What’s more important when buying a car age or mileage?

Often the first two questions you will get asked when selling a car are ”whats age and mileage”.  People seem to be brainwashed into asking these two simple questions. They often have a fixed idea of what they want or at least what they think they want. But it’s also something car flippers focus too much on.

After years in the motor trade our view is that age and mileage doesn’t matter as much when buying cars to flip. Instead, it’s the price you are paying and condition that should be your focus. Yes it’s nice to always buy cars with average or low mileage but older and higher mileage cars aren’t always a bad thing, and can offer good returns.

​After all a 5 year old car with 70,000 miles may have more problems than a 10 year old car with twice the mileage. It often depends on the amount of maintenance that’s been carried out, and how the car has been used. Some higher mileage cars we have bought in have had thousands lavished on them in recent years, with some benefiting from new gearboxes or engines.

Avoiding cars with rust, mechanical and electrical issues regardless of age should take priority over a cars age or mileage. These seemingly little problems can be very expensive and time consuming to remedy. This is also one of the reasons it’s so important to inspect and test drive a car prior to purchase. You should never judge a car’s condition solely based on its looks, age and mileage. Ideally you should inspect a car on a ramp thoroughly checking the mechanical parts whilst looking for and corrosion and body damage under a car.

Ideally you should inspect a car on a ramp thoroughly checking the mechanical parts whilst looking for and corrosion and body damage under a car. Checking the V.I.N, M.O.T. certificate and history, service record, wheelsandtyres, body, interior, engine bay, engine/gearbox, brakes and C.V joints​​

Modern technology and manufacturing techniques now mean cars run more reliably, and when properly maintained can easily achieve 200,000 miles without requiring major repairs. The same is true with modern rust prevention and the higher standard of panel and paint finish. 100,000 miles on a vehicle is now considered mid-life, where as only a few decades ago it would have been scrap. 

So you need to look beyond these factors, and instead focus on the condition and price. These are the two factors that will dictate how much money you will ultimately make on the flip. You should search out cars with a great history, that are free from problems and cheap. These are the cars you want to be buying to flip. 

Conclusion

The question both flipper and buyer should be asking is ”what’s the condition and the price” and not ”what’s the age and mileage”.

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