Home Used Cars How many miles are too many for a used car?

How many miles are too many for a used car?


When it involves automobile shopping for, you want your new-to-you used automobile to offer you heaps or tens of hundreds of miles of hassle-free transportation. And common experience seems to suggest that the fewer miles a used car has, the longer it’s going to faithfully serve you. But with used automobile charges at file highs, a better mileage automobile might also better match your price range.

used car mileage

Is buying a excessive-mileage vehicle a good idea? Is the decrease-miles-equals-higher-car correlation a tough-and-fast rule to stay by using? The real answers to those questions are a bit greater nuanced than it appears at the start blush. Exceptions exist, and they’re no longer usually obvious.
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All this begs the obvious query: how many miles ought to a used vehicle have, anyway?

To provide you with a higher feel of what might be an appropriate mileage for a used car – and why that’s a hard metric to degree – and whilst a excessive-mileage vehicle might be the better buy, we’ve done the studies and flushed out the information. All the following is well worth retaining in mind the subsequent time you’re scrutinizing an odometer at your nearby dealership:
Use and Abuse

All cars get driven, but the line among used and abused is a exceptional one. Some proprietors are so fanatical they’ll keep each receipt pertaining to their automobile, be it oil adjustments, fuel fill-ups, or car washes. Others will most effective be privy to the need to carrier their car when caution lighting begin flickering on the dash.

Most humans will fall into the spectrum between those two extremes. But whilst there are two comparable cars with unique mileage, you ought to move for the higher maintained automobile rather than the lower-mile car. Of route, there’s a restrict to this – a automobile with 30,000 miles is superior to 1 with three hundred,000 miles. But if the gulf in mileage is only ten or twenty grand, could you as a substitute the lower-mile disregarded automobile or higher-mile pampered one?

To get a sense of protection records, the pleasant sources are actual receipts for services done or a log of repairs completed. If those renovation records are not to be had – and it’s not unusual if they aren’t – a carfax or Autocheck car history record will expose any recognised provider report history in its document. These reviews may also name out any earlier injuries, which is something else you need to avoid irrespective of the mileage. Feeling confident about a automobile’s records is probably more important than any other component, consisting of the variety of miles displaying at the odometer. Many iSeeCars used vehicle listings hyperlink to free Carfax and Autocheck reports. To supplement those vehicle records reviews, iSeeCars offers everything you have to understand about a used automobile including pricing analysis, listings history, and projected depreciation with its loose VIN test device.
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And don’t discount the simple act of peeking under the hood. If you pull the dipstick and spot oil that’s dark and sludgy, it’s overdue for a alternate. Cracked belts and hoses are also likely beyond their top. Murky coolant is equally regarding. All these symptoms factor to bad renovation and immoderate put on and tear, and that can mean added headaches down the road (if you want a more complete guide to inspecting a used car, see what to search for while shopping for a used automobile).

On the flip facet of all that is disuse. Sometimes a vehicle rarely gets any use at all, and spends most of its lifestyles gathering dirt in some garage. Eventually, when this car hits the market, the vendor will probably try to get top greenback thanks to its abnormally low mileage.

On the face of it, it looks as if the top class might be worth it – how frequently can you find a like-new example of an antique, discontinued vehicle? For people who swear via a positive product – think loyal Town Car consumers or diesel truck consumers – any such discover seems like a godsend.

But there’s a catch. When a vehicle sits for a prolonged time period, sure elements will break down. Rubbers, seals, and gaskets are an excellent example of this –whilst sufficient time passes those pliable additives will flip brittle and become useless no matter usage. It’s now not uncommon for an strangely low-miles car to spout leaks after suddenly being pressed into every day service, way to those rubber components failing.
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The irony here is if the car had been driven often, this might no longer have been an issue – the thermal enlargement and contraction manner while an engine is administered, together with the light lubrication of any passing fluids, may additionally have prolonged the deterioration of these rubbers.

