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Low Rates Mean You Can Now Get a Mercedes With a Chevy Income

But should you?
A Mercedes-Benz SLK 250, now a bit more within reach of the average driver.

A Mercedes-Benz SLK 250, now a bit more within reach of the average driver.

Photographer: David Paul Morris

This is a tempting time to be a lover of cool cars. Thanks to lease offers, low interest rates, and low gas prices, it’s gotten dangerously easy to drive off the dealer lot with a brand new luxury car.

Buying a used car is almost always a better deal over the long term than buying or leasing a new one. That’s the classic personal finance advice, and it still applies. But in recent years the irresponsible choice has gotten a lot more enticing.