October 3, 2023

Some people like to drive their vehicles until they can’t drive them anymore. They will put 300,000 miles on their vehicle and do all sorts of repairs to keep it on the road. With time, though, the chassis starts to rust, the doors start to stick, and other important parts of the vehicle start to break down. It is good to save money and keep a vehicle running as long as possible. You may wonder if there is a sweet spot with price, mileage, and age associated with a used car?

Getting the Most Car for Your Money

Since the pandemic, the average price of a vehicle has skyrocketed, according to Edmunds. In May 2020, the average price for a car was $20,923. One year later, the price jumped by 20% to $25,091. The pandemic led to a shortage in car production. Since there are no new cars, people are looking for the next best thing, which is driving the price of used cars up.

Most people think that the sweet spot for buying a used car is between three years and five years old. The car should have between 20,000 and 40,000 miles on it. Again, Edmunds says that the average price of a three-year-old car is $28,289. The average price of a five-year-old car is $23,110. In that two-year gap, you can save around $5,000.

The Sweet Spot for Car Features

If you buy a car built within the last five years, it’s going to have less wear and tear on the engine. It’s also going to have some new technology, like a rearview camera and parking sensors, that you are not going to see on a car that is 10 years old or older.

If you start getting into older cars, they don’t have the safety features you need, like airbags and antilock brakes, that did not become standard until the late 1990s or the early 2000s.

While between three and five years and between 30,000 and 40,000 miles is the sweet spot, this doesn’t mean that you can’t find a nice car that is a little bit older. If an older car has been well cared for, it might be a good option.

For example, if you are looking for something that can be a stopgap between now and a year from now, you might be able to spend $5,000 and get a car with a little bit less than a hundred thousand miles on. You need to be sure that the car you get doesn’t need a ton of repairs. Check the parts that have been replaced, and figure out how much it will cost you to do any repairs. There is no point in purchasing a car for $4,000 and then spending $5,000 to get it repaired.

The price of new cars does not seem to be going down anytime soon. If you’re looking to buy a used car, look for something between three and five years old with between 20,000 and 40,000 miles. This will ensure that you get a quality vehicle at a reasonable price.