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Does the Value of a Used Car Depend on Its Age?

IndyAutoMan, In : how the value of a used car depends on its age
2015 Mercedes-Benz G-Class G 550

The Value of a Used Car: Age, Mileage and Other Factors to Consider When Making Your Choice

If you are planning to buy a vehicle, the first thing you wonder about is its price. When purchasing a new car, everything is more or less clear. The model restyling, brand reputation, equipment and dimensions will be significant factors affecting the cost. But what determines the value of a used vehicle, and how it depends on its age?

How the Value of a Used Car Depends on Its Age?

Obviously, the less the age, the higher the car price. There is no special formula for calculating the cost, but there is a direct relation with the new car market. And if new cars become more expensive, then the market value of used ones rises.

World-renowned engineer Henry Ford said that the best car is a new one. It’s really hard to argue with this statement. A car that has just rolled off the assembly line looks better and breaks less. Such a car may have only one drawback – it costs more. But as soon as it leaves the gates of the dealership, it loses up to 10% of its value. In the first year after the purchase, it will depreciate by 15%, in the second year – by 25%. Read more about how cars lose value .

Spending the same amount, you can buy a used car of a higher class. When buying a car at the age of 3-5 years, you have a good chance of getting a premium-class vehicle with a high trim level in good technical condition. If you decide to buy a used car from 5 to 7 years old, your chances of getting a time-proven vehicle in an attractive configuration are even higher. But so is the possibility of a breakdown, requiring expensive repairs. Finally, you need to balance all the factors.

Age or Mileage: What Is More Important?

Of course, a two-three year car with low mileage is the best option. You will find a variety of such models at our car lot in Indianapolis. But if you choose between two similar cars, the lower mileage should be the decisive factor.

The wear of almost all elements depends directly on the mileage, or more precisely, on the operating hours. The higher the mileage, the more expensive the car is to maintain. Therefore, when choosing between a two-year car with a mileage of 100 000 and a five-year car with a mileage of 50 000, think twice. It seems, that all other things being equal, in terms of reliability, you’d better prefer the second one if you know that the car was maintained properly. Because 100 000+ miles for a two-year-old car is a signal of heavy usage.

What Else Determines the Cost of a Used Car?

The car aftermarket is part of a complex economic system. On the one hand, it has the properties of a free market, where the price results from the interaction of supply and demand. On the other hand, the activity and prices in this market depend on the general economic situation in the country, the prices in the new car market, changes in legislation, and other factors affecting the economy as a whole.

However, the most important criteria on which the value of a used car depends are:

  • Brand. This factor is equally important for used cars and new ones. Cars from a manufacturer that gained the trust of consumers will have a higher price tag.
  • Technical condition. For this parameter to raise the value, the entire service history of the car must be available. By providing information about the regular professional maintenance of the car, its owner guarantees serviceability and high-quality operation. Which, naturally, makes the vehicle more attractive and leads to its rise in price.
  • Transmission. The manual transmission can reduce the value of the car quite significantly.
  • Exterior. Even minor dents and scratches can reduce the cost, while the signs of rust will significantly devalue the vehicle.
  • Interior. No one will pay much for a dirty interior saturated with cigarette smoke or other unpleasant odors.
  • Tuning. In most cases, an unusual color, a turbocharged engine and other upgrades tend to reduce the cost of the car rather than increase its value. Not all buyers welcome any changes in the traditional vehicle configuration. If something breaks down in the future, the repair of modernized parts can entail expensive and/or problematic repairs.
  • Fuel consumption. For modern cars, this indicator is becoming more significant. On the one hand, low consumption allows you to save money. On the other hand, those who care about the environment will prefer a car that causes minimal damage to nature. Therefore, low consumption can increase the value of the vehicle.
  • History. It is easy to find out the history of a car today – the VIN code of a car can be checked using many online services. For example, you can order a free CARFAX assessment on our website. Such a check will help establish the number of previous owners, and the history of accidents if any. The fewer owners a car has changed, the higher its cost will be.
  • Sale time. In some cases, even the season in which a car is put up for sale has an impact on demand and, accordingly, its cost. For example, convertible owners who sell their stylish cars in winter should not expect increased interest. Better to wait with the sale until spring. It is also necessary to monitor the release of updated models – in anticipation of their release, the cost of previous versions is already significantly decreasing.

Taking into account the above factors, you can roughly understand what cost will be adequate for a particular car.

How to Choose a Used Car?

  1. Determine the decisive characteristics of your future car.
  2. Explore the ranking of the most popular used cars that suit your interests.
  3. Carefully study all the lists of recalled models and repair problems that are discussed on the forums.
  4. Go to CarGurus, Carfax, and get an idea of ​​the average market prices.
  5. Check prices in nearby regions. For example, if you live in Greenwood, you may find a more attractive offer in Indianapolis.
  6. Select 2-3 dealerships and compare their offers. Take a car you like for a test drive.
  7. Look through the list of the models that hold their value and reduce the number of your preferences to 3 cars.
  8. Come for a test drive one more time, analyze prices and conditions and make your choice.

Or save your time and come to Indy Auto Man, and our experts will help you navigate the market. They will tell you about the most popular models, the shortcomings of each engine and body, and provide a detailed analysis of the average market prices. You can begin with point 6 and make a more informed decision, relying on the expertise of professionals and on the information you have already found yourself. If you want to sell your vehicle first, the easiest way to find out its value is to get our free car estimation online or receive a firm offer for a trade-in value .

Drop by to the Indy Auto Man dealership to kick the tires and buy the car that will bring you years of safe and comfortable driving.