What's the "sweet spot" age/mileage for a used car purchase?

What's the "sweet spot" age/mileage for a used car purchase?

Author
Discussion

E38Ross

27,515 posts

179 months

Monday 30th April 2012
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Fox- said:
bqf said:
I think buy new, keep for 10 years is better.
I'd quite like to do this, though 6 months old rather than new. I really get a lot out of long term car ownership and really enjoying keeping a car mint. I've had mine 6 years now, probably 7-8 when it gets replaced and I see no reason why I wont want the same from the next car.
i was tempted to do this with my old E21 but then wanted 6 cylinders or more. being 23 and a student even a 728i is pushing the limits a bit....i wish it had a bit more power etc but in reality it's all the car you NEED.

had a chat with my old man earlier as he is about finished on the payments for his M3, so it's basically 100% his now; initially he planned on selling once this was the case.

4 years on now and he loves it to pieces still. i keep it tidy by detailing it every now and again, it's wearing just about the best paint protection out there (none of this wax crap....it has gtechniq C1 on it) and it gets serviced exactly when it needs it and it's never been more than 7500 miles between oil changes. he's decided to keep it, and keep pampering it. i'm trying to convince him that in a few more years when he can no longer keep the warranty (100k miles) maybe i could have it off him hehe

alternatively Fox- if you want a tidy, mechanically brilliant (and cosmetically too) 728i with FSH (and i do mean FSH) to swap then let me know hehe i some how doubt that'd be the case, mind.

james280779

1,931 posts

196 months

Friday 8th June 2012
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Vantagefan said:
I was just looking at used cars in New Zealand (contemplating a move) and the amount of cars around $10k - $15k (half for £'s roughly) with almost 200,000km on the clock is insane. The culture there seems to be really running them into the ground, rather than scrapping something that needs a few hundred pounds worth of work.
same here in australia, I think because the air is cleaner, weather tends to be better and speed limits are lower and people actually drive slower the cars last ALOT longer. I see people using cars from the 70's everyday as daily drives.
There also isnt the buying culture here, people use it until its finished then buy a new one, there isnt the pressure to look good and impress the neighbours.
As a result when people sell cars they hold their value. I sold my 1994 jeep cherokee 4.0 in fairly poor condition with broken 4wd for $6000. And that was considered cheap!

Marquis Rex

7,377 posts

206 months

Friday 8th June 2012
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I'd say 40 years old!
My 1970 Dodge Challenger has a much much more compliant ride than my 993 Turbo. It rolls alot -an advanced feature that helps with wet whether handling -giving plenty of warning.
The engine makes a much nicer noise than my Jaguar XJR or my BMW M635CSi- very burbley and it doesn't have an annodyne and boringly smooth idle.
It's easy to work on- even easier than my dodge Ram truck.
It's very easy to do burn outs with and the duo servo drum brakes- another advanced feature mean they're easy to lock up and initiate drifting with.
The steering is super light with no kick back whatsoever.
The engine feature state of the art integrated fuel/air modules that premix the fuel/charge upstream of the ports before introducing it to the chamber for very good atomisation.
The combustion chamber makes alot of motion and squish so the engine runs leaner at part load for efficiency- none of my more modern catalyst cars are able to do this and run stoichiometric.
The live axle ensures that the wheels are always perpendicular to the road- unlike my BMWs which means that they don't get negative camber and grip on the shoulders under power or under load, neither do they toe in or toe out on tranisient power on-off manoevers. Obviously Mopar had more advanced suspension systems than BMW did decades later.
Easy DIY on this car. Comes with a great 'social scene'. Healthy after market supporting parts supply.
The car must have cost about $2-3K in 1970 but is probably worth $40-50K now so I'd definately call that something of a sweet spot.

