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View Poll Results: The max km you are comfortable with, when buying used?
<25,000 km 179 27.54%
26,000 - 49,000 km 319 49.08%
50,000 - 74,000 km 70 10.77%
75,000 - 99,000 km 16 2.46%
I'm okay with 100,000+ km cars 66 10.15%
Voters: 650. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 22nd February 2020, 08:31   #31
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

It all depends on condition, past use, future use and owner

Generally around the 30000km mark there might be big bills for the brakes

Again at 60000 if a manual transmission or a diesel engine. for clutches, flywheels and EGR valves

However, if the car has been used for 80% highway driving, you could look at 50000k and 75000km respectively.

I bought a Skoda Octavia RS at 24k low but usage was evidently rough and spent loads of money on it. The Polo had 29000km but had been well maintained till mothballed and all it needed were new brake rotors.

Coming to future use, in my current state, I might do only 3-5000km per annum. I might as well buy a well maintained high miler and let my use reduce the average annual mileage.

For me, it is not so much mileage but condition
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Old 22nd February 2020, 08:56   #32
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

Can stretch to cars under 40,000kms but mentally I would be more comfortable with sub 30K kms on the odo.

Anything more than 30K just seems to have minor things out of place or more wear than what I want.

Even if I buy used, it shouldn't really look used and after some detailing and work should look as good as new. This is only possible with a sub 30K kms car and less than 5 years old.
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Old 22nd February 2020, 09:06   #33
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

I think it is not simple equation. Many factors influences the decision

Few of them includes:
Car manufacturer,
Owner or chauffeur driven,
Friend car or stranger car,
Car dwelling city,
Driven mostly in city or long drive etc

Given all above variances, it becomes tough to answer.

I will definitely increase doubt levels when a car is on sale within 10000 KMS because, the owner may be selling a lemon after realizing his mistake.

I will not doubt a Toyota car even if it has run 100000km but have near zero confidence on a similarly run Tata car

Assuming a Toyota car from a friend within Bangalore city mostly run long drives, I think it is safe bet between 30K to 40K KMS run car

Last edited by gkveda : 22nd February 2020 at 09:10.
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Old 22nd February 2020, 13:15   #34
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

As an owner of a 2006 city zx CVT which I picked up with 98k on the odo. I voted for being ok with 100k plus cars. It has its own pros and cons. For me the usage has been a mixed bag but more or less I'm happy with my purchase.


- Dirt cheap. Got a first owner example for 170k.
- Powerful. Quicker or as quick than any new car in the sub 10 lac price range.
-Spacious, Comfortable seats, compliant ride and a butter smooth CVT.
Have done Mumbai-Pune/Goa/Baroda/Thrissur/Konkan with absolute ease.
- Acceptable fuel efficiency of 11 in city commute and 16 on highways.

- Lacks safety. No Airbags or ABS, though it's solidly built.
- Engine gets noisy. ( It's 13 yrs old duh)
- Numerous rattles and vibrations on bad roads. This is something I actually hate but I'm living with it. The music system helps.
- Pathetic ground clearance, have scraped just about everywhere.
- Rust. While I bought the car over its engine, gearbox and ride, this is one aspect that I missed. An important lesson which is now a part of my used car inspection priority list.

Financially, after all the cash I spent for on the cars maintenance and upkeep, the total cost is still lesser than an entry level hatch.

Till now I have taken the odo to 135k. Plan to drive this car till it's scrap or when I'm rich enough to replace it with a Harrier auto or a Compass auto. The Altroz turbocharged auto and Duster 1.3 should be worthy replacements on the affordable side. Or maybe the electric scene gets better by then.

But yes. Will go for a new car next, or maybe a used Octy? Who knows
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Old 22nd February 2020, 17:45   #35
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

Originally Posted by Turbohead View Post
I Personally, I'd prefer highway driven cars which have done high mileage in very little time, say 50k kms in 2 years.
Sounds like my Scorpio. Bought it in Nov 2018, 2015 model at 20k km (with full company service history) and it is now at 54500, will cross 56k over this coming week.

