Age vs mileage. Which option is better?

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

24g Worthy1

Car pricing experts at getWorth price thousands of used cars each month, analysing 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?”

Colin 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 analyse this data and can precisely determine the market value of these two cars. A year of age on this Kia Picanto affects the price by 6%, and each kilometre adds 42 cents. This means these two cars should be almost identically priced.

“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.”

Colin explains the reasons behind the getWorth house view. It is mostly use and wear and tear on components that affect 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 would have 30 000 km more 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 a better informed decision.

More Industry News stories

VW employees revamped clinic in township

VW employees revamped clinic in township

The clinic in Kabah, one of Kariega’s oldest townships, which is known for its history of extreme poverty, has received a significant revamp thanks to the efforts of the Volkswagen Community Trust and the employees of Volkswagen Group Africa.

  • 25 July 2024
New appointment at Mercedes-Benz Vans SA

New appointment at Mercedes-Benz Vans SA

Mercedes-Benz Vans South Africa has announced the appointment of Natasha Jardim (main photo) as its new Managing Executive. She succeeds Nadia Trimmel, who is moving to a new position within the Mercedes-Benz Group.

  • 22 July 2024