Marquis Rex

7,377 posts

206 months

Friday 8th June 2012
quotequote all
james280779 said:
Vantagefan said:
I was just looking at used cars in New Zealand (contemplating a move) and the amount of cars around $10k - $15k (half for £'s roughly) with almost 200,000km on the clock is insane. The culture there seems to be really running them into the ground, rather than scrapping something that needs a few hundred pounds worth of work.
same here in australia, I think because the air is cleaner, weather tends to be better and speed limits are lower and people actually drive slower the cars last ALOT longer. I see people using cars from the 70's everyday as daily drives.
There also isnt the buying culture here, people use it until its finished then buy a new one, there isnt the pressure to look good and impress the neighbours.
As a result when people sell cars they hold their value. I sold my 1994 jeep cherokee 4.0 in fairly poor condition with broken 4wd for $6000. And that was considered cheap!
Actually it's the way in the USA also. Especially in the dryer states like California and Arizona where cars dont rust and you sport 1960s Dodge Darts being driven to work daily or air cooled VW Beetles. However even in places were cars rust like Michigan and Chicago the older cars that do survive hold their value ALOT better. This is to do with the lack of MOTs I reckon. What is Australia and NZ like in terms of extensive MOT testing? MOTs fast make a car become obsolete and shoe them off the road- thus making them value less. This doesn't happen so much here. Hence you can pick up a old Chevy Caprice old cop car that about 20 years old and it will still fetch $2-3K. My mate who moved to Australia cars hold on to their value even more so from what I've heard though

choading

116 posts

150 months

Friday 8th June 2012
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E38Ross said:
Yup, my mates 21 year old 535i with 240k on the clock is also dead, despite being in daily use.
Have you read the original post? The op asks about a 3yr old car!

Glad you got rid of that ugly BMW though smile

choading

116 posts

150 months

Friday 8th June 2012
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Many years in that 7 series too (Y)

E38Ross

27,515 posts

179 months

Friday 8th June 2012
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Marquis Rex said:
I'd say 40 years old!
with all due respect, there are just as many, if not more reasons why something considerably younger is, for most people at least, is by far the better buy. it's an interesting point, because some cars clearly suit some better than others.

interesting you say one of the positive points to owning an older car was not having a smooth idle. i've always wanted a car with a rough idle hehe

E38Ross

27,515 posts

179 months

Friday 8th June 2012
quotequote all
choading said:
E38Ross said:
Yup, my mates 21 year old 535i with 240k on the clock is also dead, despite being in daily use.
Have you read the original post? The op asks about a 3yr old car!

Glad you got rid of that ugly BMW though smile
nice of you to miss the rest of my quote out....i wasn't replying to the original post. i was replying to another, you know, the couple i actually quoted.

Vince70

1,930 posts

161 months

Friday 8th June 2012
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I normally go for a lowish mileage car with service history if I can, my a4 was bought with 53,000 on the clock and drives spot on and is 17 years old my fathers a6 was bought with 71,000 on the clock at 16 years old and has only needed two new tyres and a set of wiper blades in 3 years.
I guess a lot is down to the quality of the car, and if it's been serviced on a regular basis also how it's been driven over the years.
But It's a bit of a lottery really.
I once bought an ex company car off my old boss and it was a 2.0 litre petrol Citroen xantia which was still on the original clutch and gearbox and it had done close to 200k I had the car for 3 years and it never had any issues in all that time. But I did know it was well looked after plus had been driven with care from day one.
I sold it to a friend Who had it for a year and the only reason it ended up as scrap was because someone stole it and it ended up being used in a ram raid.

Marquis Rex

7,377 posts

206 months

Friday 8th June 2012
quotequote all
E38Ross said:
with all due respect, there are just as many, if not more reasons why something considerably younger is, for most people at least, is by far the better buy. it's an interesting point, because some cars clearly suit some better than others.

interesting you say one of the positive points to owning an older car was not having a smooth idle. i've always wanted a car with a rough idle hehe

Stenoah12.

5 posts

41 months

Wednesday 7th February 2018
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Can any one help me ! Am buying a used car decent price ,looking at it at the weekend .now it only has 44k mileage 2012 plate ,but has had 3 owners ,why would it had bin passed about so much a for 6yr old motor

Triumph Man

7,340 posts

135 months

Wednesday 7th February 2018
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I dunno, maybe it's st?

Big GT

1,191 posts

59 months

Wednesday 7th February 2018
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Top thread resurrection Noah and welcome.

Depends on the car?
Was it a company car for the first 2 years? then 2 private owners?
Where was it serviced?
Dealer?
Area of country?
MOT history?
Advisories ?

