Age or miles?

What’s more of a concern when shopping for a used car, mileage or age? For example, I was looking at two BMWs. One was a 1998 540i with 95,000 miles on it and the other, a 2003 525i with 130,000 miles on it. Which car represents the greatest concern?

Thank you.

There is no way to compare. You haven’t told us anything about the maintenance history of either vehicle, so there’s no way to know which is “better.”

The lower mileage car could have been neglected, making it a poor choice. The higher mileage car may have been maintained by the book, making it a “good” choice (relatively speaking).

Personally, because I’m aware of the maintenance costs for a 5-series BMW, I wouldn’t touch either of these cars with a ten foot pole.

But if you’re a SAAB guy you’re used to high maintenance prices, so, go for it!

Both cars have there best years behind them

Age: Stuff made out of rubber, tires, hoses, plasic interior parts and upholstery, paint, battery, CV boots, oil seals.

Miles: Tires, mechanical engine and drivetrain parts.

One of the biggest concerns about owning an older car is availability of spare parts.

Anything beyond 7yrs old or 150,000 miles is going to require more frequent and pricier repairs/maintenance.

Actually, I would be concerned about an older car with unusually low miles, unless you know the history.

Forget them both. Look at a Nissan Maxima. You’ll be driving past those BMWs, which will be parked at the mechanic’s doorway looking for $8,000 engine overhauls.

The BMW shops have a long list of old age repairs that you will possibly need. They are expensive. The shops won’t tell you everything they know until the big kaching. Every time the bell rings the shop owner gets his wings.

Neither, current condition is the only real factor and you can’t judge that by miles or age.

I would say both cars are a big concern; they will both be quite expensive to keep running. The 5 series is even more expensive to maintain than the 3 series. The actual condition and maintenance records are very important. Don’t buy either one if you can’t have access to their maintenance records. In both cases, have a competent mechanic check the cars out before even considering buying them.