This particular difficulty is most effective relevant for older but very low-mile vehicles – suppose a ten-year antique automobile with most effective 30,000 or less miles on it. These are uncommon reveals, and can nonetheless be really worth shopping for if you have a soft spot for a positive make and version, however be wary approximately potential highly-priced fixes that can be hiding in an underused automobile.


You additionally want to be cautious of a more moderen car that has accumulated mileage some distance beyond the country wide yearly common of 12,000-15,000 miles a year. Any automobile that sees such serious annual mileage method the motive force become doing some hefty seat time. It’s inevitable that racking up miles at any such clip approach more maintenance can be wanted sooner.

You might be able to pick up a higher-mile vehicle for cheaper, but it additionally way you’re that a lot closer to essential servicing for such things as timing belts, cooling systems, and brakes. Servicing these structures aren’t reasonably-priced – and it’s spending that may be deferred if you buy a lower-mile vehicle.

How Old of a Used Car Should I Buy?

It’s really worth reiterating the once a year average every year mileage for an ordinary commuter is 12,000-15,000 miles a 12 months. This method a five-yr old car is probable sitting at 60,000 – seventy five,000 miles; a ten-12 months old vehicle is also displaying 120,000 – one hundred fifty,000 miles at the odometer.

At a positive point in a vehicle’s life, unexpected maintenance will start going on with increasing frequency. There’s no tough age or mileage at which this happens, but regularly enough it occurs around when the automobile is eight-10 years old and one hundred,000-one hundred twenty,000 miles. This is inevitable – the engineers can’t construct automobiles to remaining for all time. If there’s a positive age or mileage to keep away from, it’s the decade-vintage vehicle whose odometer reading is already showing six figures.

Mileage and vehicle age are indelibly tied collectively, however much like mileage, there’s no unmarried proper answer as to what’s a very good age for a used vehicle. Generally you want the most modern automobile you can manage to pay for in your price range. But the same old used-automobile concerns persist – if there’s a vehicle that’s a year or two older than you would really like however turned into maintained properly and never in an coincidence, it’s a higher purchase than a newer car that has been in an coincidence or poorly maintained. As always, normal condition is paramount.

Highway Miles Versus City Miles

Another factor to remember is the type of mileage a vehicle has accumulated. For example, a vehicle that’s sold new in a New York City borough could have a far rougher existence than one offered new in, say, rural Arizona. Why? That New York vehicle could be banging over potholes and swerving past visitors in its rush to move stoplight to stoplight. The Arizona vehicle will in all likelihood be doing serene cruising on the clean asphalt that ribbons through the wasteland.

In all likelihood, the auto in spacious Arizona will rack up a great bit more miles than its NYC counterpart. But the ones wilderness miles represent top mileage: mileage that accumulates with a certain ease now not determined in city driving. The cause for that is the same reason why dealers love to boast approximately motorway miles in their advertising: an open avenue and not using a turns to contend with or stoplights to brake for is the least demanding situation for an automobile. It is also the state of affairs that racks up mileage the quickest.

City vehicles that aren’t taxicabs or rideshare cars will probably cross nicely below the countrywide yearly common of 12,000 miles a year. But they’ll wear out quicker thanks to the nature of urban conditions as opposed to automobiles that in large part see lengthy highway journeys.

The Bottom Line

Mileage must be taken into consideration as one critical component among many essential elements whilst shopping for a used automobile. You want the lowest mile vehicle you may get that has been well maintained, never in an coincidence, and used often. Sometimes this blend means passing up on the lowest-mile car you locate. That’s OK. More miles gained’t kill a vehicle, but prior neglect will.

Shop clever and buy the nicest car you could find, and also you’ll get many lots of miles of happy motoring.

If you’re equipped to begin the automobile shopping for process, you can seek over 4 million new and used automobiles with iSeeCars’ award-winning automobile search engine that facilitates consumers discover the quality car offers with the aid of offering key insights and treasured resources, like the iSeeCars loose VIN test document.