Low mileage Older Car - scot22

I have posted similar once before but new people join the forum, and more views might be added.

I am going to test drive a Toyota Auris 2011 petrol manual 1.6, which has had one owner.. Looking at MOT history it has been driven for approx 3000 miles each year. I assume this has been steady motoring and possibily a mobility car. No evidence - just a feeling. It has full main dealer service history.

My concern is the exceptionaly low mileage. I know there are variables but as a general rule is this a plus or minus or not important ? Higher mileages are cheaper. I realise no crystal balls available but is there anything expensive likely in the next 4 or 5 years ? Anything to look out for ? Any advice appreciated.

Low mileage Older Car - SLO76
The Auris is a pretty robust car but they're not quite as well made as the older Corolla, they do suffer paintwork issues such as fading and lacquer peel but mechanically the petrol models are as hardy as you'd expect and as long as that low mileage comes with a full service history that shows fresh oil EVERY year then I'd count it as a plus. It's not uncommon to find them with ridiculously low mileages as they appeal to elderly punters seeking hassle free motoring which they do provide.
Low mileage Older Car - madf

My experience?

Watch out for rust: especially at teh rear . Short journeys in rain and garaged = bad for corrosion.

and brake disks ditto.

Buy on condition.

Low mileage Older Car - Andrew-T

As has been said, 'buy on condition'. But a 6-year-old car with full history and nothing on the MoT test record should be a fairly safe bet. As it has had one owner, why not ask him/her what sort of life it has had? Fairly infrequent longish journeys will be better than a daily 2-mile commute. Not much should be failing at this age, and 3K a year isn't ridiculously small.

Low mileage Older Car - scot22

Thank you for the very helpful replies. It is really valuable to enhance my own ideas with the views of other, more knowledgeable, people.

Decades ago I bought a low mileage Viva which ended up needing a new engine which makes me cautious. Currently spending much money on Volvo C30 diesel 1600 bought with average miles at 4 years old. What I have learned on here will certainly help in avoiding future mistakes !

Low mileage Older Car - Engineer Andy

The problem with significantly lower than average mileage cars is that mostly you cannot tell whether that mileage was mainly made up of short trips to the shops or school, whereby the car wouldn't have warmed up and the mechanical systems, especially the brakes, wouldn't get a good workout.

My 11yo Mazda3 has only done approx. 62k miles in that time, sometimes 9k in a year, others only 1.9k, but always longer journeys, and yet would be almost indistinguishable to another example that had done lots of trips to the local shops, etc. That's where both a good look around, a thorough test drive and evidence of the service and maintenance history proves really useful. Sometimes it can be better to go for a higher mileage example if there's prooof that they've been well looked after and doesn't have an expensive wear and tear item due for replacement (such as on some high-mileage modern diesels), which is the main reason why the current owner is flogging the car (often at a discount).

With older cars, condition and history is paramount. Don't be afraid to say no if you're not 100% sure - there's always lots of other cars to look at, though in general try not to wait until you have to change cars (i.e. when a small problem not fixed becomes a terminal one) before starting to look around and doing research on what you need and would be a good replacement.

I see a few other new posters here do this because they are either too lazy to put in the effort to make the right choice, or that have no interest in cars, so just go with what others say, and often what's the most convenient (a dealer's dream customer). They forget that, aside from buying or doing up a home, its the most expensive purchase you'll ever make, and can have dire consequence if you get it wrong (losing £££ on a lemon, breakdowns causing you to lose a job, miss important events, etc, or worse, if you really get [pardon the pun] taken for a ride by an unscrupulous trader [lots still around, unfortunately]). My advice is keep putting a decent effort into your 'homework' (asking for assistance here is a good start, as there's lots of it available as seen above and in other threads) and you'll end up with a car that you'll like and won't let you down. Best of luck.

Low mileage Older Car - SLO76
"Currently spending much money on Volvo C30 diesel 1600 bought with average miles at 4 years old. What I have learned on here will certainly help in avoiding future mistakes !"

Wise to be getting shot of it. You'll probably have noticed us going on about the PSA diesel of doom which is notorious for expensive problems as it ages. Your car uses this very engine. The petrol versions are generally very robust though.
Low mileage Older Car - scot22

Share any mistakes so others may benefit. Quite right SLO76. Unfortunately today just copped bill for £900 for work to engine. Hopefully might get something from it but where to go from here.

