How Old Is Your Car?

If you drive a new car, you may have no problem finding out how old your car is. But if you drive a used car, it may be a bit tricky to find out the exact age of your car. There are least 2 schools of thought, when it comes to ascertaining a car’s age.

  1. Some people believe the age of a car is in the year of production. So if you buy a 2002 Volks Wagen Bora in 2012, you are buying a 10 year-old car. If you buy a 2010 Acura ZDX in 2012, you are buying a 2 year-old car.

That’s easy, you say. But let’s pause for a minute and do a rethink. Let’s take a look at the Bora again. If it came off the assembly-line 2002, I’m (100%) sure it wasn’t sold in 2002. It must have spent some time with the dealership, before someone bought it, (let’s say) in 2003. Then s/he used it for 6 years and sold it in 2009. In the same year (maybe 6-months later), it was shipped to Nigeria as a “tokunbo” car. And, it spent 1 year with the car-dealer at Apapa, in Lagos. Then, you bought it in 2010. Do you (really) think you just bought a 10-year old car? Be honest with yourself… 1 year idle-time is not equal to 1 year of usage. The 1 year it spent at the dealership before it was sold, the 6-months it spent before it was shipped to Nigeria and the ‘few’ months it spent at Apapa, before you bought it, all add up to something… ‘Unknown years’ of idle-time. So, it’s safe to assume that the 2002 Bora isn’t a 10-year old car. It may be a 12, 13 or even 15 year-old car! This is an assumption; I may be wrong, or I may be right!

  1. The second school of thought believes the age of a car is in the mileage. So, a car with a 100,000miles reading is older than a car with a 35,000miles reading. But, is that so? For example, if I have 2 cars, (let’s say) a 2002 BMW 3-series, with a mileage of 13,000miles and a 2007 Honda Accord with a mileage of 70,000miles… which one of them do you think is older? Confusing? I thought so too…
  2. I have my own school of thought too. The age of a car is in the number of times you have done a service/maintenance check on your car. You may own a 2010 car, but if you have only serviced it 2 times since you bought it, it is as old as a 2006 car. If you have a 2004 car, but if you service it promptly, it is as good as new.

According to my school of thought; “age is just a number” and “mileage is just another number”. If you service your car’s engine when due, and maintain it as you are supposed to; you are adding to its life.


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