If I were to sell it Id get ridiculously low offers citing the high mileage so whats the incentive for me to do so? Id much rather run it for a couple of lakh km or so.
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Old 22nd February 2020, 18:23   #36
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

Guess I am not the best person to comment on this - I have bought only one used car (my first, a 19500 km run, 1995 Zen bought in 1998). But the philosophy that underlay that purchase still holds - I would buy only a lightly used car, preferably from someone I know (though a manufacturer guaranteed piece could also be considered). Why? In India, most cars wear out a lot faster than cars in other markets due to our high pollution leading to more corrosion, poor roads, and slow city traffic. Further, the bulk of the depreciation in a car takes place in the first 2-3 years, loss of value after that is limited (in percentage terms). Which is why I prefer to keep my cars for ~ 7 years rather than sell at 3.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 01:41   #37
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Default Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

I slice it based on my budget for the depreciation part of ownership, and how long I plan to own it. For example if I budget say Rs.50K per year or 4K per month for depreciation. I can
- Buy something for 10.5 lakh, own it for 20 years and let it go for 50K. So, say a Polo or something.
- Buy something for 6 lakh, own it for 10 years and let it go for a lakh. Say, a lightly used Swift or Figo.
- Buy something for 3 lakh, own it for 5 years and let it go for 50K. Say a previous gen Figo that would already be like 7 years old, or maybe a K10 that is newer.
- I could go further down this line of thinking, buy a much cheaper Lancer/Cedia and give it up after a couple of years. Same cost of depreciation.

Odometer reading would correspond accordingly. At around 10K km per year in line with the year of ownership. At least I would shop that way, to ensure it was neither sitting idle nor overworked. I'd also look at the profile of the person owning it, neither someone so ignorant that they'd neglect maintaining it nor someone who's so much a boy-racer-enthusiast that he would drive it hard (nothing wrong with doing so, it's just in my own Interest to avoid those).

I would keep all these options in mind when I go shopping.

To some extent, my current cash budget would also influence which I pick of these, which would subsequently decide how long I should own the car I buy. I prefer that over going for a loan. Instead, I will put 5k or 6K per month in an SIP, and after that planned ownership period - 5 years or whatever - I'll pull out a part of that towards replacing the car, and leave the rest in there for similar things to do with a bike (I'll always buy a bike brand-new, though).

Last edited by rajushank84 : 23rd February 2020 at 01:50.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 01:55   #38
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

A well maintained 100000 km run car is much better than a car that has been driven 10000 km in the same time period.

For eg if I have a choice between a 2008 corolla that has been driven 100000 km plus and one that is like 25k, I would choose the former. The reasons are fairly simple. The first case seems genuine with no tampering done to the odometer. The latter might not be the true mileage of the car. Secondly, the first car would be taken to the service center in definite frequency for its periodic maintenance. The latter wouldn't have been. Although if the second has run genuinely 25k too, there might be some hidden niggles or parts that has been worn off and hasn't been noticed.

2 years back I brought home a 2005 corolla AT that looked factory fresh for peanuts. The car is still running and loved in the family.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 05:38   #39
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

Regardless how the car feels or looks, my upper cap is 35k km and it's purely psychological. I have owned 3 pre-worshipped cars and I have been lucky to get very low mileage ones (one of them being as low as 9.5k km). Of course, mileage aside the car should be kept well!
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Old 23rd February 2020, 10:45   #40
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

Quite surprised to see more votes for 100,000+ km cars than the 50000 - 99000 range combined .

I personally wouldn't ever buy a 100,000+ km car. Not just because of the suspect reliability, but also because 90% of the examples out there feel very "old & wornout" to drive. Few people maintain their cars in top shape & I like my cars feeling "tight".
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Old 23rd February 2020, 12:41   #41
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

Of late, with the way car prices have been shooting ever more northward, it's hard to argue against going with a pre-owned car. There are several challenges to overcome, of course. How do you know the treatment meted out if there are multiple owners? Is there more to her than meets the eye? Will it be problematic to own?

