The used car market is always full of good deals. Many people opt for a used car just a few years old rather than buying a new car and taking the hit on depreciation. You have to be careful when buying a used car. We’ll advise about the best age to buy a used car.
What Is the Best Age to Purchase a Used Car?
We have to look at a few different factors to answer this question. Let’s start with the depreciation factor.
Depreciation is the highest cost of ownership for a new car, and it happens as soon as you drive the automobile off the dealer’s lot. In the first year of ownership, a new car can lose up to 20% of its value. After about three years, it will have lost about 60% of its value. So, buying a used car at least three years old is best if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck.
The ‘Sweet Spot’ Factor
There is a sweet spot for buying used cars that falls between three and five years old. The vehicle has already taken its biggest depreciation hit at this age, but it’s still young enough that it hasn’t developed any serious mechanical problems.
Of course, there are some exceptions to every rule. If you’re looking for a luxury or a high-end performance car, you might want to buy a used car that’s even older. These types of vehicles hold their value better than the average car.
The Car’s Type Factor
The type of car you’re looking for will also play a role in deciding the best age to buy. If you’re looking for a basic transportation car, like a Honda Civic or Toyota Camry, you can buy any used model and be happy with it. But if you’re looking for something special, like a convertible or an SUV, you might want to buy a used car closer to new. These cars have more features and options and are often in higher demand than the average car.
Another important factor to consider is reliability. When a car is new, it’s covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Once that warranty expires, you’re on your own. To decide what age is best, it’s important to research the manufacturer’s reliability and the model of your car. Look for reviews from reliable sources like Consumer Reports or Edmunds.com.
Don’t forget to include the cost of maintenance factor when deciding what age is best for you. A used car that’s only a few years old might still be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, which means free or discounted repairs. But an older used car will likely need more frequent repairs, which will be more expensive because a warranty does not cover them. There are some cases where the spare parts for an older car might even be hard to find. This will be a major consideration if you’re looking at a classic car.
The Mileage Factor
Finally, let’s talk about mileage. Generally speaking, the lower the car mileage, the better. But there are a few things to keep in mind here. First, if a car has been driven more than the average number of miles for its age, it’s likely to have more wear and tear. Second, if a car has been driven fewer than the average number of miles for its age, it might have been sitting in a garage for long periods, which isn’t good for the car either. So, while mileage is important, it’s not the only factor to consider.
You must also be wary of the car-clocking scams. This is where the odometer is rolled back to show a lower mileage than the car has done. This is illegal in most countries, but it’s still something to be aware of.
What To Prepare Before Getting a Used Car
Now that you know the best age to buy a used car, it’s time to start shopping. But before you head to the dealer or private seller, there are a few things you should do first.
First, figure out what kind of automobile you need and what features are important to you. Do your research to know exactly what to expect in terms of price, performance, and features. Find out the average price of the make and model you’re interested in, and don’t be afraid to walk away if the seller asks for too much.
Second, get a vehicle history report (VHR) or carfax report for the car you’re interested in. This will tell you important information about the car, like whether it’s been in an accident or had any major mechanical problems.
Third, take the car for a test drive. This is the best way to get a feel for how the car drives and see if there are any problems. Be sure to test all the features and controls, and pay attention to small things like how comfortable the seats are.
Finally, run a car check. Running a vehicle check before purchasing a used car will give you peace of mind. A car check will tell you if there are any outstanding finance agreements or insurance claims against the car, as well as any recorded mileage discrepancies.
Once you’ve done all of these things, you’ll be ready to make a confident decision about the best age to purchase a used vehicle for you.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when deciding what age of the used car to buy. But in general, experts say that the best age to buy a used car is between two and four years old. This is when you’re likely to get the best combination of value, reliability, and safety.
Do you have your eye on a particular used car? Use this advice to help you make the best decision about whether to buy it, and don’t forget to always run a car check before making a purchase.