Sept. 23, 2022

Used Car Mileage Versus Age: Why It Matters

While it's a common saying that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, it's perfectly fine to judge a used car before you buy-in. In fact, it would only be the smart thing to do. Buyer's remorse can be almost completely avoided with research and judgment. The most common mistake for used car buyers is choosing the first car they see – and eventually, you'll find out that you could have gotten a better deal.

The first part of buying a used car should always be doing research. Research the type, research the price, research the brand. Smart buyers even do their research on the seller before purchasing. Used Car mileage versus age is an important thing to compare. Have you found a great car, but with either low or high mileage? Here's what it could indicate for what the car has been through on the road so far: 

Used Car Mileage Versus Age: Why It Matters

Used cars exist in two different states:

  1. A newer model, but with high mileage,
  2. An older model, but with low mileage

Cross-overs of these two exist all over the used car world.  It matters to the next person who will be driving the car (that could be YOU). Mileage could mean that a car has been around the block, but it could also have been taken care of well. Keep reading if you want to know what low or high mileage could mean for the quality of the ride.

About Mileage

Always Compare Mileage & The Service Booklet

Mileage can be deceptive. There are ways of rigging a car's mileage to make it look like there's a lot less on the clock – and for older cars, it can be done by rolling it back manually under the hood. It's a dirty trick, but one that's still known (and used) by many dishonest vehicle sellers. Compare mileage on the clock with what the service booklet states. If the two matches up, then you're more likely looking at an honest seller.

High Mileage? Here's What Really Matters

High mileage on a car means the car has done some distance in its time. That doesn't always matter as much as drivers think – and instead, you should be looking at how well the previous owner took care of the car. Overall care will matter more than mileage.  Did the car see a regular service? Are there obvious mechanical faults (or things that were patched up)? Are there non-original parts or weird modifications? These things all matter, whether the car's mileage is high or low.

Low Mileage? Here's What It Could Indicate

Low mileage is often seen as a plus when buying a used car. While it's certainly true for some of the cars you'll see, it's not always the case.

When a car has very low mileage, it means the car wasn't driven around at all. If you would like to buy it, then you should wonder why. A car that stands around a parking lot too often might be standing there due to physical faults – or, might have picked up issues while not being driven. Ask a seller for their reasons if you notice that the mileage is lower on a used car. If their reasons don't happen to tick, give it a miss and find something better.

Does Mileage Matter? 

Mileage can matter, yes. But it doesn't matter as the single most important thing you should look for when you're interested in buying a car. Condition is a much more important factor. It should be the deciding one. A car in great condition with high mileage is better than a poor vehicle, but with lower numbers on the clock. Even though car buyers have been taught the opposite of this for years, mileage isn't the first thing you should look at when you would like to buy a used vehicle.

About Age 

A car's age should also be something a prospective buyer looks at. More than mileage, comparing mileage and age together can tell you just how much a car was driven during its time. Does the age and mileage match up? There could be several reasons if the age and mileage of the car don't make sense.

Large Gaps & What They Mean

A large gap between the mileage of the car and the age could mean:

  1. The vehicle has had several different owners during its time
  2. The vehicle was owned but never driven

Always compare the two factors. Don't just look at mileage, and don't just look at age. Consider a combination of the two things for a bigger picture of the car you would like to buy.

An inordinately large discrepancy between the age and the mileage of a used car can also indicate that the clock on a used car has been rolled back. If you suspect this has been done, check the rest of the car for possible signs of wear that doesn't match up with how old the car really is.

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If you’re located near Omaha, Lincoln, and Kansas City and have a weak or nonexistent credit score, you are a likely candidate for no credit car loans. However, lenders will still have minimum eligibility qualifications for bad-credit auto loans.

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In any case, we’re confident that we’ll have something that will fit your tastes, needs, and budget. We encourage you to browse our inventory online in Omaha, Lincoln, or Kansas City to narrow down your preferences to make things even faster when you visit our auto dealership.

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