Buying a used car can come with a range of challenges, especially if you don’t know what to look out for. Our misconceptions can actually prevent us from buying a good car, just because we think it won’t be a good deal.
It isn’t that hard to clear up the confusion though, and once you understand you’ll be far better equipped to buy a used car that suits you.
So let’s tackle some of the most common areas of confusion when buying a used car.
Should I buy a 10-year-old car?
Generally, most people would come to the conclusion that the older a car is, the worse it’ll perform and the less it’s worth. While this typically does have some truth to it, it’s not as simple as that.
The two main factors are how well the car was built, and how well it’s been maintained. The better the car was built, and the more lovingly it was maintained, the greater it will be able to perform. This is partially why classic cars become so expensive. When their age and level of maintenance reach a certain point, it dramatically increases their worth.
But what about normal, everyday cars? It’s a similar story. If you’ve got two BMW’s, for instance, the one that has been looked after properly will be in much better condition (and therefore last longer, and be safer to drive) than it’s uncared about counterpart.
As a car gets older, it typically becomes more difficult and more expensive to keep maintained. This can cause bigger long-term costs, but this may be offset by the lower price of buying an older car in the first place.
In short, you should not be afraid of purchasing an older car. If it’s been looked after and cared for, it should perform just as well as a newer car. Before you buy the car though, make sure that that you have it looked at by a mechanic you know and trust. This way you can be sure that you’re buying a good quality car.
Should I buy a car over 100k miles?
Again, this depends entirely on the car. If the car is relatively young with over 100,000 miles on the clock, it may even be in better condition than the same age car with a considerably low mileage.
This is because the high mileage would typically come from long motorway journeys, rather than short ones. When a car is travelling for long distances at a time, the various components (such as gearbox and brakes) experience much less wear and tear than they would in multiple short city trips.
On average, a car should reach about 10,000-12,000 miles per year. Anything significantly above or below could be a cause for concern, so try and check the car’s history before you buy.
Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with buying a car that has clocked over 100,000 miles. If you find one and everything seems to be in order, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you.
A high mileage doesn’t signify the end of a car’s lifespan, and as long as it’s been checked and marked as safe by a mechanic that you know and trust, it could be an excellent purchase that saves you a lot of money.
Should I buy an old car with low mileage?
Buying an older car with low mileage can seem like you’re getting the best of both worlds, but be cautious. It is typically best to have a mechanic with you whenever you’re checking out a used car, and that’s especially true when an older car has a low mileage.
In situations like this, you should always try to verify the Odometer. You can do this by checking the service history, contacting previous owners, and thoroughly inspecting the car. If there is considerable wear throughout the inside and outside of the car, then it may suggest that the odometer has been artificially altered.
If the car has an unusually low mileage, it is best to get a complete check of the car. There are several components which may stop working, or become unsafe with disuse. They would have to be replaced, and could add unexpected charges to the car after you purchase it.
Is mileage more important than age?
When you’re faced with choosing a younger car with high mileage, or an older car with low mileage, it can be confusing to decide which is better.
A young car with high mileage may have experienced significant wear and tear, meaning that some (if not most) of the components may need replacing. Alternatively, an older car with a low mileage may signify that it hasn’t been driven a lot over the years. This can lead to its own problems, including trouble starting, or you may need to replace components due to lack of use.
So which is better, higher mileage or higher age?
The answer is neither. What’s most important is how the car has been looked after. In general, a car with higher mileage may signify that it has been driven more, and therefore been better maintained, however, there are no guarantees.
You may find that an older car with low mileage was a sole driver’s pride and joy, and so it has been kept in a near-immaculate condition. In comparison, the younger car with higher mileage may have been driven with very little care, and may be about to fall apart.
Whenever you buy a car, it is imperative that you have the car examined properly before you buy it. This includes requesting a Full Service History. If the seller is unable to offer this, there could be something they’re trying to hide from you.
Hopefully, you now feel more secure about buying a used car. Keep an eye out for cars with a high age or mileage, because they can be incredible bargains.
Always stay wary though, because they can just as easily become money drains, costing far more to fix up than they were worth.
A car that’s been lovingly maintained is almost always a good purchase, regardless of how old or how many miles it’s driven.