All About Limo Journal News

What's the Best Age of a Used Car to Purchase?

Mar 24

Buying a used car offers you the benefit of significant savings. But it's not just any used car. There are many factors that you need to consider to ensure that you are getting an amazing deal, one of which is the age of the vehicle.

If the car is already old, it may be cheap at the time of purchase but the cost of repairs down the line may lead you to spend a lot more than the true value of the car. On the other hand, if the car is a bit new, the price could still be high, thus lesser savings on your end. So the question is, what age of a used car is more ideal to purchase?

The Best Age of a Used Car to Buy

In reality, there is no hard and fast rule for this. You can't say that a 5-year-old car is a better purchase than a 10-year-old car without actually checking the real condition of what you are buying. Simply put, you need to associate age with the overall condition of the car.

However, if a car is well maintained and did not experience serious problems in the past, it would still be reliable at the age of 5. The older a car gets, the more issues will arise including the need for parts replacements. You also need to consider the rising cost to maintain and repair an older car. So before you buy a used car, you need to consider these factors.

Theoretically, used cars that are 2 to 3 years old, provided they have been properly maintained, are a good buy because they are generally still in great condition. At this age, the cars have already undergone the bulk depreciation which happens during the first year of a new car. During the first year, cars can lose up to 30 percent of their value. That means when you purchase a 2- or 3-year-old car, you are buying a second hand car at a lower price point while the car is still in good shape.

Moreover, since the price of used cars generally decreases as they age, if you are considering buying an older car because they are cheaper, it's important to have an idea of the common issues you may encounter. That way, you can get an estimate of the possible repairs and maintenance costs you will spend on top of the purchase price. From there, you will see if you are able to save or not from the deal.

Common Problems in Older Used Cars

The quality of used cars has greatly improved in recent years. And because of this, more and more people are considering buying a used car rather than a new car. In fact, according to Bangkok Post, the pandemic boosted the used car market growth by up to 30 percent. 

However, wear and tear are normal in cars. So if you are buying a used car that is more than 5 years older, even if it is well-maintained, you can expect some common problems to surface including the following:

  • Brakes - When you buy a used car, it may have lightly or heavily worn brake pads. It may only take a while before you'll need a replacement. Depending on the model of the car you have as well as the brand of the brake pad, it generally costs between 1,500 and 3,000 Baht.
  • Engine and drivetrain problems - Over time, the small components in the engine and drivetrain can become compromised due to daily wear and tear. Depending on the issue, these problems can be expensive to repair, so much more if you need replacement parts.
  • Issues in the electrical system - This is also a common problem among used cars especially those that are already 7 years old or older. The cost to fix or replace the electrical parts isn't cheap. When you buy a very old used car, it may not take long before you need to replace the battery, battery cable or alternator. Those costs can easily add up. 
  • Fuel leakage - Any car uses various types of fluid within the system. As the car gets older, deterioration, rust and corrosion can compromise the system, leading to leaks, to the point that it can hinder performance, or become dangerous to drive. 

Those are just some of the commonly reported problems among used cars. They can happen not just with age but also with the level of maintenance done on the car.


The ideal age of a used car to buy is between 2 and 3 years if your budget permits. At this age, the price of the car may still be expensive, but you'll be saved from potential headaches associated with unexpected car repairs or parts replacements which are common among much older cars. 

On the other hand, if you are looking for a more affordable car, you can go as old as five years old. If you go any older than that, the reliability of the car may seriously deteriorate. And this is when you have to deal with the common problems we listed above.