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?


3 Answers 3


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.


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:


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?

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .