CR: Is age or mileage more important when buying a used vehicle?

Experts offer used-car buying advice for when you need to make compromises.

Used Cars Sign Picture Id1026976462From Consumer Reports

Car shoppers often face the dilemma of being drawn to an older model or even a high-mileage model that is otherwise a perfect match for their budget, needs, or tastes. This is especially true in today’s market, where vehicle selection is haphazard and late-model, low-mileage cars are in short supply. If you have to compromise, does age or mileage matter more?

“There isn’t really a hard-and-fast rule here. You have to really scrutinize the car that you’re considering purchasing. Look at the maintenance and repair records to see whether it’s been well-maintained,” says Gabe Shenhar, associate director of Consumer Reports’ auto test program. “But if the mileage is unusually low, you want to really look it over because you don’t want a car that’s been sitting for a long time.”