Deciding whether to buy a new car or that with 100K miles can be a daunting task. Most people will opt to buy a new car just because of pressure from those around them. The result? They end up in debt.
In this article we highlight why buying a 100K miles car wouldn’t be a bad idea as earlier thought. We will look at the advantages, what you need to consider, and more. Let’s get started.
Why buy a car with 100K miles?
According to CNBC the average price of a new car as of 2019 was $36,718. Well, this is a price that most Americans can’t afford upfront. Most take loans to purchase new cars leading to a vicious cycle of paying debts. If only they’d consider buying a car with high mileage, they wouldn’t have to visit banks for loans. So, here are the reasons you need to buy a car with 100K miles.
A car with 100K miles is way cheaper than a new car regardless of whether it is well-maintained. In fact, secondhand cars, on average, cost around $21,000. This is a price that you can comfortably pay for. While you might not get the latest technology or a flashy ride, it’s worth buying since transportation will be much easier. Besides, you’ll be free from debt.
2. Depreciation will work for you
A new car’s worth reduces by 20% within the first year. This in itself is a wrong investment decision. On the other hand, cars with 100K miles and more have minimal depreciation. In fact, you can renovate it and sell it at a higher price which is hard for a new car owner. Besides, not many owners of high mileage cars will waste time arguing about the price tag.
3. Cheaper to maintain
Truth be told, most cars with high mileage are sturdy and can withstand dings and knocks with ease. With a new car, you’ll even have a hard time securing repair parts from garages. The newer the car, the more you’ll have to pay for the repair parts. With a 1000k miles car, you can easily find repair parts from other car owners and garages and they don’t cost an arm and a leg.
4. Cheaper insurance
When buying a new car from a showroom, you must remember that the cost of insurance will be dependent on the value of your car. That means, the higher the value, the more expensive the insurance cover. You’ll find yourself paying more than $500 per month depending on the model of your car.
Now, let’s consider a car with 100K miles. On average you’ll not pay more than $200 per month. And the best part: it will reach a time when this value will stagnate. As such, you can easily budget for the insurance expenses in advance.
5. Cheaper to register
While this can vary from state to state or country to country, the bottom line is that it is cheaper to register a 100K miles car than it is a new one. Consult your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles for a detailed breakdown.
Come to think of it: which are the most reliable cars? The 2010 make or 2000? Well, from our point of view cars manufactured in the early 2000s are more reliable than those we have now. Think of the Subaru Forester, Legacy, Toyota Camry, and others. They still serve us as they did back then. Furthermore, a model like Subaru is still a darling with most car enthusiasts.
With these reasons in mind, I don’t see why you would buy a $38,000 car while a $20,000 will offer better service.
What should you do before buying a car with 100K miles?
1. Test all accessories
You should inspect all the electronic components of the car. This includes the dashboard, heater, A/C, wipers, and others. Ensure that the windows can lower and close and that the dashboard indicators are working perfectly.
Next, inspect the state of the interior. Are the seats well-maintained? Does it feel comfortable inside? Any foul smell from the engine? You should ensure that the interior is close to perfect.
2. Take a test drive
Now, you shouldn’t just take a ride around your town. Drive it in all conditions – in town, rough roads, on the highway, etc. – this will give you a feel of the car. As you drive, listen for odd noises, vibration, and ensure that it follows a straight line when accelerating or braking. Should it pass all these and other tests, you are good to go.
3. Watch out for red flags
After you’ve paid for it, don’t let your guard down. Instead, you should start watching out for red flags. Turns out most cars run normally during a test drive but later you are bombarded with issue after issue. While an engine of a 100K mile car is well-lubricated and healthy, other parts may be susceptible to failure.
This includes the brakes, suspension, axle, belts, bearings, and more. You should therefore take it to your mechanic for a thorough inspection to avoid breakdowns in the future.
4. Ask for the maintenance schedule
All manufacturers recommend a maintenance schedule with the popular being a 30-60-90,000 miles schedule. So, if you are buying a car with 100K miles, you should be well-prepared for the next maintenance schedule.
What should you do when a car is past the 100K miles mark?
Once you drive it for an extra 20K miles, you start changing the fluids. This includes the coolant, oil, brakes, and steering fluid since they age with time.
Also, examine the timing belt for cracks and wear. To avoid engine damage, you should change it soon as you witness cracks. Consider checking the braking pad as it might be worn out and replace it with a new one.
Is buying a car with 100K miles a bad idea?
Absolutely not. It is reliable, cheaper, and more durable compared to a new car. You can easily find repair parts from many garages and car owners. So, if you are thinking of buying such a car, don’t hesitate to do so.
Sam is Automole’s editor-in-chief and classic car enthusiast. Sam is studying mechanical engineering at Cockrell School of Engineering, Austin. He also writes for many top automotive publications and appears on the Collecting Cars Podcast.