Of course, there's a lot of due diligence to do, but I fundamentally agree with Ajmat that it's more about condition than mileage. I stated 25,000 as my psychological limit, but I'd happily go double that if everything checks out with the car in question. It's all about the way the car makes you feel, I reckon. You really do have to walk into the deal eyes wide open, having done your research. There will always be variables at play, it really is up to you to keep the unknowns to a bare minimum. And not everyone has the appetite for that.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 13:28   #42
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

As some of you will know, I am a huge fan of used car. I never buy new.

When it comes to the upper limit in general I would say the higher the better! Anything up to 100 - 150.000 km does not worry me perse. But then again, it does depends on the overall package. Admittedly, cars do tend to lead a much harder life in India than in most of the west. So stand by for some western bias, because that is where most of my experience is, unfortunately.

There is still this misconception amongst many, that buying a car, any car, with more than a 100K on the clock is a recipe for disaster. It simply is not true, although you do need to pay attention to some things. One thing is for sure, no matter how well and lovely attended, maintained and driven at that sort of mileage just about all cars come very cheap with virtually no depreciation at all.

Yes, it is likely to come with some more maintenance, but just check the numbers, you can buy an awful lot of parts for what most cars would cost you in annual depreciation alone.

You are worried about the brakes on your next potential second hand car buy. Look up the cost of the callipers and rotors and check the depreciation. You will be laughing when you shell out some money for a complete brake overhaul!!

Obviously, the overal state of the car would be a very big consideration. Also, the period in which the mileage was raked up. 100.00 km in three years would be an absolute no brainer for me. That will be a lot of motorway driving. Car would be hardly broken in. 50.000 km in 15 years??? Well, that means lots of very short drives, engine hardly getting to normal operating temperature. Likely much more wear and tear on this engine than the previous one.

Around 100K many engines will require the distribution chain/belt replacing. That is always worth checking. On most engines it is quite a job and afterwards the engine will be as new again (well as far as the chain/belt is concerned). If somebody selling a car claiming it has been done, I need evidence. Otherwise, use it to haggle down the price. Same thing with other bits, worn or suspected brakes? Price should come down.

A few of my own examples: I bough my 2002 Jaguar in 2009 from Ebay. It has 93000 miles on the clock (155000 km). The car had a full Jaguar maintenance history. I used it for three years as my daily drive whilst we lived in Kansas city. Then I brought it back to my home country the Netherlands in end of 2012 with about 145000 miles on it. Since I have added another 20000 miles.

This car was in excellent condition and still is. The original MRP was USD 75000 and I bought it for USD 10000. It has not depreciated at all since 2009!

GTO has started a thread, and often commented, on the fact that buying second hand will also allow you to buy a more luxurious car. See my Jaguar for case in point. Here in the Netherlands we bought my wife a one year old Ford Fiesta with 15000 km on the clock. Costed Euro 12000,--. The Fiesta had costed Euro 16.500. So one year, 15000 km and Euro 4500 is gone!! Still, it costed more than my Jaguar!!

In the last couple of months I have put new tires on all our six cars. Now that makes for some interesting comparisons as well: For the cost of fitting the Fiesta with four new tires, I can not even buy one tire for the Jaguar.

When you want to make a financial comparison, new versus old, or old via older, always look up at the depreciation. Because that is your BIG saving! And it tends to buy you an awful lot of new parts!!

So yes, second hand gets you more, (better, faster, cooler, luxurious) but certain parts of car ownership will be more expensive. That is not due to second hand ownership, that is for when the car is new too. Buying second hand allows you to step in on that downward spiralling desecration curve. Yours to choose how far you want to spiral down.

There are other considerations too. Expected usage. When we lived in India all my classic cars and my Jaguar were in storage. But we happened to be travelling to the Netherlands quite a bit. Especially my wife. So we decided we needed a little simple ran about car. So we bought a 15 years old Ford Fiesta with about 100.000 km on the clock for only Euro 1200. It even came with a set of brand new tires. (Admittedly a brand I had never heard of). For context, in the Netherlands, a decent bicycle will cost about the same.

Sat in front of our house, patiently waiting for months, until one of us was home for a few days. Started up every time, never not one problem in five years of ownership. Little cars like that, recently maintained, last almost for ever! Buying one with high mileage is almost a no brainer. If something serious does break down, you just trade it in for something similar for a couple of hundred Euro’s.

