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How old is too old? What car age really means

Latest car guides

April 20th 2021 info

Buying an older car is tempting for many drivers. We’re not talking about vintage, classic cars here, but instead older vehicles with decent mileage. If a car looks like it’s in good nick, but is old, should you be put off driving it?

Sometimes, an older car can offer an irresistible deal. However, can you trust an older car? Is it a red flag?

Here, we talk all about car age: when is a car too old to buy, when is a car considered old and how old “should” a used car be? Find out all the details below.

When is a car too old to buy?

There are two issues people speak about when buying an older car: safety and performance. Typically, mileage is a much better indicator of performance than age. A newer car that has been driven hard with high mileage is “worse” than an older car with low mileage.

Curious about mileage? Learn more in our in-depth blog: Does mileage matter when buying a used car?

An obvious issue is car safety. Older vehicles weren’t made to the same safety standards of today, and it may be disconcerting for drivers to choose a slightly unsafer car rather than spending more on one they know is safe.

Thankfully, the majority of used cars, especially those sold at findandfundmycar.com, are perfectly safe to drive. They may lack some of the latest tech, but that doesn’t render them dangerous. The car still has to pass an MOT and you can make sure you take proper car safety steps.

Vintage, classic cars are more dangerous than modern cars simply because some of them are approaching 100 years old. However, sellers have a responsibility to make them as safe as possible, and you should ask plenty of questions regarding this when buying from a speciality dealer.

So, to answer the question: a car is too old to buy when you choose it to be. There is no hard answer for how old should a used car be, but just ensure that you take the proper safety steps beforehand, as you would with any used vehicle.

Buying an older car: top tips

When buying an older car, there are a few top tips you should follow. Namely:

  • Research more – You should always research before purchasing a car, but this is especially true when buying an older car. Check how the models have historically dealt with ages, and ask on enthusiast forums about buying an older model.
  • Consider factors that don’t affect other used cars – Older, classic cars carry some of the same risk factors as all other cars. However, classic, particularly old cars can suffer from issues like corrosion and rust. Check this thoroughly beforehand with both the seller and research how the model deals with corrosion over time.
  • Insurance – The last thing you want when buying a very old car is to be slapped with a big insurance bill. Check beforehand what insurance is like for the car, and consider if its bargain price is offset by a premium insurance charge.
  • Pay more attention when test driving – Test driving is a cornerstone of getting a good used car deal. However, pay more attention than usual when driving an older car. If it’s been parked up for a while, it could be carrying some issues, and you can use this to negotiate a better deal or opt for something else.

More information can be found in our blog How To Buy An Older Car: A Guide. If you’re still considering between a new car, a used car or even an old car, we have you covered with our New car vs. used car pros and cons: which is best for you? piece.

Discover used cars of all ages today

Whether you’re looking for a classic Triumph or an almost-new Tesla, buying a car carries with it the same steps. Just be vigilant, do your research and take your time, then questions like “when is a car considered old?” will cease to be problems.

Buying from trustworthy, reliable dealers is the safest way to make a good purchase. Discover our full range of used cars today.

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