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Fair Values On Used Ls430s And Ls400s


ECUPirate
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OK, a 2005 LS430 custom luxury stickers for around $65K. Let's assume you could buy one for $62K. It has almost everything you could want on it.

In another post, silvermate noted that $25K would be a fair price to pay for a loaded 1999 LS430 w/ low miles.

So, what would be a fair value to pay for each of the model years in between (and possibly older)? Let's assume 10K miles/year. I'm particularly interested to see how much of a drop to expect when new generation LSs come out.

2005 $62K

2004 $56K?

2003 $49K?

2002 $42K?

2001 $38K?

2000 ?

1999 $25K

Depreciation must certainly trail off after a while. What do you think?

I was hoping to pay <$40K for a 2002 but I'm beginning to think that might not be reasonable. Most cars drop in value quite abruptly from the original purchase date which makes used cars a much better value (assuming they don't break). However, Lexus seems to have a flat depreciation curve, which makes buying used less attractive.

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The CL and UL models mess with the residual values. They actually have LOWER resale than the standard cars because of all their technology. Technology is appealing when new, not so appealing 5 years later when its outdated and useless. Navigation also lowers resale. Most leasing companies use totally different residual percentages when calculating leases on UL and CL cars.

Anyways it'd be better to compare the LS430 with the new Modern Luxury package than the CL car as its more similar to the LS400 lines in cost (the LS400 at its very most expensive was only $62,000 new). It includes nav, heated seats, smart entry, 18 inch wheels etc. Its also best to compare retail to retail, MSRP to MSRP.

So, 2005 LS430 with ML package, MSRP $62,734.

2004 LS430 with ML package: Retail $57,700

2003 LS430 with premium pkg (no ML pkg 01-03): Retail $50,435

2002 LS430 with PP: Retail $44,765

2001 LS430 with PP: Retail $40,135

2000 LS400 with nav: Retail $27,765

1999 LS400 with nav: Retail $24,500

1998 LS400 with nav: Retail $20,385

Now bear in mind these are retail prices. Like the MSRP, this is what the dealer will list at, not neccisarily what you'll pay. These are all also based on mileage of 15,000 per year which is the national average.

So as you can see you're pretty much on the money, the depreciation curve is pretty flat. There are steeper jumps between design changes (2004 to 2003, 2001 to 2000).

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Wow. That's a huge jump b/n generations. Is gen 4 coming out in 2006 or 2007? I'd sort of hate to buy a used gen 3 knowing that gen 4 was going to kick me in the balls sometime in the next year or so. :blink:

Also, that's retail. I'm really trying to understand what the cars are truly worth. In my opinion, the residual value used by the leasing company should be close to what the car is actually worth. If it wasn't, the lessee would opt to buy the car and resell it himself, pocketing the difference. The residual % for a new LS is 55% after 36 months, so a $62K 2002 LS should be worth 34,100 wholesale. We're saying that retail is closer to $44K, or at least that's about what the dealers around here are asking. They don't seem to be too willing to negotiate, either. $42K is about the best I can find. What is it really worth?

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Just look at Ebay and Autotrader. For the most part the cheapest 2001 LS430s are sellling in the $30K-$33K range with a few at $29k.

In contrast, the cheapest 2000 LS400s are more in the low to mid 20s. Many decent 1999s are just under $20K.

This suggests that someone interested in a good deal buy the previous model when a new one comes out. For now, the 1999s and 2000s are good buys. The 2003s might be great buys if the 2007 models emerge as a major generation change.

But this is standard. Big depreciation after the first year or two and after a model change.

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The real values are what cars are actually selling for in a given area. That is the basis for the NADA books, (the ones the dealer uses). Most dealers will also lowball a trade in without any extra for a cream puff. Prices are also going to depend on time of year, the local economy and several other factors. Since many lease cars end up at auctions, the really best way to get wholesale prices is to find out what the actual auction selling prices are. Those are the real and timely numbers. The hard part is finding someone who will let you look at a weekly or monthly auction sales report.

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True, Lexus dealers don't like to discount their CPO cars, I've found that as with the new LS430, used LS' can go anywhere up to $9,000 or so less than the asking price, so that puts it in line with the residual used for leasing.

The next generation LS comes out in 2006 as a 2007 model. The 2006 model should be identical to the 2005 with maybe a special edition like Lexus likes to do for the last year of a design (Coach, Platinum etc).

