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Low Mileage Car Warning for Shoppers

Here’s why that low mileage car might actually be a bad deal…and it’s not because of odometer fraud.

Used Car Shopping Warning

You would think that buying one model of car for $20,000 or less that has low mileage on it over another model of the same year and type and overall physical condition for $25,000 and higher mileage on it is a no-brainer. You save $5,000 right off the bat with this lower mileage model. Right?! Wrong!

That was the message in a recent Car Wizard YouTube channel episode where the host of the show warns used car shoppers that there is much more to choosing one car over another based on their comparative mileages. In fact, you may be better off buying that model with more miles on it---even if it costs more!

Related article: Found a Great Used Car Deal? RUN!

In a nutshell, one of the problems to look for in a car that has mileage on it that seems too good to be true (and is a warning flag for possible odometer fraud) is the problem of not driving any vehicle enough to keep it healthy.

What the Wizard makes an example of is one of those cars that at one time was the owner’s baby and was kept in the garage most of its life. Which is fine, but not if the vehicle is not driven enough to keep the oil seals and other rubber parts from rotting. As one commenter stated the truism “If it sits, it rots” when it comes to storing a car in a garage for prolonged periods.

For the new owner of this car that he picked up at a great price, he is now learning that he will pay more than the vehicle is worth in expensive repairs to recover from the ravages of time and non-use.

Related article: Unreliable Used Luxury SUVs to Avoid and What to Buy Instead

It’s Not Just a European Sports Car Problem

While in the video the Wizard is showcasing an expensive and very nice looking 2013 Maserati GranTurismo, don’t make the mistake that this is a European sports car problem.

Case in point: My neighbor was “gifted” with a nearly immaculate Honda Fit from his parents who let it sit in their garage for 3 years practically untouched while they tried to decide whether or not they were too old to be driving anymore.

It has been a year now sitting in his driveway and my neighbor has not touched the car. When I asked him why he was not driving it, he told me that the day he got it he immediately found all sorts of fluid leakage problems and other issues that after going to a garage for a repair estimate he discovered it was going to cost him too much to have repaired. And he couldn’t sell it without upsetting his parents. Not an uncommon story.

Related article: What to Do with a Used Car That Needs to Go

That said, here is the video that serves as a good lesson on the risks of buying a low-mileage car and why in the case of sports cars, that good deal…isn’t.

Low miles car should be golden, right? Not on this '13 Maserati GranTurismo! CAR WIZARD explains why

And finally…

For additional used car related articles, here are a few for your consideration:

Used Car Dealer Forced to Buy Back As-Is Car It Sold

Consumer Reports Used Car Title Warning

Three Important Questions to Ask Before Repairing Your Old Car

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

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