Should I buy a 10-year-old Volvo?

Maybe you’ve always admired Volvo cars, but can’t afford a new one, so you’re considering a used car. The older the car, the lower the price, but are they still reliable? Is a Volvo that’s 10 years old still worth spending money on?

You can buy a 10-year-old Volvo, but it depends on what you want in a car, aside from low cost. Older Volvo cars are often still reliable and have good fuel mileage.  But when it comes to design and newer technology, they may be taking the back seat.

Volvos have always had a reputation for been safely built, dependable cars. Buying a decade-old Volvo means spending less, while also not worrying about depreciation issues. However, it’s very important to research the car you want to buy, so you don’t end up wasting your money and not getting value.

Reasons to buy an older Volvo


Buying a decent Volvo that’s a decade old will probably cost between $5000 to $7000. Compared to the recent prices for new Volvos, you’ll be saving a lot of money.

You also don’t have to worry about the car’s depreciation, since cars depreciate most quickly the first few years. Plus, if the car is already 10 years old, you’ll probably just want to use it until it dies, rather than resell it.

Many car options

If you were to buy a new car, you might be restricted to a particular model since some are above your budget range. But for used cars, you’ll have many options to consider, including more luxury models.

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Test running the car

Say you’ve fallen in love with the idea of a Volvo because of what you’ve heard about the brand.  Buying a used car is a good way of testing a car. Then in the future, when you might opt to buy a new one, you’ll already know how the car functions. This will help you decide whether to stick with Volvos after this.

Things to consider before buying a used Volvo

Fuel type

Many older cars run on diesel and it can be difficult to maintain the engine of a car driven on diesel. It is also more expensive to run a car on diesel instead of gas. Many cities also have new regulations against diesel engines, limiting where you could drive your car. So, if you’re buying a 10-year-old Volvo, stick with a gasoline version.

Previous car history

Carry out a background check to get information about the car. Carfax is an excellent service to use here. They use the VIN or plate number of the car to find all the information about the vehicle.

It’s also best to not buy a car that has been previously used by more than one person. Chances are, the car may not have been appropriately maintained.

Another thing Carfax can do is get information on the car’s registration and the number of crashes involved. A car with a history of accidents shouldn’t be an option as many car components many have been damaged due to the accident, even if it’s not immediately visible. Carfax can also help determine if the car was flooded or tagged harmful by insurance companies.

Have a mechanic inspect the car’s health

If the car’s previous history seems good, the next thing to do is inspect the vehicle. You can have your mechanic do it. This will help you determine the reliability of the car and its parts. Old cars may require you to eventually change parts, but you don’t want to deal with this so soon after purchasing your vehicle.

Things that need to be looked at:

  • Check the electrical systems
  • Run the max AC; it should read between 55° to 65° (a pocket thermometer would help here)
  • Check the transmission and look for leaks by running the engine for some time
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A sound transmission should not shutter. Many old Volvos experience strut challenges, so pay attention to this.

Remember to also pay special attention to expensive car components. If the cheap components like the brake pads are worn down, you can proceed with your purchase, but bigger car parts are riskier.

Lastly, even if the parts are okay, still check how long they are expected to last before they’ll need repairs. You don’t want to buy a car and end fixing a catalytic converter after three months. Volvo parts are expensive.

Availability of parts

Very importantly, do your research on the accessibility of Volvo spare parts. In many cases, if a car was produced long ago, the components may have left the market. The reason is the company may have stopped production of those parts. So even if you see it in the market, it is likely to be fake parts produced by roadside companies.

Availability of mechanic for maintenance

Some mechanics find it difficult to carry out maintenance on older cars. The reason can be they can’t access the parts needed to carry out repairs.  Or they don’t have knowledge about the car since it’s old and they haven’t dealt with many of these types of cars.

Customer reviews

The best way to learn about any car is by looking at reviews by previous owners. Reviews will enlighten you about the pros and cons of a particular model. If there are many pros and the cons seem manageable, you can go ahead to make your purchase.


How much does it cost to purchase an old Volvo?

Old Volvos range from $4,000 to $6,500. However, it depends on the year and model of the car. A 3-year-old Volvo and a 10-year-old Volvo won’t go for the same amount. Also, note that other fees, such as asking fees, add up.

Where can I buy an older Volvo?

You can get old Volvos from dealers or tier-two sellers, car auctions, or purchase directly from the seller. Most dealers are interested in making good money from new cars. Imagine selling a new car for $50,000 and selling an old Volvo for $6,000. They feel they won’t make enough money from selling older cars, so they take them to second-tier sellers.

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How much does it cost to run a check on an old Volvo?

If you got your Volvo from a dealer who has a link with services like Carfax, you won’t pay a dime to get it checked. The dealer can help you generate a vehicle report for free. But if the dealer has no link or you are buying it directly, you’ll need a subscription.

A Carfax subscription costs up to $12 or more. With this fee, they can run one VIN search and many plate searches. If you run a VIN search for more than one vehicle, you’ll need to spend more money.

What information do services like Carfax process?

They use the car’s VIN or plate number to run a check and access information like:

  • Information on previous owners
  • Gas mileage covered and mileage remaining
  • Involvement in accidents
  • Whether the car is flagged as a flood car by insurance companies
  • Information on car registration

To be on the safe side, run the searches before contacting the seller. Most CLI listers for privately owned cars often snap and post their license plate numbers. You can use it to run the check.

What is the significant difference between old and new Volvos?

The main difference is the design and technology used. Older Volvos have many similar features to new ones, but when it comes to design and technology, newer cars are very different. Some find newer technology to be too challenging to operate, and prefer an older simple vehicle.

For example, you can’t find a solely gas or diesel-engine Volvo today, as new Volvos are all hybrids or fully electric. However, if you care about performance rather than luxury, old Volvos can certainly perform.

Muhammad Arifeen

Muhammad has a broad knowledge about cars. On Luxury Cars A2Z he mainly write about Volvo and BMW.

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