Between Age and Mileage, what’s critically important About Buying a Used Car?

Because you are eager to own a car for the first time, I’d honestly suggest that you give used cars that are still great for a newbie car owner some thought. Used cars that are fairly new and still have everything intact are what I’m talking about. You see, aside from getting more bang for your buck, a used car typically costs less to register and insure.

Further, it’s remarkably easy to get a nice used car model given that in almost every local car dealership, its showroom has heaps of them on display, waiting for you. You will sample them until you get a kick-ass choice at a price that’s well below your budget.

I know this because I’ve seen lots of modern, well-maintained cars of recent years being sold as used or second-hand cars. That old Ford Mustang, Ford Ranger or Chevy S-10 will cost almost nothing, yet you’ll have owned a decent model. Basically, these dealerships have cars that are as recent as a year or two old with favorable financing terms and rates; something like $300 or $550 down-payment and the rest in 60 months of little payments!

And so, you’ll have saved quite a chunk of money, perhaps several thousands of dollars and still landed a reliable cruising machine. This, of course, is a great deal, especially when you have the car’s history reports and you’re absolutely sure it’s a smart choice.

Question: when buying a used car, what is of more importance between its age and mileage?

This is one key question you ought to have in mind before taking the plunge and buying that used car. Shopping for a second-hand car is a risky affair, trust me. Sure, ‘Old is Gold,’ but yet again, a car that has been around the block a few thousand times could be better too.

Car connoisseurs often have varying answers regarding this question, and it’s understandable to see why. One would say, ‘It depends’ and the other will be quick to refute age or mileage as something of importance. But for the sake of that used Ford Mustang, you intend to buy, let’s see which of these two really matter.

First, that used Ford Mustang isn’t cheap for no reason!

Several factors, besides its age and mileage, should influence your final decisions. Some of these determinants are:

  • The car’s make and technology.
  • It’s general condition – interior and exterior.
  • Price vis-à-vis your budget.
  • The maximum you are willing to spend on its repairs maintenance.
  • And so forth.

But don’t get stuck on the analysis paralysis and end up getting even more confused.

Let’s narrow down your search into Age vs. Mileage.

On its Mileage

Its mileage (yes, that reading on its odometer) is a rough estimate of how much life is left of the car. A car that has traveled 70,000 miles is better than another that has 250,000 miles. This is because, with more miles covered, its core parts – the engine, suspension, carburetor and essentially everything about it, are used and could go faulty at any time. That’s why it’s highly critical to consider the car’s mileage.

There’s an exception to this, though!

A car that has spent all of its life in the city, covering rough terrains and traffic jams isn’t a good choice, compared to something that speeds off in highways. Similarly, if the car’s previous owner was a fastidious person who would take care of it, even the 200,000 miles it may have clocked will not matter, unlike a 100,000-mile car whose owner was careless.

On the used car’s Age

Age is equally important, in fact, it can be as bigger of a deal than mileage. Suppose you have found a 7-year-old Ford Mustang with 40,000 miles on its odometer, and it looks sleek, wouldn’t you take it?

Maybe yes!

You see, with such a car, you will need not to rejoice yet. When a car is left to lie for a long time, some components like its rubber parts tend to wear away. That’s where a 10-year-old car that has been operating beats it.

The bottom line, therefore?

These two factors matter depending on the type and general condition of the car. To be safe with the used car, find a professional mechanic to perform pre-purchase inspections on it.

Between Age and Mileage, what’s critically important About Buying a Used Car?
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Between Age and Mileage, what’s critically important About Buying a Used Car?
Used cars that are fairly new and still have everything intact are cheap and typically cost less to register and insure. What to look for while buying a used car?
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