Is a 10-year-old car too old? (5 reasons why)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is a 10-year-old car too old? We will discuss when it is time to hand out the keys for your old car and buy a new one. We will discuss why a 10-year-old car is considered too old and what the actual lifespan of a car is. 

Is a 10-year-old car too old?

A 10-year-old car or a vehicle with over 200,000 miles is already considered an old car. The lifespan of a car is usually considered to be nine years. Here’s a short timeline to help you better understand the concerns that arise regarding the age of your car. 

  • If the car has not exceeded three years and is below 25,000 miles, it is still considered new. During this period, the vehicles do not involve major problems, hardly cause incidents and, furthermore, they are still under warranty. If the model is Premium, up to five years it is still considered new.
  • From the fifth year (or when the vehicle has accumulated more than 43,000 miles) the first signs of wear and tear appear. They are minor incidents, but they are increasing as time goes by.
  • When it is eight years old or 62,000 is when the first significant repairs arise. And once the barrier of nine years or 100,000 miles has passed, it can be said that the car is old. In this case, the amount of money allocated to its correct operation will be excessively high, while the price of the car will have depreciated to a minimum. With what it becomes an unprofitable vehicle.

Why is a 10-year-old considered too old?

If your car has 10 years old (or more), or if it has reached the 200,000 miles threshold (or more), there are several concerns: 

  1. The tires: More than a million vehicles (around 5%) circulate with tire defects, a fundamental element because it is the only point of contact between the car and the road. Almost all of them have a tread depth less than the legal minimum of 1.6 millimeters, in addition to showing uneven wear, misalignment, or a cracked or cracked surface. The inflation pressure is also often higher or lower than recommended.
  1. Lights and signals: The correct maintenance of the headlights and pilots are essential to see and be seen. Apart from the fact that drivers have to use the lighting between sunset and sunrise, they must keep in mind that all lights have to function properly. It is appropriate to change the lamps every 25,000  miles or two years, and always two at a time.
  1. Reliability of your vehicle: If finding a trustworthy, well-maintained car is your priority, reliability can largely depend on the number of miles the car covers, just as much as it does on the make or model. 

It is a good idea to take into consideration the repairs to be made along the way – the older a vehicle, the more it will need some work, that is to say, regular maintenance due to use such as tires, wipers – windows, brakes and battery replacement. Some will suggest that you do not buy a car over 20 years old since it may be more difficult to find parts for these vehicles if needed in the future.

  1. Technology and equipment: Just because you want to buy a used vehicle at a good price, doesn’t mean you aren’t looking for luxurious amenities or recent cutting-edge technology. For obvious reasons, a newer used car is generally a better choice for certain luxury technologies and equipment than older models. 

For example, ten years ago, you would only have found heated rear seats on high-end vehicles, whereas today these features are found as much on luxury or economy makes and models. When it comes to cutting edge technologies such as the mobile interface, adaptive cruise control and automatic climate control, they are more likely to be found on vehicles less than five years old.

Some cars far exceed the average age of life and yet they are not considered old, but classics. But what is it that makes a vehicle acquire that qualifier?

Making a difference is not easy. It is a concept that does not depend on age or its economic value. The reality is that there are cars that are already born as classics, while others will never get that title, no matter how old they are.

For administrative purposes, a vehicle can only be considered classic if it is over 25 years old. But the great characteristic of this type of vehicle is its historical value. In order to be classified as such, they must be original, that is, that the model has not been modified, or that if it is, that it is according to the technology of the time.

Keep your car for 10 years or buy a new one? Why not buy a new car?

While in most cases it is better to buy a newer model used car, it may be worthwhile with the green bonuses to buy a new car. A new electric car gets an ecological bonus of $6,000. If you add the premium for the scrapping of your old vehicle, you get a reduction of  $8,500 for the purchase of your new car. Not bad isn’t it?

There remains, however, the problem of financing. I advise you to pay the price of your new car in cash or to take out a loan with a substantial contribution ($5,000 or more, if you have the means) in order to lower the interest rate of your loan and the monthly payments. If you need a vehicle to get to work every day, start by saving every month and create specific savings because you know that one day or another you are going to have to change your car.

When choosing a car, choose a make and model that fits your budget and is designed for the type of driving you will be doing. If you drive 20 miles round trip every day, during rush hour, work in an office, buying a diesel 4×4 is not a good choice.

If you just got promoted and started making over $30,000 a year, do you really need to show the world that you are successful by buying a$ 80,000 luxury car? Just because you can afford it doesn’t mean you have to. For me, true financial success is measured by how much money is in my bank accounts and my assets, not how much I have spent on consumer products and passive goods.

Keep your old car for 10 years or more

Even with regular maintenance, auto parts wear out over time. If a car needs more than one major repair in a six-month period, it’s probably time to replace the vehicle. It will end up costing you more in repairs than the price of your vehicle, or even a new vehicle. 

The exception to this rule is if you can do the repairs yourself. The highest cost in auto repairs is usually not parts, but labour. If you are able to have your repairs done yourself or by a friend who is a mechanic, then you can probably save enough to keep your old car.

You have a few options to consider if you need to get rid of your old car. If your car is still in motion, you can sell it or have it taken back by your dealer. This will cover part of your future expenses.

Here are some tips on how to sell your 10-year-old car 

  • Play the competition. Go see several dealers and ask them what price they are willing to take back your vehicle.
  • Wash the car and clean the interior – presentation is important.
  • Pick the right time. Buy a new car just before the new model in the lineup is released.
  • Compare the credits and financing offered. Even a 0.5% difference between two rates can save you money.

Don’t be sentimental. Don’t spend crazy sums on your car. Some people spend a lot of money fixing a car they care about. If your car is constantly in the garage, it’s a drain on your savings! You must sell it, scrap it, or keep it in your garage. Take pictures, keep fond memories, then sell it and buy a car that is reliable.

The bottom line

New cars are expensive and the monthly payments can quickly be a heavy burden. If you can’t afford a new car, go for a used car, preferably from a dealership, which is guaranteed. Some of you are afraid to buy a used car and be fooled into buying a car with flaws. There are a few rules you need to follow in order to protect yourself from potential problems.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinion on this content. 

FAQ on Is a 10-year-old car too old?

When a car is old?

A car is old as long as it has more than 200,000 miles. The lifespan of a car is usually considered to be nine years,

What is the maximum mileage for a used car?

Beyond 60,000 miles, a gasoline vehicle begins to seriously lose its value. This level is around 90,000 for a diesel, considered more robust. A vehicle with high mileage is rather a gasoline car over 125,000 miles or a diesel over 155,000 miles. 

When is the right time to change the car?

Automotive professionals advise those who drive a lot to resell their car after 3 years. Beyond this threshold, the vehicle wears out faster and requires more frequent repairs. For motorists who drive less than 15,000 km per year, it is rather advisable to wait a maximum of 5 years.

When to stop repairing the car?

After 10 years, you can stop repairing a car. Hopefully, your old repaired vehicle will be as reliable and safe as a new one. But since a car is only guaranteed for about 10 years nowadays, proper care and maintenance is the key to a lasting relationship with your vehicle!


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