Thats one thing about Lexus', you really need to buy them and then just not look at the new ones. I know thats almost impossible for us being that we're surrounded by these cars all the time as members of this club, but its really the truth. They last so long and age so well, its really a shame to keep trading them in to have the newest and best one because you're missing out on one of the car's best features, its longevity. Especially the LS cars, even LS' 5, 6, 7 years old (the 98s are 7 years old...wow thats hard to believe) or even older into the 95-97 models still look fresh and modern and run very, very well if they've been maintained. The real joy of owning a Lexus *I think* is the fact that you can drive it and enjoy it for 200,000 miles. Something you can't do in a Cadillac, or a Lincoln or something like that. You can drive them for 200,000 miles but you're not gonna enjoy it. So, that said, I wouldn't worry about buying an LS now and it being replaced by a new model in a year and a half. There's always going to be a new model out eventually and you're just going to keep waiting and waiting and waiting. The current LS is a great car, the best the LS has ever been, buy one and enjoy it. Even when its not the freshest and newest LS on the road, it'll still be your LS.

I've been looking around at LS430s (2005 with the Custom Luxury pkg, Mercury with black interior and 18 inch wheels....mmm), especially because I'm thinking about getting into some real estate besides my business that I own now and it would be a great car for entertaining clients (something I don't have to do now) because its larger (the back seat on the ES is tight), but thats what I told myself. My Lexus is a great car, it only has 40,000 miles on it and to trade it now would be a real shame. I'll get into an LS in a couple years, maybe the new design and then drive it for 200,000 miles. If I dont like the new design I'll snatch up an 06 at the end of the year and save me some money...

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LS's take miles like no other car, you can drive them and drive them and drive them and as long as you:

1. Change the oil

2. Keep it clean and waxed

3. Keep the interior clean and free of stains

4. Keep the leather cleaned and conditioned

It will look and ride as good at 200,000 miles as it did at 0. I've honestly never seen anything else that compares. Look at the LS' for sale on ebay, 5, 6, 7 years old and they still look great with nice dull leather and clean paint. Compare it to other cars as old, even Mercedes' and BMWs and they don't look as good.

My dad had a 98 LS until last October when he traded it on an 04. It had 160,000 miles on it, hard miles. He always kept the oil changed but only spottedly had other maintenance done. It looked and rode like new the day he traded it, the only issue was that the air shocks were starting to loose a little air when it was turned off, but only in the last month or two. If it were his he would have kept on driving it but it was a company car and they didn't want the liability of something so high mileage.

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It will look and ride as good at 200,000 miles as it did at 0. I've honestly never seen anything else that compares.

Very true!! My LS has 245,500 miles, and I love this car to death! This year(I still have 2 more months in the 'LS year.' Probably 247k-250k by that time.) alone I've put 21,000 100% trouble free miles. I've done several cosmetic and maintinance things along the way but nothing that would leave me beside the highway. Just skip the snazzy, Black Onyx paint job if you plan to keep the car for a while. This is a car that you buy and enjoy so much so that nothing else out there truely interest you because you are driving one of the best autos. B)

:cheers:

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What's the matter w/ black onyx? That's what I was planning to get. I understand they have no clear coat, but I'm also told that the paint is easy to buff (remove scratches).

Also, I might be able to get my hands on a white (parchment) car. Are those OK?

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No clearcoat+245k worth of rock chips=a disaster that can only be fixed by a repaint with 2 rust spots and this car has never lived in a snowy climate. If you buy a black car new or relatively new, you should be ok if you keep it sealed and waxed, but in my case, the previous owner neglected the paint, so now, I have this mess of a paint job. I would have prefered something light like beige or white to begin with.

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Actually the fact that the paint is a single stage doesn't really say anything to its longevity as long as you maintain it properly. The reason Blake's paint is so bad (and I STILL bet if you hit it with a PC it'd be fine, a lot of times single stage can be so oxidized it looks like it needs a repaint when it really doesn't) is because it wasn't properly protected before he got it. The black is very soft which means its actually pretty resistant to chipping, and like you mentioned its easily buffed out. All clearcoat is is paint with no pigment to add extra gloss, the single stage black has just as much paint as a car with clearcoat its just all colored. Its just when clearcoat is distressed its not as noticable as when color coat is distressed, as long as you don't let it be distressed then its a moot point.

