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      02-24-2013, 10:40 PM   #1
M3takesNYC
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What is worse: Years or mileage?

I know conventional thought by most is to go based on the mileage primarly in determining the health of a car but I personally am in a situation where I have put 45k miles in 2 years and car still feels like new. Early oil changes, first owner, 10k mile air filters and spark plugs (excessive I know) and driven with a nice combination of cruising and aggression. Definetly have not babbied it.

Would a car treated the same hypothetically but 4 years old with even less miles be a better or healthier car from people's eyes or which would you choose if you take the warranty out of the picture

2 year old 50k miles
4 year old 25k miles

?
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      02-24-2013, 10:47 PM   #2
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I would take the 4 year old car with 25k miles. In fact, I purchased an '08 with 25k miles in Dec 2011 (3 years old). From a buyers perspective, I got a good deal on a well maintained and gently used car. Not sure how I would feel as a seller.
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      02-24-2013, 10:51 PM   #3
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mileage is worse. more wear and tear on the car
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      02-24-2013, 10:52 PM   #4
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I forgot to add my hypothesis in terms of driving it pretty hard everyday for a shorter amount of time gives the drive-train more stress but at the same time I wonder if driving it consistently keeps things moving consistently enough compared to sitting for longer periods of time with no activity. Seems like engines run really consistently and if taken care of continue running well.

I don't honestly know what I would choose if I bought a used car but just curious
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      02-24-2013, 10:54 PM   #5
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I would say mileage is worse. Wear and tear...
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      02-24-2013, 11:16 PM   #6
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Agree with everyone else. All other things equal, mileage is usually worse than age, especially given your 2-4 year age range. Now 2 years, 50k vs. 10 years, 25k, I'd think the years would be worse.
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      02-24-2013, 11:33 PM   #7
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Mileage IMHO is worse unless it's outweighed for a buyer by years because they just have to have some feature that's only available in a newer model year car, e.g. newer iDrive, Combox, etc. Lower mileage doesn't necessarily mean that it was only ever driven hard. 25K miles in 4 years could be someone who worked from home and/or had the M3 as a weekend car.

Most issues crop up on a car with miles, not time. Manufacturers come out ahead on warranties for precisely that reason -- most customers fall out of their warranty periods on time, not mileage.

Between your options, assuming both cars had the same options and same maintenance and driving patterns (if I could somehow know that for certain), I'd pick the 4-year-old car. But if you're considering changing how you use your car to optimize for resale value, you're missing the point. Go out and optimize for your own enjoyment!
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      02-24-2013, 11:40 PM   #8
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Mileage is always worse.
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      02-24-2013, 11:49 PM   #9
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Mileage for sure
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      02-25-2013, 12:34 AM   #10
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Mileage is worse. BUT the biggest thing is how the car was taken care of. You could have a 1 year old car with under 10k that was beaten like a Mexican mule.

In terms of the E9x specifically, if they are well taken care of, everything should be ok.
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      02-25-2013, 12:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W/// View Post
Mileage is worse. BUT the biggest thing is how the car was taken care of. You could have a 1 year old car with under 10k that was beaten like a Mexican mule.

In terms of the E9x specifically, if they are well taken care of, everything should be ok.
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      02-25-2013, 12:49 AM   #12
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In most cases I agree that it would be mileage. I think sometimes the thermal cycles on a car can be worse than the mileage. If the 4 year old car was a daily driver used to commute 5 miles to work every day, then that's worse than 50k miles of mostly freeway miles in 2 years. Also a 4 year old car might have spent more time outdoors in the sun and rain.

I would rather have a car that was driven 500 times with each trip 100 miles for a total for 50,000 miles in 2 years versus a car that was driven 5000 times and driven for 5 mile each trip for a total for 25,000 miles in 4 years.
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      02-25-2013, 01:12 AM   #13
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Cars depreciate by miles, not years
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      02-25-2013, 01:32 AM   #14
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mileage for sure.
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      02-25-2013, 01:42 AM   #15
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low mileage (just add extended warranty)
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      02-25-2013, 02:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mloyalty View Post
Cars depreciate by miles, not years
I am pretty sure that they depreciate with both miles and years!

To the OP, Mileage is going to be worse provided that the maintenance was equal on both.
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      02-25-2013, 02:45 AM   #17
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I'd take the lower miles as well, but also lots of worthwhile upgrades from the 08s.
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      02-25-2013, 06:51 AM   #18
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Not much to argue... miles. Now, in my case, my car has 28k in almost 2 years with 3 very long trips in between (about 2500 each) and daily commutes of 50k while in use. If I was a buyer looking at my car, it would certaintly be a great choice. However, a 2yr M with 15k may be a better choice.
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      02-25-2013, 07:23 AM   #19
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Would not agree here with everyone. It is little more to analyze, not just miles or years.
I had to make the same choice and gone for "years".
The choice was in between 2009 3 series LCI with 70k in Germany & 2007 with 35k in a homecountry.
My choice was made for 2009 3 series LCI with 70k in Germany, because:
1) LCI vs pre-LCI model;
2) 70k on German autobahns is much better than 35k on our homecountry roads or read as citymode. As we do not have many highways.
3) and of course mods & options car has;
4) Clear dealer's history.
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      02-25-2013, 07:28 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
Mileage IMHO is worse unless it's outweighed for a buyer by years because they just have to have some feature that's only available in a newer model year car, e.g. newer iDrive, Combox, etc. Lower mileage doesn't necessarily mean that it was only ever driven hard. 25K miles in 4 years could be someone who worked from home and/or had the M3 as a weekend car.
I think the idea is that a weekend car is driven a lot harder than a commuter. I put 10k miles on my M in 8 months doing about 79hwy/1city everyday. They were nothing but cruising (low drive train stress). Now I have my beater up and running, so the M is driven once every couple weeks for about 50 miles. And those 50 miles aren't cruising miles.

I still agree that lower miles is better. More because the paint/leather condition is almost always directly related to miles.
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      02-25-2013, 07:50 AM   #21
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Mileage without a doubt.
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      02-25-2013, 08:44 AM   #22
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I'd prefer low miles, but also would take a good look at the car. What the car was used for and who owned it are big factors.
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