I can't run to new and not sure of a sensible mileage to buy at. Anyone who buysmy C30 will more than likely have nothing to spend for years - I've reconditioned the thing !!!

I dislike many of recent model cars , electronic handbrakes, rain sensitive wipers ( I am capable of deciding when and managing to put them on !!!!), quite a few design over function.

If only I'd known about this site a few years ago. I would NOT have bought the car. At least I know now.

Apologies for rant but might change user name to disgruntled.

Low mileage Older Car - RichardW

>>Unfortunately today just copped bill for £900 for work to engine

Ouch.... did it need a new turbo? If so, then I would get shot soonest; unless certain things were done, it will likely last <3k miles....

Low mileage Older Car - scot22

Yup. Recon with 2 year guarantee. Trusty local garage have done additional things needed. Still not really decided how to go on from here. Take up horse riding ?

Low mileage Older Car - SLO76
You're pointing in the right direction. Something Japanese, petrol and no turbocharger. Bin the Volvo though and quick, there's loads of cases of trouble post turbo replacement. Metal fragments from the blown turbo often end up in places you'd rather they didn't. I know garages who refuse to even do the job because of the hassle they've had in the past with em.
Low mileage Older Car - scot22

Thanks for the advice. I've started thinking about a six horse carriage. Car details sometimes don't make it clear if there is a turbo. If it is not mentioned is it safe to think its not there ?

Low mileage Older Car - gordonbennet

Toyota dealer history you say, in that case it should have had an oil change every year so every 3k miles, even if it was a shopping trolley it should make no difference with that sort of servicing, but make sure the SH states oil changes annually.

I agree with Madf about corrosion, get yourself underneath it and have a good look at the brake calipers and discs, and see what state the rear subframe is in.

The only problem with really low mileage motors is that they might not have been driven in good spring rains to wash the salt residue off from the undersides, and almost no one has the nous these days to hose the stuff out themselves.

I also agree with the suggestion to get shot of that Diesel of Doom as soon as you can.

If you want to see what happens to the inside of a DoD, click on this link www.assuredperformance.ie/

then click on the item about 1.6 HDi turbo failures at the bottom left of the page, its a pic heavy PDF file, once you've seen the pics read the last items about the work that should be done to the engine before and after fitting a replacement turbo.

Edited by gordonbennet on 27/04/2017 at 22:15

Low mileage Older Car - SLO76
"Car details sometimes don't make it clear if there is a turbo. If it is not mentioned is it safe to think its not there ?"

Now that would be asking too much.
Low mileage Older Car - scot22

Many thanks GB the link was fascinating. Also knowing the externally assessed standards of the garage I am reassured that I will be able to get SOME value from the expense. Having followed a heavily academic education and career my practical skills and knowledge are limited. The school (hesitate to say education) system has a lot to answer for ( General discussion thread ?).

I have confidence the garage will do a competent job. Although I couldn't follow everything,they did say about cleaning etc and , if necessary, additional work may be necessary. They are not a cheap garage but i feel, long term, the quality of their service is worth it.

They did not sell me the car and I accept my ignorance in buying it. Will be more highly motivated to finding Japanese petrol. I would not have traded a car in that I knew was knackered for some innocent buyer to pick up and probably have a lot of hassle trying to get some recompense. My ill informed buy : my problem.

Low mileage Older Car - SLO76
Out of curiosity. How many miles has the Volvo done now?
Low mileage Older Car - RichardW

>>Still not really decided how to go on from here

Bin it, quick! If they've done a few they have probably removed the filter in the oil feed pipe, which will save the turbo. There's a good chance the filter is still in the oil pick up in the sump, and you will run out of oil pressure in 5-8k miles (not a disaster, just means the sump has to come off again, and the filter ripped out).

Low mileage Older Car - scot22

Its only done 80,000 which, in my limited knowledge, is not a lot for a diesel.

Thanks for the advice Richard - the message is quite consistent from everyone.

Always thought 'prestige' names were worth buying. Wondering now about buying much newer Kia, having benefit of warranty, and then getting rid. ORB has kindly kept us all informed about how please he is with Venga.

Like everything I expect, arguments for and against any decision.

Low mileage Older Car - Avant

I agree with Richard. You've been unhappy with that Volvo ever since you joined us - so I think you deserve some peace of mind!