That said, if you've never had a dark colored car then understand that black is probably 200% harder to take care of than a lighter color. Mine is black garnet (almost black) and I love it, its beautiful when its clean but my next one will definately be silver or some sort of other silver based color. Not as striking that 20% of the time but much better looking the other 80. Plus I wont have to live in fear of someone brushing against it in a parking lot like I do now. Nothing looks better than a clean dark car, but nothing looks worse than a dirty distressed one as blake knows.

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sw03es, you hit it on the head, I think. I've had two dark green cars. My 95 Concorde looks stunning when clean and polished, but quite average the rest of the time. My mom's pearl white cadillac looks great all of the time, but even better when polished. However, the best looking (older) lexuses (lexi???) in my work parking lot are the well-maintained black ones. The other colors look rather ordinary, though there is a pewter/silver/whitish color that's nice.

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Now see, thats a tough one. You could get into an 04 with the same mileage in a lower package for $52k and I personally think the improvements made to the 04 are HUGE over the 03. With the UL package you have the air suspension which runs into problems at 150k miles +

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I STILL bet if you hit it with a PC it'd be fine, a lot of times single stage can be so oxidized it looks like it needs a repaint when it really doesn't

You are very optimistic!! :D I've shown my car to 3 detailers and 1 body shop, and they all tell me the samething(repaint), but they probably don't know that it's single stage paint. You are the only one so far that would consider cleaning the car...I'm going to have to come see you one day. Great info on the clearcoat and no clearcoat info-never knew that it was just as durable(sounds like the same song as coated and uncoated leather. lol)! ;)

:cheers:

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I've seen many a car that needed a "repaint" brought back to 100% in the hands of someone that knows what they're doing. Even if it can't be brought back 100% I bet it can be made to look a damn lot better.

If you're ever in the Dallas TX area I can point to you an awesome detailer.

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Check out this Explorer:

http://www.autopia.org/forums/showthread.p...&threadid=47725

And thats even in a worse way than your car, thats clearcoat failure (checking) on the hood and he made it look much better. My Explorer has the same problem but its white and its harder to notice.

Check out this LS400, same single stage Black Onyx as yours.

http://autopia.org/forums/showthread.php?s...ingle+AND+Stage

Its possible. The Black Onyx is super easy to polish.

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If you're ever in the Dallas TX area I can point to you an awesome detailer.

Please point away(or should I pm?), sir! I'm not far from Dallas-less than 300 miles. That Explorer looks like what my car has, but the quantity is times 20 as mine goes from the front all the way to the trunk. I'm hopeful now!! :D

:cheers:

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the Pc isn't a miracle worker, but its pretty close to it.......it absolutely blew me away when i used it on my car a couple of times.

after some practice on a different car, i put her on mine. and i was thrilled.

i am a 100% satisfied customer, with the know how and right products, as well as many hours of working it over, my paint on my 13 year old LS looks brand new, i'm not exagerating either, i got every swirl, cobweb, scratch, ect.........off my paint is crystal clear with NO blemishes whatsever

after A LOT of thorough research i even tried my hand at wetsanding some deeper scratches and globby touchup paint........it came out great, the PC took all the wetsanding marks off, and you can't even tell, the scratches or globbs were ever there...........

anyway, i'll stop rambling, but i suggest as many others do, if you are any kind of enthusiast and really care about the cosmetic looks of your paint, you need to get yourself a PC or equivelent. i'll say it time and time again.

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Yes, the black is VERY easy to work with. Its one of the few colors that you can REALLY get EVERYTHING out of and thats because its single stage. On a clearcoated car you have to work within the depth of the clearcoat and the clear is much harder than pigmented paint (except for white which is the hardest paint color) the PC just gobbles up swirls and oxidation on the black onyx. I've done several of them myself and the owners are always amazed.

I'll send you a PM with his contact info but I still suggest as Silver does that you spend the money on your OWN PC, pads, and products. He and I have plenty of PC knowledge and we can walk you through what to do step by step. The black is very soft and even with the most careful owner it will have to be polished out every 4-6 months. Mine needs polishing every 6 months and its a clearcoat. Honestly, I swear to you up and down there is extremely little chance you can hurt the car with the PC.

Thing is, there's really no equivelent to the PC. You could get a Cyclo (which I want actually) but its twice as expensive or you could do a rotary and risk burning into the paint. The guy I'm going to hook you up to has a PC and a Cyclo and he's done some great transformations on cars that looked really, really gone.

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