The question “how old is not too old” is maybe the one that comes up most frequently when discussing how to shop for old used cars.
Which one is better? To buy a used car that is older, but has lower mileage or a newer car with more miles displayed on the odometer? Well, if you put it this way, the question is impossible to answer – not unless you add some more aspects to consider.
In what follows, we would like to present a few other major aspects that can help you decide how to vote in the “age vs. mileage” debate.
The Advantages of Low Mileage
Old used cars with low mileage will not turn heads in the streets, but buying such a car can solve your transport issues reliably and on the long run. A car of age that still has run only very few miles is one that has not been used extensively, which also means that the car has been exposed to very little wear and tear.
Most cars run around 15,000 miles a year on the average, so if you manage to find an old vehicle with very low mileage displayed on the odometer and you also consider the seller to be a reliable one, the car is probably worth buying.
However, when looking for old used cars with low mileage, you should limit your search to cars around 10 years of age – if you choose anything beyond that age limit, you might encounter serious difficulties when trying to find replacement parts.
You also need to be aware that old used cars with very low mileage are usually larger than younger, more modern cars, which also means that they are equipped with much larger engines than today’s cars, increasing running costs a bit.
old_used_carIf you are looking for such old used cars, there is one more thing you need to do before committing to the purchase: get the car you are interested in to an independent mechanic and have your expert check each and every assembly on car.
The mechanic should perform a thorough inspection of the steering system, of the suspension, the transmission, he should make measurements to determine engine condition and he should also verify the integrity of the chassis and the frame to make sure the car will stay with you as long as you want it to.
To conclude, old used cars with low mileage can be real gems, but only if you have the car checked thoroughly, being aware that it won’t live forever. And remember, in this case, more than 10 years old is too old.
The Advantages of Younger Cars with Higher Mileage
Many experts say that high mileage should not worry you as long as the vehicle seems reliable and it comes with the documents from which you can find about its history. Usually it is the lack of proper servicing and care that kills cars and not the mileage they have run. The engines in modern cars are made to run astronomical mileage and, by “modern”, we mean eight years old or younger. So if you manage to find an old car that is 4-5 years old, but the odometer shows high figures, that aspect as such should not be a decisive factor.
When looking at not very old used cars with a lot of miles in the engine, the decisive factor should be the way the car has been driven and whether it has undergone the right kind of regular maintenance. A two-year old vehicle that has not received regular maintenance and has been driven aggressively and abusively can be in a technical and mechanical shape that is inferior to the condition of 10 year old car well taken care of. If the vehicle has been driven in a careful manner and maintenance was done at regular intervals, there is no reason why you should not buy the car.
There are advantages and disadvantages to buying a used car with a lot of mileage, but younger in age, just like there are pros and cons to getting a really old car with low mileage.
The most important aspects that you need to consider in any of these two cases are maintenance and driving style. If the vehicle has been taken proper care of, it does not really matter how old it is or how many miles it has run – it will be a good car that will serve you well for a long time. Similarly, no matter how new a car is, if its owner has neglected thorough, regular maintenance, the vehicle will be full of hidden flaws that can cause it to break down any minute.
The best way to decide whether old used cars are worth buying is to check their history, to have the vehicles checked by your own mechanic and to take them on test rides to see what driving each of them really feels like.