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What matters the Most? Kilometres or Age | Used Car Buying Guide

By reading the title, you already know what we are going to talk about in this article. The used car market in India has lots to offer but many questions still confuse people who step into the market for the very first time! Among all the questions, the most asked question is about a choice between kilometres or age of a used car. Making it simple, we are talking about a scenario where people ask that if they should buy a less driven old car or a fairly driven new age car. In this article, we will have a look at all the mechanical aspects of a car which you should consider while buying a car and how many of them depend on the car’s actual age.

  1. Bodyline

    Hyundai i10 Sunroof
    Hyundai i10 Sunroof

    We won’t say bodyline should be the first thing you consider while buying a new car but the bodyline does tell much about the car you are planning to buy. Even if you are searching for a used car online, you can easily make out which car has been maintained well by just having a look at its body. You can easily spot if a bumper or a panel is re-painted and it can help you negotiate well on the deal. Also, the most important thing you should consider is rust. If the car’s body has got rust anywhere, you shouldn’t buy it at all.

    Read 10 Best New/Used Cars in India for Teenager/Learner Driver

    Talking about km or age dependency, if you have two cars with the same kilometre reading, but one is older than the other, the one which is newer has better chances of having a better bodyline without or with minimal rust or scratches.

  2. Engine

    Hyundai 1.0-litre Turbo Petrol | Powerful Engines in India
    Hyundai 1.0-litre Turbo Petrol

    The engine is the soul of the car and if the engine is weak itself, there is no point of buying that car. For an initial check, you can just start the engine and listen to it carefully. Pay close attention to the belts and other engine components and try to spot any abnormal noise/vibration if you can. You can also leave the engine to idle for 3-5 minutes and check of any smoke comes out of the exhaust pipe.

    Read 10 Best Second Hand Used Cars under 50k | Desperate Motoring

    Coming to the main highlight of today’s topic, if we talk about used car age or kilometres, a well-maintained engine can last long in both the perspectives. An old engine which hasn’t got a high kilometre reading but has been maintained well can be a gem. At the same time, an engine which has got a fairly high kilometre reading in a short time span can be a good one too if it has been serviced regularly.

  3. Suspension

    2017 Honda City Rear Suspension
    2017 Honda City Rear Suspension

    Okay! This is gonna be interesting. Consider you have two cars with the same kilometre reading. Let’s now suppose one of them is 2 years old and the other is 8-10 years old. The 2-year old car will have used the suspension regularly which has kept the hydraulics in place. On the other hand, the car which has been kept stationary for long can have a comparatively bad suspension. We are not saying that the older car will definitely have a bad suspension, but if the driver of the newer car has not abused the suspension, it is more probable to have a better one.

    Read 10 Reasons Why a 2011 Hyundai i10 is a Good Second Hand Used Car

    This is because the fluids also have a life which anyhow leads to wear and tear of the parts even if the car hasn’t clocked much on the do. Concluding the suspension for used car age or kilometres, we would say the younger vehicle can be expected to have. a better suspension.

  4. Steering System

    Steering Mounted Controls
    Steering System

    Another important factor that matters while buying a used car is the health of the steering system. In the discussion of used car age or kilometres, the owner of who has a less driven old vehicle is less likely to get all the fluids changed regularly especially in case of budget cars. Even if the owner has got it serviced regularly, there is a high chance that people miss out on steering fluids. Also, there is a high chance of the components catching rust. On the other hand, the steering of the newer vehicle with the same kilometre reading can turn out to be a damaged one in case the owner has not used it properly.

    Concluding this part, I think that the steering system of the less used old car can be better because it has been ‘used’ less, provided the fluid has been changed regularly and there is no rust in the assembly components.

  5. Tyres

    Tyre Condition affects the fuel mileage
    Tyre Comparison

    Tyres are among those components which wear out irrespective of the kilometre reading. A person who owns a less driven old car might try to convince you that the tyres haven’t covered long distances, therefore, are fresh as new. Don’t believe him. The logic is simple. Even a small car weighs 800-900 kgs and even if the car hasn’t covered much on the do, the tyres are bearing the load 24X7! Tyres do get worn out even if they aren’t used!

Used Car Age v/s Kilometres | Conclusion

Maruti Suzuki Swift 2010
Maruti Suzuki Swift 2010

Finally coming to the conclusion, many people have this confusion while stepping out to buy a used car. Used car kilometres or age is one of the most asked questions in the market. In my opinion, a 2-3-year-old used car which holds a fairly well do reading can be a good option because it is fairly new and has possibly got some better-updated tech in terms of mechanics or features. On the other hand, a car which has not been driven much but has been maintained well can be an absolute gem to own. However, the older car might not be valid for long if you are in Delhi/NCR but this can be used as a point of negotiation too! In the end, I would like to share a video with you where two same cars with the same odo readings have been compared in various aspects. The only thing that is different is the age. The real-life comparison will help you have a better idea. Do watch the video till the end to know more!

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Vishal Khanna
GoMechanic's OG Content Creator | Automobile Enthusiast | Automobile Engineer | Blogger | YouTuber | The DIY Automotive Guy


  1. Thank you for the very informative video. I have a question for you: I am getting a used Honda Amaze S AT 2013 Model which has run approximately for 21000kms and a Maruti Suzuki Ignis Zeta model from 2019 which has run approximately 9000kms . Which one would you recommend?


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