Presented by getWorth

getWorth: Used Car Age vs Mileage – which way should you lean?

 ·13 Jun 2024

Used car buyers often face a choice: should they choose an older car with lower mileage or a newer one with higher mileage? Which option is better?

Car pricing experts at getWorth price thousands of used cars each month, analyzing market data extensively. Colin Morgan, getWorth’s Head of Pricing, provides an example: “Imagine you are considering two options for the same car, both selling for the same price. One is a 2021 Kia Picanto 1.2 Street Auto with low mileage – only 20,000 km. The other is a 2022 model, but it has 50,000 km. Which one offers better value?”

Morgan explains that market data provides a clear answer: “The used car market acts like a weighing machine. The prices that cars sell for indicate what consumers are willing to pay for different ages and mileages. Our algorithms analyze this data and can precisely determine what the market values for these two cars. A year of age on this Kia Picanto affects the price by 6%, and each kilometer adds 42 cents. This means these two cars should be almost identical in price.”

“However, our in-house preference is slightly different. We tend to favour lower mileage over age. Personally, I would choose the older car with lower mileage.”

Morgan explains the reasons behind the getWorth house view. It is mostly use and wear on components that affects a car’s mechanical condition. The age of the parts makes less of a difference these days. 

Lower mileage usually means the car is in better condition cosmetically as well. “If you assume the exact same driver habits, the higher-mileage car will have had 30,000km more of time in the driver’s seat, wear on the carpets, time on the road with little stone chips and scuffs, and the like.”

Warranties, services, and maintenance plans can also impact the price. For instance, a car with an additional year on its manufacturer warranty and service plan might save you money on a service and present a lower mechanical risk.

While both age and mileage are crucial in determining the value of a used car, expert advice leans towards lower mileage. Lower mileage generally means less wear and tear on mechanical components and better overall condition. Ultimately, understanding your personal priorities and the vehicle’s history is key to making the best decision.

Click here to sell your car with getWorth – We pay the best price in the market for younger, low mileage vehicles by far. 

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