Getting a Mercedes ML free: Should I take it or buy an XUV300 instead

The car is registered in Delhi and since it cannot be driven there anymore he wanted someone within the family to have it instead of selling it off.

BHPian Vicky85 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Dear friends,

I was planning to buy myself a XUV 300 but then I was offered a 11 years old ML350, for free by my brother-in-law. The car is registered in Delhi and since it cannot be driven there anymore he wanted someone within the family to have it instead of selling it off.

I do not have the slightest of idea on luxury vehicles and i am looking for suggestions here. The car is well maintained with regular servicing being done. I would like to know from you all on what can be the downside of owning a decade old Mercedes. What would be the service cost and how frequently is it needed. What would be the annual expenditure like? And what would be the cost of re-registration in Hyderabad/Bhubaneswar?

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

You are getting the car for free, but it will cost you. An 11-year old luxury vehicle usually runs 1.5 – 2 lakhs in upkeep per year (averaged). Reliability will also be iffy.

As your primary car & daily driver, get the XUV300 only. Since you are getting the ML350 for free, take it just out of fun, as long as you are fine with spending 1 – 2 lakhs a year. You will also need a good independent garage that is well-versed with German cars.

Go for it, spend a little, live a little . But get a mainstream model like the XUV300 as your reliable daily driver.

Here’s what BHPian ajmat had t say on the matter:

If you are getting it for free – worth a punt!

  • First check if you get an NOC and check the remainder tax to be paid in Hyderabad.
  • Spend Rs 10000 on a Mercedes Used car assessment.
  • Identify a good local specialist.
  • Ensure you have a standby car while waiting for parts in an eventuality.

The EMI’s for the XUV can be used for maintenance as the capital be redeployed.

Do the Math.

Here’s what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say on the matter:

Got for it, man. You are getting it for free.

For upkeep, as long as you have access to a good independent garage or someone well versed to Mercedes cars, you’ll be fine.

Your brother in law would have gotten 50k for scrapping the car, he chose to offer it to you just to keep the car going. Sounds like a person who cares about his car. Ergo, the car should be well maintained and in decent shape.

Here’s what BHPian rbp had to say on the matter:

My brother has a 2012 ML350, fine car, but every normal service costs upwards of 1L. Recently he had to replace the airmatic suspension and few other stuff, bill was around 5L. Off late the ML’s exhaust got damaged and needed replacement, he waited for close to 3 months for the suspension, no ETA from Merc, they are mute. I even tweeted to Merc, absolutely no response . Every time the car goes to the service center they keep telling something or the other has to be replaced, he has lost faith.

He is so fed up of these German vehicles, he has gone ahead and booked a Lexus 350h just for peace of mind. I did not have the heart to suggest another German brand again.

Here’s what BHPian androdev had to say on the matter:

You didn’t mention the mileage of the car – which is more important than the age of the car.

It’s worth a shot if you can afford a two car garage with a “regular” car for daily needs and this Mercedes for “fair weather” use. Don’t bother if you are planning to have a single car for everyday use as the Mercedes will surely have plenty of downtime.

  • 6L for registration (in Hyd, assuming original ex-showroom price of 60L – roughly 10%).
  • 0 to 1.5L depending on the pending service items – tyres (70k), battery (15K), wipers (10K), oil (15K), brake job (40K), etc.).
  • Rs 50K yearly avg service in a pvt garage.

If it develops any serious issues that require repair, you will have to write off all the money you spent, close the chapter, take it on the chin and move on. You have to be a serious car guy to venture down this path.

Here’s what BHPian Turbanator had to say on the matter:

If it’s over 10 Years old, NOC cannot be issued now even if you tell them that this needs to be re-registered elsewhere. That time has gone now.

Gifts within relations is usually tricky, especially where your wife/ sister is concerned. The maximum your BIL will get is scrap value. The best is to get it valued first, and then if you have to take an obligation (which may not be valid at this time but at a later date) a value must be known. If he is ok with that pay him or just tell him that whatever you get at the time of sales, you will pay him.

You can drive the car in Hyderabad or anywhere else where NCT rules are not applicable without additional taxes, as Delhi RC validity will be 15 Years. After that, there are no chances of getting it extended. You can scrap at that time.

Regarding maintenance, as others have pointed out, running an ML350 can indeed be very costly as remember, the spares are priced based on the original costs of the car. This car can be a good weekend car or for occasional social use (flaunt ) but I won’t use it as a daily drive.

Here’s what BHPian anjan_c2007 had to say on the matter:

The Mercedes ML 50 cdi will be in a different league and is way above any Mahindra presently available. And for free its too good but only if the Merc gremlins are yet to manifest themselves to cause agony to its owner. Hence it needs a thorough check by an expert.

If it’s an 11 year old diesel it has already been deregistered by the Delhi RTO. Hence, getting its NOC for transfer elsewhere is a mirage. The Merc ML350 cdi papers cannot be regularised if that’s the case.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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