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.
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.”