For a little run about, that gets occasional use it makes much sense. Perhaps less so, if you need your car every day to go to work!

When you are looking for a particular car / model, you might be limited by what mileages you can get. We had a Jeep Cherokee. Great car, but in the US you won’t find anything with less than 150000 miles on it. Most likely a lot more! And still they keep going, almost all petrol engines too!

So in all, it comes down to personal preference and to what extend you feel comfortable with.

My daughter and son in law are expecting their first baby in a few months. Our first grand child!! They are well into their thirties. Never owned a car. Here in the Netherlands it is not really necessary. They travel by bicycle up to 20-25 km or take train, tram, bus for longer distances. But with a baby on the way, they have decided a car would be nice and a lot more convenient. E.g. it takes them about 1 hour to visit us and it takes the bus and a train and then we need to come and pick them up, by car, from our local station, another 15 minutes. Was fine. But with a baby, pram and all the accessoires new Mum and Dad typically lug around a car will make it so much easier. Door to door only 30 minutes.

So next weekend we are going car hunting. Obviously, second hand. They are homing in on a nice Toyota Yaris. And their budget is Euro 5-6000, which should get them a very nice one too. If anything these tend to be extremely reliable.


Last edited by Jeroen : 23rd February 2020 at 13:37.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 14:22   #43
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

It depends on the type of vehicle. If it is a low end vehicle costing up to say 15 lakhs and you want to keep it for a long time then it makes sense for it to less than 3 years old with less than 50k on the odometer. On the other hand, if I am looking for a 7 series, S class or XC90 costing over 1 crore and I don’t want to spend an enormous amount of money, then I would go with a 5 to 7 year old vehicle with mileage between 70 to 150k for around 10 to 15 lakhs. For me this is a great deal as I am driving a high end vehicle with latest technology at a fraction of the price. One has to find a vehicle in good mechanical and physical condition and then be ready to spend a few lakhs over the next few years.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 17:46   #44
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

25-50k kms range for me. Lesser the merrier. Here is the list of do readings of a few used cars I have bought in recent past:
  • Example 1: 40 days old, 2,000 kms (A VW)
  • Example 2: 17 month old, 47,000 kms (A Mahindra)
  • Example 3: 4 year old, 66,000 kms (A Toyota)
  • Example 4: 7 year old, 88,000 kms (A Toyota)
  • Example 5: 4 year old, 63,000 kms (A Toyota)
  • Example 6: 3 year old, 71,000 kms (A Toyota)
  • Example 7: 11 month old, 13,000 kms (An Audi)

Other than these, I had a few flips too which I bought as an impulse, just to sell them off later at a profit. But yes, from the above list, it is clear that if it's a Toyota; then I can look for examples above 50,000 kms too; else it's a clear NO NO.

When it comes to selling off used cars, again I would like to highlight that not a single time a used car has waited even for a week in my garage from the day I declared that I am selling it off (Even the Laura petrol too), if you maintain them well and people in your circle get to know that you are selling one; they consider it as an opportunity to grab a good car at a reasonable price, and frequently they appear themselves or a buyer in their circle for your car. Here are a few examples:
  • Skoda, 1,18,000 on odo, 3.8 lac, 4th day the car got sold
  • Toyota, 1,09,000 on odo, 6 lac, same day sold out
  • Toyota, 1,13,000 on odo, 7 lac, sold out in 3 days
  • Toyota, 1,37,000 on odo, 5 lac, sold in 2 days
  • Mahindra, 68,000 on odo, 7 lac, sold in one hour (Was an impulsive sale)

In a similar manner, I too have my eyes set on a few cars in my circle. Here is one guy I know. His cars get sold the same day or the day next irrespective of the odo reading. It all depends on the reputation you have in your circle when it comes to your car(s).

But yes, mostly I prefer the cars below 50,000 on odo; but if it's an example I am seeing from day 1; or is under the ownership of some particular people - I would buy them with even higher mileage.
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Old 24th February 2020, 09:52   #45
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Default Re: Used Cars: Your upper limit for the km / odometer reading

I'd say 35k km would be my sweet spot for most cars. However, I'd be comfortable with a higher mileage Toyota if I can get clean maintenance records
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