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So the title is pretty self explanatory. I'm looking at getting a minivan, and there is a 2011 model with 50k miles, and a 2008 model with like 30k miles.

What's better? Is it better to have something newer with more miles? The other way around? It depends?

Thanks!

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3 Answers 3

The real question is: How well was it taken care of? People that don't take care of them do the most damage over time or miles. Does the seller have copies of service records?

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It depends! A few things to consider:

  • One or more owners
  • Parked on street or in (heated?) garage
  • Insurance may be cheaper for older model
  • Newer model may be better equipped

Also, there have been a few questions on idling vs. (highway) miles:

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As well as the items suggested by jensgram, it is also important to consider the type of milage it is likely to have, and how well maintained it will be.

A large saloon with a high milage is likely to have been a rep-mobile - it will have done most of its miles on the highway, at high speed. On the other hand, a smaller, older hatchback with very low miles will probably have been owned by an older person, and only used for popping down the shops. IMHO the latter is worse - without being used, seals dry up, parts perish more quickly etc, and maintenance is more likely to have been neglected. On the other hand, a sports car with a low milage is likely to have been a cherished second car, and will have been looked after more carefully.

I normally work on an avarage, for a UK car, of around 10-12k per year, so if a car has done a lot more or less than that I'd be more cautious about it. 50k miles in less than a year seems like an awful lot, and I'd suggest that was probably a commercial/fleet vehicle, wheras 30k in three years sounds quite normal to me. Obviously this does depend on the average milages in your area though.

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