by Guest Writer: Sally Perkins

Used cars come with many benefits. They’re cheaper to purchase, there’s less depreciation on the value of the vehicle and car insurance is lower. In 2016, 40.6 million used vehicles were purchased by Americans, proving that the second-hand car industry is still going strong. Before buying a used vehicle, it’s recommended that you carry out some research into the make and model you’re thinking of buying as well as the dealer you’re buying from. By following these tips for buying a good used car and considering how old is too old, you’re already one step ahead in the car buying game.


Your budget will more than likely dictate the age of the car you purchase. However, your choice of make and model will also play a vital role. Used cars are typically valued using data points and are then priced accordingly, although different makes and models have different price points. For example, a Ford Fiesta or a Nissan Micra will sell for considerably less than a Mercedes A Class or a BMW 1 Series, therefore you’re much more likely to be able to get a newer Fiesta or Micra for your budget than you are an A Class or 1 Series, but what else should you be considering?


Accidents are inevitable on the road and God may choose for it to be your turn to be involved in one, but even in such a case, you want to be safe in the knowledge that the car you’re traveling in is equipped with safety features. Dual airbags became mandatory in vehicles manufactured from 1998 onwards, while anti-lock brakes and side airbags were commonly available in cars manufactured between the late 1990s and early 2000s.


A reliable car is a necessity to any owner. Whether it’s a daily, hour long commute you do with nothing but the radio for company or a once a week trip to church, you should be able to rely on your car to get you from A to B. Ultimately, the older a car, the more likely something could go wrong with it, thus making it unreliable. Higher mileage cars suffer more wear and tear in general, meaning parts are likely to be worn and repairs required. Parts on older vehicles, especially those which had a limited production run, can also be difficult to source.

How old is too old?

If you’re looking for a car with higher reliability, safety features and access to replacement parts, then Autotrader advises looking for a car registered no further back than the early nineties.

Praying that you’ve found a good, reliable car from an honest seller will get you far when selecting the age of your used vehicle, but be sure to check it’s safety features and its reliability too.