When buying a used car which is more important - mileage or age of the car

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When buying a used car which is more important - mileage or age of the car

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As an example...assume you have a choice of two cars of the exact same model, with the exact same cost.

Would you pick;

Car A with higher mileage but its newer.

or

Car B with lower mileage but its older.
 
As an example...assume you have a choice of two cars of the exact same model, with the exact same cost.

Would you pick;

Car A with higher mileage but its newer.

or

Car B with lower mileage but its older.
Depends on which one had you on the logbook as the previous owner 😆 Not saying how that would affect my decision though! 🤔 On a more serious note I personally look more at mileage than age
 
Depends on which one had you on the logbook as the previous owner 😆 Not saying how that would affect my decision though! 🤔

LOL. Well you could bear in mind I changed the brake pads on my EVO yesterday and then the missus went to work in it. Half way there she stopped to phone me for reassurance because it had a funny noise LOL

On a more serious note I personally look more at mileage than age
So you want a low mileage older car, it might need more maintenance but the engine lasts longer?
 
LOL. Well you could bear in mind I changed the brake pads on my EVO yesterday and then the missus went to work in it. Half way there she stopped to phone me for reassurance because it had a funny noise LOL


So you want a low mileage older car, it might need more maintenance but the engine lasts longer?
Not really the engine tbh, it’s more the drivetrain. And i tend to find higher mileage cars tend to feel loose and rattle more. Not always the case though, had 2 high mileage people carriers both purchased with 170k on them as that’s all I could afford and you wouldn’t have known……..although the diff did explode on one at 224k!
 
Not really the engine tbh, it’s more the drivetrain. And i tend to find higher mileage cars tend to feel loose and rattle more. Not always the case though, had 2 high mileage people carriers both purchased with 170k on them as that’s all I could afford and you wouldn’t have known……..although the diff did explode on one at 224k!
Me goes to google "Drivetrain" :D

Getting another 50K out of a car that age is an achievement i'd say!
 
Depends on the actual age of the car and how I plan to use it.

I used to buy older low milers but it's a one way ticket to pain generally as once subjected to my regular (admittedly hard) use nothing disintegrates like a low miles car.

What tends to occur is all the little jobs don't get done because the car never goes anywhere so the owner doesn't see the point.

You then come along, buy it and find the tyres need doing, the brakes are pitted, cvs have hardened up and crack when required to do regular things etc. etc. and you end up recommissioning the thing over the next year or so as one by one rubber parts and things like batteries protest.

Less 5 years old not really an issue as such but more than that I start to treat low miles as a bad thing... especially if it's a diesel.

Not that I'd prefer intergalactic mileage but regular use maintenance and service is what a car needs to stay healthy long term unless you're storing it in a temperature controlled garage on a battery tender.
 
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Depends on which one had you on the logbook as the previous owner 😆 Not saying how that would affect my decision though! 🤔 On a more serious note I personally look more at mileage than age
I agree. Its a balance and if you do very low miles you can afford to buy a higher miles example. I would always weight towards mialge being low though.
 
Depends on the actual age of the car and how I plan to use it.

I used to buy older low milers but it's a one way ticket to pain generally as once subjected to my regular (admittedly hard) use nothing disintegrates like a low miles car.

What tends to occur is all the little jobs don't get done because the car never goes anywhere so the owner doesn't see the point.

You then come along, buy it and find the tyres need doing, the brakes are pitted, cvs have hardened up and crack when required to do regular things etc. etc. and you end up recommissioning the thing over the next year or so as one by one rubber parts and things like batteries protest.

Less 5 years old not really an issue as such but more than that if I start to treat it as a bad thing... especially if it's a diesel.

Not that I'd prefer intergalactic mileage but regular use maintenance and service is what a car needs to stay healthy long term unless you're storing it in a temperature controlled garage on a battery tender.
Nothing kills a car like under use, except a high miler that goes to an under used motor.
 
Nothing kills a car like under use, except a high miler that goes to an under used motor.

To be fair to the cars, I bought a low miles immaculate Fiat Uno with 26000 miles after 13 years absolutely solid car in terms of rust as it had been garaged.

It then did 25000 miles in 2 years...I spent 3 or 4 times the purchase price keeping it on the road. But the final straw was that the previous owner never bothered to fix the leaking slave cylinder I did. But by that point the clutch was contaminated, with a nasty judder..this got fixed too...but the gearbox bearings were toast by that point. It may have attempted to kill me as the rubber seals in the master cylinder let fluid through so the pedal slowly went to the floor.

It also leaked oil from every seal...which I fixed and the distributor fell to pieces which was also fixed. Then the carb needed a rebuild..at which point combined with the gearbox oil being full of swarf I threw in the towel and bought a low miles mk1 Punto which promptly did similar but in a less terminal way..it wasn't until the 3rd low mileage Fiat which grenaded itself electrically as the engine bay loom turned to dust, I decided that perhaps this was not how it was done.
 
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I like the comment that a low mileage older car can be bad. I'd just not thought of it like that before but it makes complete sense.

