Low-mileage used car. Need answer fast

Mrs. L.A. wants to buy a vehicle for work. She’s found a 2008 Toyota with only 1,500 miles on it.


Why does it only have 1,500 miles on it? Only driven on Sundays by a little old lady from Pasadena? The owner has a stable of cars Or was it a lemon and the owner just parked it?

We’ll be going to look at it (and a couple of others) tomorrow. What things should we watch out for on a seven- or eight-year-old car that has fewer miles on it than I put on my car in two months?

Perhaps it’s 1,001,500 miles.

[obviously, I don’t have a helpful answer] I wonder how the tires look.

She got a CarFax report. Not sure if those have the mileage on it. If so, then it would be 1,500 miles. I drive a lot, and I still haven’t put a million miles on a car. And it’s advertised by a certified dealership with 1,500 miles.

We’ll definitely ask about the tires. Eight years is a long time for the same rubber to be on, regardless of the mileage.

What I keep thinking is that you need to ‘exercise’ airplanes instead of letting them be ‘hangar queens’. I assume cars are the same; if they’re not used, they deteriorate.

If it’s just been sitting for 7 years, I’d worry about rotted belts and hoses, as well as corrosion. If I was really interested, I’d definitely take it to my favorite mechanic for a once-over.

Is the dealership a Toyota dealer?

I’d just buy a new car.

Maybe they put it in the garage and then forgot they had it? :slight_smile:

Really, this is a question you ought to ask the people who are selling it.

Yeah, my husband’s car sat unused in our garage for over three years, due to his illness and my dislike of driving that car. Once he was well enough to drive again, the car spent a week at Pep Boys getting spruced up - all fluids changed, new battery, new belts, new this, new that, and on and on. Ran us about $3,000 all told.

1500 seems impossibly low. We drive our 2011 very little, mostly on trips to do shopping right here in the neighborhood, and still have managed to rack up about 14,000 miles in five years.


Ya sure it’s not 150,000 miles?

Had I bought it, my very first car would’ve had 2000 miles on it. It was maybe 3 years old. An elderly gentlemen had owned it and only used it for doing errands. Nobody in his family wanted it once he went into a NH, so they traded it in. I remember the salesperson and my uncle (who’d come with me to the dealership) telling me to get it because it was in pristine condition.

I hated the color – beige.

I ended up getting a candy apple red car, similar model, same year different make, had maybe 20K miles on it. It broke down on me maybe a dozen times the first year I had it. Needless to say I kicked myself for not taking the lower mileage car.

If this is some sort of online or offline classified ad (including Craigslist) I suspect the most likely explanation is a simple typo in the ad, and the “is it 150,000?” responses are close to the mark.

My parents own a 2008 vehicle with less than 5k miles on it. It is their 4th car (5th vehicle including the motorcycle), that is why it is never driven.

Maybe it’s showing the trip meter and not the odometer?

Assuming it really does only have 1,500 miles on it, and that the dealership replaced the tires, belts, etc, anything else to look for?

What are the most common complaints about that car on car forums? That is what I would look for.

07 burns oil crazy , maybe they put a new engine in it

Mud inside the air vents, under the upholstery, etc.

It could of been wrecked and repaired, just took a while to do it, or a flood car or other damage. A dishonest dealer could find work arounds and not have a salvage title. I would have a mechanic give this one a thorough look over before signing.

I was wrong.

I did not look at the vehicle or the website, so when The Missus said the dealer was ‘certified’, I assumed it was a certified Toyota dealer. It’s not. I looked them up on Yelp, and they average three stars. Some people love them, others really hate them. The Better Business Bureau gives them C-minus rating. We’ll go down to look, and I’ll make Mrs. L.A. aware of my findings.