If you’re exploring the used car market for your next vehicle, you might have noticed some great deals. Especially the German luxury vehicles in a good price range, particularly the very popular Audi A4.
There are various reasons why Audi A4 are so cheap; they depreciate quickly, parts and repairs are expensive, so people avoid them. Competition has grown fierce in the automotive market, and newer models arrive frequently and at a quicker rate, hence affecting the value and price.
There are many downsides to buying a cheap, used luxury vehicle and at the same time, the deal can turn out to be a great experience if you keep certain things in consideration. Let’s uncover the cheap luxury car purchase in detail and why are Audi A4 so cheap (3 main reasons and 1 catalyst).
1. Deprecation: Making A4 Cheaper and Affordable
On average, an Audi A4 loses 51% of its value in 5 years, depending on the condition. Mainly due to expensive parts and costly routine maintenance.
Luxury does look attractive and pricier once it’s inside the showroom, and the majority can only dream of having one. But once it is used and has spent a few years of its life, it starts to lose its value. This stands true for all luxury cars, especially the German vehicles and in particular, Audi A4. It is one of the top-selling compact luxury sedans in the world and is priced around $40,000 when new.
But once it starts to serve the purpose and is put to test in the rugged environment, the wear and tear become imminent and these luxury cars are highly prone. Although the parts are relatively cheaper in comparison to other German brands, the Audi A4 still has pricier routine maintenance and expensive parts. And once the car starts to get older, the repairs and replacement becomes frequent and so do the ownership costs. This is the major reason behind the massive depreciation in value.
Where the first owner becomes a loser in this deal (losing more than 40% of initial investment over the years), it becomes an opportunity for a used car buyer, but with certain complications.
Also read: Audi Depreciation: 11 Popular Models Depreciation Charts
2. Costly Routine Maintenance and Repairs
To keep an Audi A4 in pristine condition, an owner has to spend $1,500-2,500 a year just on routine maintenance.
Not only is the Audi A4 expensive to buy as a brand-new car, but it is costly to maintain as well. The routine maintenance includes oil and filters replacement, servicing of belts and hoses, engine parts service, transmission and brake service, and multiple other jobs. All of these costs upward of $1,500 and in case major repairs are required, the costs can double.
Not only does this burden the bank of the owner, but inflicts emotional dilemmas as well. Because the owner sees the price of their car capsizing and repairs, making it lose the value even faster. Once the Audi A4, like other luxury vehicles, has undergone multiple repairs, they start to show symptoms of aging even quickly. This delicacy and accelerated wear and tear shed the value of the car and are one of the main reasons why the Audi A4 is so cheap, in the used car market.
3. Fierce Competition and Saturating Market
An Audi A4 has to directly compete with at least 10-12 other models in the market, not to mention the rising influx of cheap, Chinese and Korean luxury cars. For instance, a Mercedes S class rivaling Genesis G50 costs $60,000 (almost half).
You must have heard the phrase, the more – the merrier. Well, this is definitely not true in the case of automobiles. When the number of options increases in the market, the monopoly is weakened and people have more options in less budget to choose from.
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In such circumstances, automakers have to keep the prices competitive and offer affordable models. This stands true for the used car market as well, once there are so many cheaper options, the owners of luxury cars like Audi A4 also have to lower the price even further to keep it within the competitive bracket. Hence, a major reason for Audi A4 being so cheap.
Another factor that has accelerated this aspect is the influx of cheap luxury cars from Chinese and Korean automakers. These include Genesis, Hongqi, and Changan to name a few.
Although these have not yet been established as true competitors in the U.S and European market but have sent shockwaves across the markets in Asia, Gulf, and Australia, as buyers are opting for these vehicles. This also plays a significant role in saturating the market and forcing luxury cars to lose their value, with Audi A4 at the edge of the cliff.
Also read: Are Audis Reliable After 100k Miles? The Truth
4. Frequent Launch of Newer Models and Facelifts
On average, a car is given a facelift after every 2.5 years and a newer model is launched after every 5 years.
With the growing competition and expanding market, the demands of the customer have grown and their taste diversified. It is human nature that they get bored or fed-up if subjected to the same event or object repeatedly.
The same is the case with cars, if people use and see similar interiors and go through the same driving experience over and over again, they lose interest in that vehicle. Moreover, with so many different options available at competitive prices, people tend to change their car ownership experience. This forced the automakers to launch frequent facelifts and newer models to offer more features and a refreshed feel of the car.
With newer alternatives coming at such a frequent pace, older cars lose their value very quickly, particularly the luxury cars like the Audi A4. Hence, where the newer and potential owners are given a better product, the owners of used luxury vehicles suffer monetarily and the cycle keeps repeating. This is one of the newer etiology behind luxury cars like the Audi A4 being so cheap.
Also read: Are Audi Cars Good? (Pros and Cons)
Are Used Audi A4 Still Reliable?
Yes! if there are fewer miles on the odometer and no major repairs.
No! if the car has had an accident or driven over 100,000 miles with shady maintenance history.
There is no denying the fact that German cars are the perfect example of top-notch engineering and high build quality. These cars would last thousands of miles and decades of a lifetime if taken care of properly. But all this comes at a price, expensive parts and labor charges, complicated and costly maintenance.
Used Audi A4s are available abundantly in the used car market and are a great option in such an affordable price range (under $20,000). But defining reliability would be tricky as every car has its own maintenance and usage history.
If you can find a recent year model of Audi A4 with fewer miles on the odometer and proper maintenance history with a CARFAX report, a used Audi A4 can be a reliable used vehicle to own.
Is it Cheap to Maintain a Used Audi A4?
A used Audi A4 would roughly cost you $1,000-1,500 per year in routine maintenance and a major repair can cost up to $5000.
It is not cheap to maintain a German luxury car like the Audi A4, and definitely not a used one. The maintenance of Audi A4 is relatively expensive when new, and once it has been driven a couple of thousand miles and undergone wear and tear, things get more complicated.
Used cars need more care and thorough maintenance to stay in good shape. Let’s discuss why it is not cheap to maintain a used Audi A4;
- Used cars undergo wear and tear, which demands the replacement of parts at more frequent intervals as compared to new cars. Hence, increased expenditure.
- The service and maintenance schedules of all the used cars and especially of the cars like the Audi A4 become more complicated and pricier. For instance, a 15,000 miles driven car only needs the replacement of engine oil and filters. Whereas, a 50,000 miles drive car would need replacement of engine, transmission, brake and suspension fluids. Servicing of belts and hoses, intake manifolds, throttle body, battery and spark plugs replacement and various other jobs. All of these schedules become more frequent once the car goes beyond 100,000 miles and so does the price of maintenance.
- For example, a head gasket repair or a suspension overhaul with other major services can cost well beyond $3,000.
Hence, it is not cheap to maintain a used Audi A4.
If nothing stopping you from buying a used Audi A4 and you’ve made up your mind, remember these points once you go shopping;
- Look for a car with less than 50,000 miles on the odometer.
- Get it inspected by an independent 3rd party inspection team. They check the car at 200+ points and generate a detailed report for you to make an informed decision.
- Prefer the one you’ve seen or known for some time, maybe in the family or owned by a co-worker.
- Must check the CARFAX report.