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Emily ASKED THE GUIDE

Volvo XC90 2008: Is more than 200,000km a worry?

I'm looking to buy a secondhand car and have my heart set on a Volvo XC90. For my price range I'm looking at around a 2008 model, but with age comes km. What advice would you give about considering a car like this with over 200,000 km?

You’re right to be concerned about buying a car with a high mileage.

While it’s tempting to buy a car that was once out of our financial reach now that the price has down to a point you can afford it you have to think about the future rather than the now. How long do you plan to keep it, and how many kays will it do while you own it. If you plan to keep it three years it will have close to 300,000 km when you want to sell it. You have to ask yourself if you can afford to have it repaired if something goes wrong. Volvos are no better or worse than other European cars, but like all European brands they tend to be more expensive to repair when they break down. Buying secondhand is not like buying new when all the cars are the same. All secondhand cars are different, they’ve been driven by different people, they’ve been subjected to different climates and road conditions, they’ve been serviced at varying frequencies by different service mechanics, some factory trained, some backyarders, some have done more kilometres than others, etc., etc.

The best advice is to buy the best car, with the lowest odometer reading, with the best service history, that’s been owned by the fussiest owner.

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