We’re no doubt preaching to the choir here, but there are lots of great reasons for buying an older used car. If you’re nostalgic for the style of a past era, these vehicles will satisfy your thirst for vintage design. For example, there’s no denying the elegance of a classic Jaguar.

In some cases, older used cars offer performance benefits that are hard to duplicate in newer models. Case in point: With its high-revving, naturally aspirated V8 and sonorous engine note, the E39 generation BMW M5 delivers a driving experience that’s one of a kind.

Finally, buying an older used car may allow you to take a big step up when it comes to your choice of vehicle. Thanks to depreciation, older used cars are just a fraction of the cost of their new counterparts. Hardly anyone can afford a brand new Mercedes-Benz SL roadster, but one that’s 10 or 15 years old can be had for used Camry money.

While we do advise paying cash for a used car rather than financing it, we recognize that not everyone is in a position to do that. So if you are going to make your purchase with the help of an auto loan, it’s important to know that there are significant differences between financing a new vehicle and an older used car.

Because financing an older used car comes with a unique set of challenges, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process from start to finish.

The Problem

The biggest problem you’ll face when seeking an auto loan for the purchase of an older used car is this: With many lenders, only vehicles that fall within certain age and mileage limits are eligible for financing.

When it comes to vehicle age, most traditional lenders won’t consider cars that are more than 10 years old. And as far as mileage goes, the typical lender won’t consider a vehicle that’s racked up more than 100,000 miles. For example, at Bank of America, vehicles that are more than 10 years old aren’t eligible, nor are those with more than 125,000 miles on the odometer.

If that doesn’t work for your needs, you’ll be happy to know that there are some alternatives sources for financing to choose from.

continue to next page: Finding the Right Lender

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About Warren Clarke

Warren Clarke is a writer and editor whose work has been published in outlets such as the New York Daily News and Edmunds.com. He enjoys providing car owners with information that can help enhance and simplify their lives.

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Car Buying Tips