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Old 19th May 2011, 18:17   #1
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Default Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 years

Hi

I have a question. Some people use cars more than others. Like me. I will be driving aprox 24,000 kms in one year. In 4 years my car would have driven 1 Lac kilometers.

I covered aprox 12,000 kms in 6 months while before I bought this car, I drove 9,000 kms a year on an average.

I used to think that car miles affect the age of the engine. But now I am confused.

So for the same car which would be a better second hand buy - A car that is 4 year old and has done 1 lac kilometers. Or a car that is 6 years old and done 54,000 kilometers.

All other vairables like maintenance, care, single owner etc can be taken to be the same. Just based on mileage which is a better buy.
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Old 19th May 2011, 19:22   #2
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

The more a car runs, the greater will be the wear and to its parts, including the engine. So, for all practical purpose, it is the number of kilometers run than the number of years that matter.

However, the number of years come into play, if there has been new model launches, engine upgrade, warranty offers, etc.

Having said that, it is the amount of use and the way it has been put to use that matters when considering the worth of an used vehicle.
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Old 19th May 2011, 19:26   #3
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

The one which has run less. It's a no brainer if you keep all other factors equal.
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Old 19th May 2011, 19:45   #4
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

While I will also give a thought to how those kms were covered.
I would much rather buy a vehicle which has run 60 K in a city like Jalandhar than a vehicle which may be year younger and would have run only 40K, but in the roads of NCR. Because a tier 2 city like Jalandhar is still freer from traffic snarls and stop go type of traffic that exists in NCR (especially the stop go variety on a flyover).
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Old 19th May 2011, 20:26   #5
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

Interesting question. The more I think about it the more I believe a car which has done 1 lac km in 4 years is better off than one which has done 35000 km in 6 years. My reasons:

1. 6000 km per year is 500 km a month. Most engine wear and tear happens at start-up. Such a car is mostly used for short trips which means the engine rarely reaches its optimum temperature. Wear and tear is more.
2. 2000 km per month sounds like a lot. Well, it is a lot. But there are more chances of this engine been run for a greater proportion of its life at its optimum temperature. Start-up instances would be proportionately lower. Wear and tear would be lower.
3. There are higher chances that someone who uses his car for a lac km would take very good care of his car since he either loves driving or his livelihood depends on it.
4. A car that spends most of its time in the garage may not be serviced as per manufacturer recommendations. For instance, a manufacturer may recommend service every 5000 km or 4 months, whichever is earlier. I would be willing to bet that in most cases cars that are rarely used do not stick to the 4 month guideline. They may undergo service every 5000 km but hardly ever would be taken to the shop when the recommended time has passed.
5. A machinery that is not operated regularly may have its lubricants dry up due to lack of motion. This could create greater friction when the car is used.

PS: I do not quite subscribe to the 'number of previous owners' theory when buying used cars. I bought a 1991 Premier Padmini that had 10 previous owners. All of them had maintained the car impeccably and it served me very well. What matters to me is how well the car is maintained. Everything else is secondary.
PPS: It is a boon for people like me that second hand car prices are inversely proportional to the number of owners. This means we can get some very good cars for very low prices.

Last edited by lucifer1881 : 19th May 2011 at 20:30.
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Old 19th May 2011, 22:35   #6
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

Generally it’s the KMs which decide the age of the car rather than years. I have seen cars as old as 7 years with only around 30K KMs up its sleeve. Wear and tear of engine, tyre, and battery will be greater with the respect to KMs covered. I will prefer a car with 35,000 KMs in 6 years rather than a car driven for 1 lac KM in 4 years.

Since battery is perishable item it will be damaged with passage of time.

Last edited by bluevolt : 19th May 2011 at 22:36.
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Old 20th May 2011, 03:16   #7
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

IMO, an immaculately maintained car that has run 1 lac kms, but spent most of its life on the highway should have a much lesser wear and tear than a car which has run half its kms but spent most of its life in the city.

You want an example? - My car!!.. '07 Ford IKON Flair, run ~1,10,000 kms.
  • Clutch is original.
  • Even some of the front suspension parts are still original.
  • Running on its 2nd set of tyres.
  • Still delivers ~18kmpl on 100% highway runs.
  • Engine still as good and punchy as new!.
  • No rattles, considering the roads and miles it has gone through.

Last edited by dhanushs : 20th May 2011 at 03:18.
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Old 20th May 2011, 08:36   #8
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

This is a very difficult questions to answer.

Todays cars have modern engines and they last forever without a single hitch. I drive a 11 year old Ikon. I've had nearly everything replaced other than the engine and gearbox. The upkeep of this car is very high. In 11 years the car has run only 72000 km's. I made a very wrong decision buying this car. I payed way too much as well. Its just too old. Everything still holds up well but I still can't get rid of minor rattles and little niggles. They just won't go. The car still delivers a very decent 10kmpl in the city and 15kmpl on the highway.

I would opt for a low mileage car. However, a drive is the only way you can judge how the car behaves. An older car may end up feeling better than a younger one. It all depends on how the owner has taken care of it. I would not worry too much about the odometer reading. A well maintained modern petrol engine can go as long as 3 lac kilometers. What you need to look for are things around the car that might fail or fall apart.

