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Is Mercedes a Good First Car? Safe, but too expensive!

I will never forget my first car, or how it felt to have that newfound freedom. However, I will also never forget the trouble that vehicle brought me, and looking back, I should have done my homework before deciding on a vehicle to buy. “Oh lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz,” these famous words perfectly sum up the feeling most people have towards the luxury car brand, and while there is no debating that Mercedez-Benz is a good car, are they a good first car?

Mercedes vehicles are packed with safety features that have earned them the Top Safety Pick+ award for several of their vehicles. However, Mercedes are more expensive to maintain than the average car and insurance costs are higher, for those reasons it may not make a great first car choice.

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of buying a Mercedes-Benz as your first car.

Merc GL

Things to Consider When Buying a First Car

You will remember your first car for the rest of your life. Among other things, your first car will be your first taste of independence and freedom. It will also be your first taste of responsibility. There are a lot of things to consider when buying a first car:

  • What do you need the car for/what will you be doing with it?
  • What does your budget look like/will you be able to afford everything that comes along with car ownership?
  • What is your credit score?
  • Should you get into a long-term repayment plan or buy the vehicle outright?
  • What kind of environment will you be driving in?
  • Should you buy new or used?

At the end of the day, what type of car is right for you will depend on many individual factors. However, the two biggest things to look for in a first car are affordability and safety.

Mercedes repairs

How Much Do Mercedes Cost?

The price of a Mercedes will depend on whether you plan to buy new or used, and that depends on your situation and budget.

Financing is a popular choice for those who don’t have a large chunk of money available to spend all at once. However, when you finance a vehicle, you must pay interest on the loan. The amount of interest you pay will depend on the interest rate, and that can change year on year. You can opt for fixed rates, but when you buy the rate may be high or low.

According to Experian, the average interest rate on an auto loan is 4.09% for new cars and 8.66% on used. You might be wondering, “Why is the interest rate for a used car more than double that of a new car?” The reason for this is it’s hard for financial institutions to put an exact resale value on a used car, and the bank must protect their investment if an individual defaults on their loan.

Buying outright could be a wonderful choice for someone who is not sure what the coming years will bring financially. Besides not having a monthly bill, you could save upwards of thousands of dollars by avoiding the interest that is tacked onto a loan.

Buying new gives you the advantage of knowing the car’s full driver history and enjoying a lower insurance rate. Let’s look at the average listing prices of the 2021-2022 Mercedes. It’s important to note that the prices below are just starting prices and do not consider extra features, add-ons, or any fees associated with buying the vehicle.

  • SUVs: The price of a new Mercedes SUV in 2021 is between $36,230 and $131,750, with nine models currently available.
  • Sedans and Wagons: The price of a new Mercedes sedan or wagon is between $33,350 and $68,400, with seven models currently available.
  • Coupes: The price of a new Mercedes coupe is between $37,850 and $118,600, with seven models currently available.
  • Convertibles and Roadsters: The price of a new Mercedes convertible or roadster is between $54,700 and $102,310, with five models currently available.


Buying used is a great option for people who want that new car to feel but do not want to pay the new car price. Plus, depending on the depreciation value of the car in question, you could save thousands of dollars by buying a car that is just a couple of years old. This content is owned by moc.sotuaytsur. The price of a used Mercedes will depend on the year, model, and depreciation value of the vehicle you wish to buy.

How Much Do Mercedes Depreciate?

To calculate the retail value of a used Mercedes, you first need to understand how a Mercedes depreciates. On average, a Mercedes will depreciate 40% within the first three years after new. For example, if you paid $102,310 for a new Mercedes roadster in 2021, you could expect the resale value to be around $60,986 in 2024. Contrarily, if you decide to wait and buy this vehicle used, you could save yourself up to $41,324. However, the exact depreciation value depends on the year and model of the vehicle.

Mercedes SUV

Mercedes-Benz Depreciation

Years OldDepreciation

Are Mercedes Expensive to Maintain?

When compared to other cars on the market today, a Mercedes-Benz is a bit more expensive to maintain. The average price to maintain a Mercedes is around $908 a year, while the industry average is $652 a year.

According to DETROIT BUREAU some of the most common repairs to expect are:

ServiceMB Maintenance Cost
Oil and filter$161-$200
Tire rotation$44-$56
Air filter replacement$108-$167
Cabin filter replacement$68-$110
Brake fluid replacement$240-$303
Spark plug replacement$355-$414
Transmission fluid replacement$269-$318
Coolant replacement$101-$127

With the most common big-ticket repairs being:

ModelTypical RepairEstimated Cost
SL55 AMGHeater core replacement$832-$1,446
E63 AMGAircon expansion valve replacement$212-$328
500ERadiator hose replacement$381-$395
600SLAircon compressor clutch replacement$960-$1,003

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Mercedes?

A Mercedes-Benz is considered a luxury vehicle, and it often costs more to insure a luxury vehicle because they tend to be more expensive to repair. The actual cost of insurance will depend on individual factors such as whom you decide to insure your vehicle with, age, gender, and credit score. However, depending on the model of Mercedes you have, it could cost anywhere from $2,318 to $8,081 to insure.

Average Insurance Cost 30 Year Old Male

Average Insurance Cost $4,201
G550 4MATIC$5,162
AMG GTS$8,081
Source: Value Penguin

Are Mercedes Reliable?

The Mercedes-Benz has a reliability rating of 3.0 out of 5.0, and it is ranked 27th out of 32 for all car brands. One of the reasons Mercedes, among other luxury car brands, typically has a lower reliability score is because they encompass such advanced technology, This technology can be tricky to repair and often demands attention from specialized mechanics.

However, with proper maintenance, a Mercedes should easily last anywhere from 13 to 17 years, with some owners proudly owning much older models. The U.S Department of Transportation states that the average annual mileage is around 13,500, meaning a Mercedes should last between 174,400 and 229,500 miles. However, many users have reported much higher milage, with some easily getting up to 300,000+.

Are Mercedes Safe?

Mercedes has won the Top Safety Pick award for their 2021 C-Class models, and in general, Mercedes is reported to be among the best in terms of safety. In fact, out of the 30 vehicles that won that award, four of them belonged to Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes steering wheel

One of the reasons Mercedes is so highly rated for safety is the sheer number of safety features they pack into their technology, and the great pains they take to research these safety features.

It doesn’t look like this is going to change anytime soon for Mercedes either. While looking to the future, Mercedes has paved the way for ethical decision-making with their self-driving cars, setting a standard all brands should follow.

If you do decide to buy a used Mercedes or any vehicle, it’s worth investing just a few dollars to check the VIN number against the vehicle database. An audit with a company like VinAudit (links to VinAudit) will guard against Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuilds, Title washing, Vin cloning, and a ton of other uglies.

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