I look at mileage rather than the age of the car. I've only ever bought one car that was over 100k and it very quickly became the worst car I ever bought. So I have a cut off at 100k and price determines I can't go much below about 80k. It appears I've done well to buy medium mileage cars without really realising why.
 
There are so many other considerations than just age or mileage, for example they have been making the Fiat 500 since 2007, now a 2007 model will have had 15 years of exposure to cold winters, road salt and UV light. Rubber bits harden, fabrics and plastics fade and technology such as blue and me becomes massively out of date, say you found one with 40k on the clock, it is not going to be the same as as a 5 year old car with 40k on the clock.

But people do ask silly amounts of money for low milage cars.

There are all the other issues with cars like this, there were a lot of common problems with early 500s compared to later models like the self destructing door handles and the wiring loom to the boot falling apart. A newer 50k mile car would not have these problems.

So it does depend on a lot of factors not just age or mileage.
 
There are so many other considerations than just age or mileage, for example they have been making the Fiat 500 since 2007, now a 2007 model will have had 15 years of exposure to cold winters, road salt and UV light. Rubber bits harden, fabrics and plastics fade and technology such as blue and me becomes massively out of date, say you found one with 40k on the clock, it is not going to be the same as as a 5 year old car with 40k on the clock.

But people do ask silly amounts of money for low milage cars.

There are all the other issues with cars like this, there were a lot of common problems with early 500s compared to later models like the self destructing door handles and the wiring loom to the boot falling apart. A newer 50k mile car would not have these problems.

So it does depend on a lot of factors not just age or mileage.
Dealers who buy at auction pay a premium for cars with a full service history or one owner from new. The cars I've seen like this do tend to have had a better life.

I'm not sure how much a yearly service helps a car in later years, but it probably saves thousands and gives the car an extended life. And owners who care enough to get a car serviced generally get non essential things fixed. These owners get attached to the car so they can be worth paying more for when they become available second hand.
 
Very low mileage cars can be a real pain in unexpected ways. I found a low mileage (30k miles) 2011 Ka for my nephew recently (new driver, first car). One year it did less than 400 miles between MOTs. Some ugly lacquer peel which I will try to improve, but no damage inside or out.

Drives like a nearly new car, but has thrown up a few wierd problems related to lack of use.

Slowly working through them all, nothing expensive yet, just time-consuming.

Most annoying one so far has been driver's seatbelt, which suddenly started randomly locking when being pulled out. Of course it did this at the most inconvenient place possible (petrol station with a police car parked across the road!). Took a few minutes to pull out enough to put belt on with seat pushed to back of runners.

Cause was dusty ball bearing in the retractor mechanism, free 2 minute fix, but with 20 minutes dismantling and 10 minutes reassembly thrown in.
 
Very low mileage cars can be a real pain in unexpected ways. I found a low mileage (30k miles) 2011 Ka for my nephew recently (new driver, first car). One year it did less than 400 miles between MOTs. Some ugly lacquer peel which I will try to improve, but no damage inside or out.

Drives like a nearly new car, but has thrown up a few wierd problems related to lack of use.

Slowly working through them all, nothing expensive yet, just time-consuming.

Most annoying one so far has been driver's seatbelt, which suddenly started randomly locking when being pulled out. Of course it did this at the most inconvenient place possible (petrol station with a police car parked across the road!). Took a few minutes to pull out enough to put belt on with seat pushed to back of runners.

Cause was dusty ball bearing in the retractor mechanism, free 2 minute fix, but with 20 minutes dismantling and 10 minutes reassembly thrown in.
I know that random problem with old cars well. The good thing about the seatbelt problem is that it gives you an interesting story to tell!
 
And lots of scratches on your hands - plastic trims are the work of Satan.
I've found that just a light spray job covers up the worst of the scratches. I don't do anything professional, just stop the car looking like it belongs in a scrap yard :) The hard part i found was sourcing the right spray paint.
 
Me personally I'd much rather find an older car with lower mileage, I've never purchased high mileage car as I generally steer clear of them, the highest I've ever bought was my old Bravo which had about 70k when I got it, as long as you go over the car when you're viewing it & everything looks to be ok & you find out the common problems with the model before viewing, I remember when i was a lot younger & there were still quite a few Cinquecento's & Seicento's about & whenever I went to look at one the first thing I would always do with them was a bounce test on the back end as they had a well known problem for the rear arm bushes so when you bounced the back end you'd hear the offending bushes knocking if they were worn out which was always a very good bargaining tool with them 😂
 
Dealers who buy at auction pay a premium for cars with a full service history or one owner from new. The cars I've seen like this do tend to have had a better life.

I'm not sure how much a yearly service helps a car in later years, but it probably saves thousands and gives the car an extended life. And owners who care enough to get a car serviced generally get non essential things fixed. These owners get attached to the car so they can be worth paying more for when they become available second hand.
Like mine. Treatedbetter than my mistress.... erI mean wife....
 
I've found that just a light spray job covers up the worst of the scratches. I don't do anything professional, just stop the car looking like it belongs in a scrap yard :) The hard part i found was sourcing the right spray paint.
with Fiat, that seems like pot luck!
 
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