Please be careful when you buy. Its not necessary that a low mileage car turns out a better buy. A low mileage car thats been abused will feels like a car thats clocked over a lac on the odometer.

Read as many owner reviews for the car you are about to buy. I discovered team bhp very late. All problems reported for my car are more less spot on for all the problems I am facing. The bad brakes and the high cost of maintaining a Ford Ikon are very normal.

Service records are another way to find out if a owner has cared for the car or not.
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Old 20th May 2011, 10:28   #9
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

From my personal experience, having bought several used cars in the past, this is what I think. Assuming all cars are maintained as per recommended schedule:

If a car has run 20,000 kilometres in a year, and most of it has been on modern highways, it will probably be as good as new. Engine, gearbox, clutch, suspension, and other such parts will not have worn out at all.

If a car has run 5,000 kilometres a year in the city, and mostly for short runs, avoid it like the plague. I have seen cars like this require engine rebuilds at 80K kilometres, clutches require replacement every 20K kms, etc etc.

Ideally, for long life, a car should have been used about 80% on long highway runs. Cars like this will last pretty much forever.
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Old 20th May 2011, 10:38   #10
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

The 6 year old 35,000 driven car is better if they both are the same models.
Minor interior tweaks apart, if the powertrain and the gearbox setup are the same, then I would go for the older car that has run less.

But, if the newer car has a technology advantage over the older car, then probably buy the 4 year old car.

But in any case, a 1 Lakh Km car for a second hand buy is a No-No.
Just because of the wear and Tear that it would have had all over inspite of it being only 4 years old. Not just the engine, but the other consumable and non comsumable parts make it a very old car.
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Old 20th May 2011, 11:09   #11
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

It depends. If the car is idle and rusting for 2 years and run the 35K in 4 years, it makes the choice more tougher. It is very hard to generalize. However, if the usage pattern is even and car is well kept the one with lower mileage scores.
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Old 20th May 2011, 11:42   #12
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

IMHO, the decision taken could also be impacted by the manufacturer/ model and/ or if it is a petrol or a diesel.
For example, try deciding for yourself if you will buy:
- a Tata Indica or a Toyota Innova which have both run 1 lac kms in 4 years. Even if you choose one over the other you may negotiate more for one of them
- a Ford Fiesta petrol or a Ford Fiesta diesel
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Old 20th May 2011, 15:40   #13
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

To cut a long story short, any modern engine will easily last 200,000 kms.....IF it has been maintained & driven well. Thus, the kms are more important than whether it's 4 or 6 years old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by syravi View Post
So for the same car which would be a better second hand buy - A car that is 4 year old and has done 1 lac kilometers. Or a car that is 6 years old and done 54,000 kilometers.
If the age difference is only 2 years, I'd go for the 6 year old example with 54K on the clock.

Of course, the variables are many. For instance, I'd prefer a car that has done 60,000 kms on the highway, rather than 40,000 kms purely in the city. Reason : Highway running is generally easier on the engine than continuous bumper to bumper traffic. Plus, the highway car has a greater probability of having worked at optimal temperatures.

Lastly, as a golden rule, I wouldn't buy a used car with over 75,000 kms on the odo. Sure, if it's my own car with 75K on the clock, I don't have a problem using it till 2.0 lakh kms. But buying someone elses 75,000 kms, of which I have no idea (how it was run, maintained etc.) is a big no-no.
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Old 20th May 2011, 16:37   #14
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucifer1881 View Post
1. 6000 km per year is 500 km a month. Most engine wear and tear happens at start-up. Such a car is mostly used for short trips which means the engine rarely reaches its optimum temperature. Wear and tear is more.
2. 2000 km per month sounds like a lot. Well, it is a lot. But there are more chances of this engine been run for a greater proportion of its life at its optimum temperature. Start-up instances would be proportionately lower. Wear and tear would be lower.
3. There are higher chances that someone who uses his car for a lac km would take very good care of his car since he either loves driving or his livelihood depends on it.
4. A car that spends most of its time in the garage may not be serviced as per manufacturer recommendations. For instance, a manufacturer may recommend service every 5000 km or 4 months, whichever is earlier. I would be willing to bet that in most cases cars that are rarely used do not stick to the 4 month guideline. They may undergo service every 5000 km but hardly ever would be taken to the shop when the recommended time has passed.
5. A machinery that is not operated regularly may have its lubricants dry up due to lack of motion. This could create greater friction when the car is used.
Spot on lucifer1881. Mostly it cant be generalized but, what is been said here is very close to reality.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 20th May 2011 at 16:38. Reason: Mistake
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Old 20th May 2011, 17:00   #15
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Default Re: Which is better - A car which has driven 1 lac kms in 4 years or 35,000 in 6 year

Used car adverts in Germany mention 'langestrecke' (meaning used for long distance driving mostly) against the car, and the offer price is higher than another of the same make and model. While making a counter offer, one is supposed to reckon with this factor.
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