Generally speaking, buying low-mileage used cars could be considered a smart move. The car will be already depreciated in value, so you’re not paying as much as you would for a brand-new model.
What are the risks of buying old car with low mileage? The three most common problems with low-mileage vehicles are inflated prices, lack of use, and the risk of clocking. Find out if the low-mileage car you are trying to buy was driven with enough care and whether it’s really worth the price.
In addition, a used car with low miles is less likely to have mechanical problems than one that’s been on the road for years. However, there are some risks of buying an old car with extremely low mileage.
For one thing, the car may have been sitting in a garage for years and not been driven, which can cause problems with the battery, tires, and other parts of the vehicle. The previous owner may not have properly maintained the car, leading to expensive repairs down the road.
While there are some risks associated with buying a high-mileage vehicle, you might be able to find a good deal on a used vehicle that has been well maintained.
What is considered a low mileage car?
The average mileage driven per year is about 12,000 miles, so a car with less than 50 thousand miles is considered a low mileage car. Of course, this is a general rule, and it can vary based on the depreciation curve of a particular vehicle.
A used car with unusually low mileage will have considerably more wear than a new vehicle. The engine and other components will have been sitting idle for longer periods of time, so a mechanical inspection is a great idea.
Even if the car appears to be in good shape, there could be hidden problems that only a professional would know about. Typically the lower mileage cars that are driven in stop-and-go traffic suffer from the most wear and tear.
Risks of Buying An Older Car With Low Miles
Miles on an older car can be deceiving. If a car was driven fewer miles, it might have been driven harder when it was driven lots of miles. That can mean that even an older car with low miles may have more issues than a newer car.
Cars that are driven fewer miles each year tend to have less wear and tear, but they may have more serious problems. That’s because people who drive their cars fewer miles each year are less likely to take them in for regular maintenance.
A mechanical inspection is always recommended when buying any used car, but it’s especially important when considering an older car. Here are some risks you will need to evaluate when you are trying to buy a vehicle with low miles:
A vehicle history report is an important tool when considering the purchase of any used car, but it’s especially critical when buying an older car with low miles.
The vehicle history report will include routine maintenance as well as any accidents or major repairs that have been made. This information can help negotiate a price for the car.
You can also find out how many miles the car has been driven each year, which can give you a better idea of its true condition. Beware of repeated repairs for any one issue, as this could be a sign of a larger problem.
The odometer reading on older cars can be easily altered, so it’s important to have a mechanic check the vehicle to make sure the odometer reading is accurate.
Twelve thousand miles per year is the average, so if an older car has a reading of less than that on average, be suspicious. If the mileage seems too good to be true, it probably is.
A good way to compare is to run a CarFax or AutoCheck history report. These reports will show you the car’s average mileage per year, as well as any accidents or major repairs that have been made.
A high-mileage car that has not been properly maintained is more likely to have major mechanical problems. Engine problems arise when the vehicle has not been taken to its routine oil changes, which can ruin the engine.
Fuel pump and transmission problems are common in high-mileage cars, as the fluid breaks down and causes damage to the transmission. Wiring and electrical problems can also be common, as the wiring becomes worn and brittle with age.
If the vehicle is not properly stored and sits outside for extended periods, the paint and body can also suffer. Rust is a major problem with older cars, and it can cause extensive damage if not treated quickly.
Another common issue with older vehicles is leaking. Leaks can come from various parts of the vehicle, but the most common are head gasket leaks and transmission fluid leaks. Both of these can cause major engine damage if they are not repaired quickly.
No Warranty Coverage
Depending on the make of the car, there may not be any warranty coverage remaining on old used cars. If the car is out of warranty, any repairs that need to be made will be at the owner’s expense.
One way to mitigate some of the risks of buying an older car is to consider certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. These are used cars that have been inspected by the manufacturer and come with an extended warranty.
Usually, an older car delivers less gas mileage than a newer car. This is something to consider during the car buying process, especially if you’re planning to drive it frequently.
As technology evolves, cars are becoming more fuel-efficient. If you’re considering an older car, find out its miles per gallon (MPG) rating to estimate how much it will cost to fill up the gas tank.
Should you not buy a low-mileage used car?
One of the benefits of buying a used car is the depreciation hit was already taken by the original owner. A car loses a significant portion of its value as soon as it’s driven off the lot, and it continues to depreciate over time.
Do your research and be sure to have the car inspected by a qualified mechanic before making a car purchase. If the car has been sitting for a few years, there may be hidden problems that could be expensive to fix.
However, cars with low miles tend to have more life left than higher mileage vehicles. With proper maintenance, a low-mileage used car can provide years of trouble-free driving.
A new car will come with warranty coverage and peace of mind that all the major components are new and unlikely to fail. If you’re considering a low-mileage used car, choose a newer car with low miles on the odometer reading.
Avoid older vehicles with high mileage as they are more likely to have major mechanical problems. If you must buy an older car, be sure to have it inspected by a qualified mechanic and get a vehicle history report.
Few Tips When Your Are Trying To Buy Low Mileage Car
Unusually low miles on a car could be a sign that it was used as a short-distance commuter vehicle or driven infrequently, which can actually be beneficial.
You can use websites like Grays to find the best deals delivered to your mobile. Look for the best cars with only one owner, as they are likelier to have been babied.
Have a mechanic change the oil no matter how many miles are on the car. Fill out the gas tank and check the fuel performance. If the car was driven infrequently, there might be an issue with the seal’s hardening. This can lead to oil or coolant leaks.
Check for any unusual tire wear, as this can signify improper alignment or other issues. Look at the car’s undercarriage for any dents, scrapes, or rust. These could indicate that the car was driven carelessly.
Get a CarFax report to learn about the car’s ownership history and any accidents it was involved in, check if the miles on the odometer are accurate, and see if it has been recalled.
Look at the car’s service records to see how well it was maintained. Repair bills, oil changes, and tune-ups can give you an idea of what to expect in the future. You are now officially ready for your next car buying adventure!