Sometimes looking at all these pieces you can put the puzzle together and get a good idea about the car. Also check overall condition.

AC43

9,165 posts

175 months

Wednesday 7th February 2018
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My last 4 have been

- 3 years/30k
- 6 years/65k
- 5 years/93k
- 7 years/54k

No real pattern except that they have all been V8 Merc's with tons of options.

The last one is the oldest but also the best in terms of grunt, kit, capability & condition.

Obviously cherished, it drives like a new car.

laters

320 posts

81 months

Wednesday 7th February 2018
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Missed this thread first time round so for me there is no sweet spot for age/mileage its all about condition.
.
When I first started driving the majority of cars would be well past it at 100,000 miles.

My late father thought I was crazy buying a Peugeot 309 diesel with over 100,000 miles on the clock.
Turned out to be one of my best cars for reliability and I only sold it because it was getting very rough. It had over 250,000 miles on it when I had finished with it.
The gearbox was rattling & I had replaced a few parts several time over but it still ran fairly well.
I don't know how old the clutch was when I bought it but in the 150,000 miles I added it was still on the same clutch I bought it with.




Edited by laters on Wednesday 7th February 11:46

DanielSan

16,449 posts

134 months

Wednesday 7th February 2018
quotequote all
Stenoah12. said:
Can any one help me ! Am buying a used car decent price ,looking at it at the weekend .now it only has 44k mileage 2012 plate ,but has had 3 owners ,why would it had bin passed about so much a for 6yr old motor
Some people don’t keep cars that long.

Limpet

4,769 posts

128 months

Wednesday 7th February 2018
quotequote all
Stenoah12. said:
Can any one help me ! Am buying a used car decent price ,looking at it at the weekend .now it only has 44k mileage 2012 plate ,but has had 3 owners ,why would it had bin passed about so much a for 6yr old motor
An owner change every 18 months to 2 years or so doesn't sound too bad.

There's no real rule with number of owners. One owner from new cars are always sought after, but you could equally ask why a car owned by the same person for years is suddenly up for sale. What's wrong with it?

Buy on condition and service history, and unless the car has a succession of very short term (1 month) owners, which does indicate there's something expensive lurking underneath that nobody wants to deal with, don't worry about it.

mcflurry

8,822 posts

220 months

Wednesday 7th February 2018
quotequote all
Stenoah12. said:
Can any one help me ! Am buying a used car decent price ,looking at it at the weekend .now it only has 44k mileage 2012 plate ,but has had 3 owners ,why would it had bin passed about so much a for 6yr old motor
My guess - From 0 to 1 year it was a hire car, then bought privately as a 1 year old car, kept for 3 years when another private owner bought it?


LarsG

989 posts

42 months

Wednesday 7th February 2018
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There is a You Tube video on this subject including graphs of costs and repairs etc.

Sweet spot to buy is 18-24 months on average 12,000 mile a year mileage. From 8-10 years or 86-100,000 miles it is time to say goodbye because the costs of repair can outweigh the value, though saying that a 56 C-Max I had was traded in for £2000 with 146,000 miles and full service history. Apparently no longer on the road according to DVLA.

The Mondeo Estate I bought in Dec last year was a 16 plate last day of June Car, £36,000 new without discounts. I got it for £17,500 and 14,000 miles. Has all extras bar a sunroof.

Mileage is no real issue as I run a number of vans during the week and usually average 4000 miles a year in my car.

Let someone else take the initial depreciation

Edited by LarsG on Wednesday 7th February 14:52

LarsG

989 posts

42 months

Wednesday 7th February 2018
quotequote all
If the car had low mileage and has only been used for city driving will have more wear than a car of the same age with lots of motorway miles. A service history is also important because it shows the owner has cared for the vehicle.

It is also worth checking on the DVLC website on the cars MOT history if it is older than three years. It shows if it has failed any tests or if there was an advisory. It's also free. You can find out if it is taxed too.

Buy a magnet and check body work for filler and panel alignment and paint overspray or paint ridges where it may have been taped over after an accident repair.

Finally pay for a check to see if it's not got outstanding finance or been subject of an insurance claim.

Any hint of insurance claim walk away there are plenty more too choose from.

Edited by LarsG on Wednesday 7th February 15:06