A petrol Kia sounds like a good idea with plenty of warranty remaining, but do make sure that it's been serviced on time by a Kia dealer, so that the warranty is valid. Paying a little more to buy from a dealer is probably worth while. If you like a coupe style like the C30, there's the Proceed which is a 3-door Ceed.

Good luck!

Low mileage Older Car - SLO76
Don't worry about trading it in, dealers know what these engines are like and tend to punt them to auction with anything over 60k. It's buyer beware when selling to a dealer anyway so let them worry about it.

As for a replacement, the Kia Cee'd is a good option and as Avant says if you can get one with dealer history then you'll have the balance of that excellent 7yr warranty. The petrol engines are pretty robust but as with all chain driven motors they need fresh oil every year regardless of mileage so walk away from anything that hasn't proof of this. I've a customer (didn't buy it from me) who's recently had the chain on his snap killing the engine and I've spotted one for sale on Gumtree near me needing an engine for the same reason. I suspect both had been neglected.

I'd still favour a facelifted Mazda 3 petrol though. These drive great (better than the Kia) and are mechanically pretty bombproof as long as you avoid that 1.6 PSA diesel.
Low mileage Older Car - John F

I am going to test drive a Toyota Auris 2011 petrol manual 1.6, which has had one owner.. Looking at MOT history it has been driven for approx 3000 miles each year......

......My concern is the exceptionaly low mileage.

Why? Barely run in. By 1993 my 1980 TR7 had done 56,000m with oil changes every 6000m. Since then it has had three more oil changes and has now done only 70,000m, running as sweetly as ever and using virtually no oil.

Some here have an absurd belief that oil magically suffers significant loss of lubricity after 365 days. Sure, it can biodegrade - older posters will remember the occasional foul smell when following an ancient car with rotting wet oil, but in these days of sealed sumps and higher temperatures it hardly ever happens. It is high time to dispel the dogma of annual oil changes for low mileage basic petrol engines.

Low mileage Older Car - scot22

Thanks Avant for your kind comment. Coupe not really suitable any more ! part of the appeal of previous auris model is slightly higher seating. Appreciate you sharing your experience Richard.

Part of the reason I've been so slow making my mind up is that I want to be as certain as you can ever be that I'm buying the right car for us.

When I bought the diesel, diesels were supposed to be wonderful. Perhaps a scrappage scheme might be in the offing.

Low mileage Older Car - Andrew-T

I am going to test drive a Toyota Auris 2011 petrol manual 1.6, which has had one owner.. Looking at MOT history it has been driven for approx 3000 miles each year. I assume this has been steady motoring and possibily a mobility car.

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure your test drive is long enough to discover if the seats remain comfortable on long journeys. If the car doesn't fit you, it may not matter too much about its history ....

Low mileage Older Car - scot22

A very good point. I seem to be indecisive over how long to make a test drive, and other car related decisions I know. Perhaps I would be better hiring something to get a better understanding of a car. Or try to get something to try as a courtesy car when the Volvo is in the garage !

Low mileage Older Car - SLO76
If you're buying new or nearly new it's not a bad idea to hire one for a day but it's not much use if you're looking at older generation cars. Many dealers are pretty stingy on test drives but call in advance and tell them what you want, they'll usually make more of an effort if they think you've come to see something specific and aren't a Sunday tyre kicker. Our gaffer used to encourage longer test drives as it kept the punter with you rather than at another dealer.

Edited by SLO76 on 28/04/2017 at 21:36

Low mileage Older Car - glidermania

Never ceases to amaze me the people who'll buy an old car with really low mileage rather than a car with average or higher mileage.

One of my wife's friends changes their car every 4 years because 'the salesman looks after her.' Erm, yeah ok. The last car she traded was 4 years old and had less than 4000 miles on it.

Someone would have paid a premium price for it and are now likely having all sorts of problems with it because it was only driven 4 or 5 miles a day.

Low mileage Older Car - scot22

I have bought many cars with average mileage. Some have cost a fortune in repairs ( what an ignorant buyer, or is there an element of chance ?).

Perhaps your wife's friend communicates well with people and is looked after. All car salesmen are not the same. As in all walks of life there are good and bad.

Interested (genuinely not being rude) to know how you have become an authority ?


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