When buying used cars, we’d usually notice the aesthetics first. Of course, who would want to drive a car that’s rusty and had undergone poor repainting job?
But beyond the car’s appearance are two important factors we should consider before buying a used car: mileage and age. So, which one is more important? Would you buy a five-year-old car with 150,000 km of mileage, or a 10-year-old car with 50,000 km on the odometer? Here are the answers.
What Mileage Means
Here is the main rule with cars: A vehicle’s performance and integrity wanes the longer it is used on the road. So an automobile with 70,000 km on the odometer should work more efficiently than the same model that already has been driven for, say, 150,000 km. A car’s engine, suspension components and other parts are not designed to last forever.
But there’s a twist:
City driving puts more stress on your car. Those frequent breaks before traffic lights, acceleration, and not to mention the swerves and brakes in heavy traffic, can take a toll on the car’s components such as the break system and suspension. The opposite holds true with long, uninterrupted drive along highways. You get to drive your car at relatively constant speed and you use other systems of the vehicle less often. So you should also factor the kind of mileage before buying the used vehicle you wish to purchase.
How Age Matters
Just because a 15-year-old vehicle has only about 40,000 km does not mean it is any better than a five-year-old car that’s been on the road for 100,000 km. When an older car happens to have less mileage, you might start questioning why it has not been used that frequently. That said, it is less likely that the car has been regularly maintained. Also, some rubber components of an automobile do not age properly when not used more frequently. So start questioning the owner as to why the car has not been used that often, and also look for the vehicle’s maintenance records.
For us, always consider a perfect balance between mileage and age. Both factors are equally important when properly calculated. But no matter how old or how long the car has been driven, one more important factor many buyers tend to overlook is how the car has been used and maintained by the previous owner.
When a car has been previously submerged in floodwater, or when it had been hit in a previous accident, no amount of repairs, good mileage or age could make up for the damage that had been done. To be sure with what you’re getting, get the vehicle identification number of the used car and check it with PPSR. Make sure that your car has not been written off or had not been involved in any physically damaging circumstances before. After all, it’s your investment you want to protect in the first place.