Mileage & year of construction: which one is more important?

The two most important factors for the price of a car: the mileage and the year of manufacture. Is low mileage always better? And what is more important; the odometer reading or the year of construction? Of course, there is no perfect odometer reading or year of construction. In this article, you can get more info on high mileage 

Low mileage: the car is like new?

Imagine. You are looking for a small car for about 5,000 dollars. You can see one from 2006 with only 18,530 kilometres on the clock.

The engine has run very little, so it is still like new…. However? Great chance not. A car is made for driving. Not to stand still. An engine works best at operating temperature. Then the tax is also at its lowest.

Result: Less wear on the engine.

Stagnation means decline

But that is not all. Looking at the example above, this car has driven 1,853 kilometres per year. That is less than 155 kilometres per month.

Chances are that this car has only been used for weekly shopping or taking the children to school. That means that not only the engine has had a hard time.

And what about the year of construction?

When we are looking for cars to buy, we rather select a younger car with a higher odometer reading. This indicates that a car has been used for longer distances, which means less wear.


We have a choice of two Renaults Megane with diesel engine. One comes from 2010 with 75,000 kilometres and the other from 2013 with 125,000.

In this example, we prefer the car from 2013 with 125,000 kilometres. A relatively new car with quite a few kilometres. This car is clearly used for what it was made for. To drive.

The only drawback of this is that such cars have some stone chips on the front bumper. This can, of course, be easily remedied.

Extra tips to find the right car

Good, so the mileage should not be leading in the search for a car. More important, for example, is how the car has been maintained and whether it has been driven enough.

1. Recently replaced

Also, look at recently replaced parts. If the timing belt needs to be replaced at 120,000, find one where the belt was recently replaced.

If you buy one with 110,000 kilometres, you know that you will soon lose around 500 dollars for the timing belt.

Did the car have its turns on time? Has the timing belt been replaced with the correct odometer reading?

2. Maintenance history demonstrable

Check if the maintenance history is complete. This must be demonstrable on the basis of the maintenance booklet. The maintenance history of lease cars is always complete.

3. Invoices available

Have parts such as flywheel or clutch been replaced? Then ask for the invoices. Dare to be critical and don’t rely on the seller’s story.

4. Date of registration

Ask the seller how long he or she has owned the car. Check this by entering the registration number on a rego check website.

Is the story not correct? Then you have to wonder why that is.

5. Reason for sale

Always ask why he or she is putting the car away. If you get a vague answer, you already know enough.


You can conclude that it does not hurt to buy a car with ‘a few more’ kilometres. Counter reading does not always say everything.