeatable deals while maintaining the best quality possible. They may simply be in the market for an upscale sedan or SUV in general, and their research has shown that a used luxury car offers them the best combination of features based on their priorities². 

What Factors Do These Customers Weigh?

Value and Style

Buying a used luxury car offers many shoppers the opportunity to afford a car that would normally be out of their price range. Despite inflation, drivers are gravitating to luxury cars³, which can even open up opportunities in the used vehicle market. If a buyer can get a used luxury model for the same price as a new, non-luxury one, then they’ll feel they’re coming out of the deal a winner.

When a buyer sees that a car that is more stylish than another option without the hefty price tag, their estimation of the vehicle will go up. They will also be drawn toward a car that feels like a good deal, so you can emphasize a quality build and desirable features rather than cost alone to convey value.

Mileage and Maintenance

Luxury buyers tend to be enthusiastic and knowledgeable¹, so count on them to have read reviews of other used luxury vehicles. They’re likely to be aware that maintenance requirements and mileage can influence the ownership cost of a luxury vehicle, potentially steering them toward low-mileage options that are less likely to need significant repairs in the near future. They’ll try to find a balance between performance, maintenance, and price to be sure they’re getting the best possible deal. 

What Features Do Used Luxury Car Buyers Look For?


As with a new luxury car, buyers of used luxury cars expect higher quality than non-luxury models. This means features like wood trim, heated seats and steering wheels, good soundproofing, and leather or faux leather seats. They’ll also want a vehicle that has been well-maintained and looks clean. 


Luxury cars have a reputation for being first in line for new and upcoming technologies, so used luxury car buyers will be looking for technological upgrades from their previous vehicles⁴. These used cars may no longer be on the cutting edge of new driving technology by virtue of being a couple of years old, but they may still have features that are unavailable at lower trim levels in non-luxury vehicles. 

Highlight how these technologies can improve your customer’s driving experience and even make them safer. Features like adaptive cruise control and cross-traffic alert systems are convenient and useful, and crash avoidance technologies can show drivers just how far the technology has come in the last decade. Automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and blind spot warning features will help show your customer just how much a luxury vehicle can offer. 

Prepare for Luxury Buyers With ACV Auctions

You know and love cars, and so do your luxury buyers. Buying used luxury vehicles at auction will help you stay on top of demand and provide customers with the shopping experience they deserve. Join ACV Auctions today to create your auction watch list and enjoy easy-to-use bidding features and thorough condition reports for every vehicle.



1. Manoukian, J. (27 November 2019). The Psychology of Luxury Car Buyers: 7 Considerations. Limelight Platform. Retrieved November 9, 2022 from https://www.limelightplatform.com/blog/psychology-luxury-car-buyers-considerations

2. Study Finds Luxury Buyers Take Their Time, Do Parts of the Deal Online, Are More Satisfied. Cox Automotive. Retrieved November 9, 2022 from https://www.coxautoinc.com/market-insights/2019-car-buyer-journey-luxury/

3. Tucker S. (9 November 2022). Americans are buying more luxury cars than ever. MarketWatch. Retrieved November 10, 2022 from        https://www.marketwatch.com/story/americans-are-buying-more-luxury-cars-than-ever-11667594001?mod=mw_latestnews

4. Luxury Car Buying Guide. Consumer Reports. Retrieved November 9, 2022 from https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/luxury-cars/buying-guide/