Shopping for a used car is a bit more complicated than buying a new model. Consumers need to examine more variables such as mileage, year, warranty balance, and equipment to determine which car is the best value. Volvo has made the process just a little bit easier by posting their window stickers in the Carfax. More brands should do the same.
I’ve stressed over and over again that the key to finding a “deal” in the used car market is to focus on the best overall value and not the biggest discount. Even before the chip shortage drove up prices and made discounts a rare occasion, used cars didn’t have that much wiggle room to begin with. I have found that when shopping for luxury cars, the equipment and original MSRP was a key factor in deciding which car was a better buy compared to the rest.
Usually, I have to request a window sticker or build sheet from a dealer, and in a market where cars move fast waiting for a salesperson to respond is not ideal. It’s much better if buyers can view a window sticker with an easy click to confirm whether or not a unit has the equipment they are looking for. Previously I covered third-party websites like VinAnalytics that provide build sheets for Porsche and will now include BMW and Mini. But it’s nice to see an automaker provide access on their own.
If you are in the market for a used Volvo and have access to a CarFax, you will find a Volvo window sticker embedded in the report.
As you can see this T6 R-design wagon with around 22,000 miles has an original MSRP of about $65,000, and a current asking price of around $60,000.
Given the market, you would only be saving about $5,000 opting for 2020 used model.
A better value may be to go back a year to 2019 and look at this CPO T6 Cross County also with about 22,000 miles.
The original window sticker indicates an MSRP of about $60,000 but the current asking price is around $47,000.
That is a $13,000 savings compared to the original MSRP, and you are only opting for a slightly older car.
By having easy access to these window stickers, Volvo is helping car shoppers make more informed decisions quickly. Other automakers should follow this trend as it’s incredibly helpful for both the buyers and the dealers.