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How Many Miles on a Used Car is too much?

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There are lots of important things to consider before buying a used car, including the mileage. Buying any vehicle with too many miles on it is usually a very bad idea for numerous reasons. This is something that you will want to learn more about, especially if you are in the process of trying to find the right used car. This article will help you get the best deal so you don’t have any regrets later on.

Why Does Mileage Matter?

The mileage of a vehicle is typically a strong indication of what kind of condition it is in overall. Vehicles that have a lot of miles on them are usually more prone to engine and transmission problems, which can be very costly. There are all sorts of other issues that high-mileage vehicles can have.

The lower the mileage on the car you buy, the less likely you will be to have to keep spending money on repairs and maintenance. While this is certainly not the only thing to consider when car shopping, it is undeniably important. You definitely want to look at the odometer of each car when seeing what is out there.

The 100k Misconception

A lot of people believe that just about any vehicle is on its death bed once it reaches 100,000 miles. The fact is that some cars tend to last longer than others, depending on a variety of factors. There are plenty of vehicles that can go well past 100k miles with minimal issues. You shouldn’t necessarily avoid all cars with this many miles on them. This is a lot of mileage though, so major repair work could very well be imminent.

Average Life of a Car

It is somewhat difficult to measure the average life of a car, as there are so many different factors at play. Carfax states that the average consumer vehicle lasts around 150,000 miles. Most people put anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 miles on their vehicle annually.

Make and Model of the Car

The make and model of a car can give you a good idea as to how long it will last, provided it is treated right over the years. The Ford Crown Victoria is known for being one of the longest-lasting vehicles in history. While it was discontinued a while back, it was a very popular model among consumers.

These cars could easily last up to 250,000 miles. This is why pretty much every police department in the country used them for so long. The reliability of the vehicle is a huge factor to consider.

Before you buy a certain used car, you should do some research. Look for certain cars that have a reputation for being incredibly reliable. Depending on the specific model, a car with 100,000 miles could last another five or six years with regular use.

Evaluating the Vehicle’s Condition

It is very important that you make a point of evaluating the overall condition of each vehicle you look at before deciding on one to buy.

Some of the most important things to look for include:

  • Rust: The amount of rust on a car can indicate how much life it has left. This is especially true of the rust that is under the vehicle. If it has a ton of rust in the undercarriage, it is probably just a big money pit that you should avoid.
  • Track record: You will also need to find out how many accidents the vehicle has been in, if at all possible. This is another good way of finding out what sort of overall condition it is really in. You should try to get service records for the car as well. It is a good idea to know what sort of work has already been done to it.
  • Pop the hood: Another good way to get a sense of a car’s overall condition is to turn it on and pop the hood. If you hear a lot of nasty sounds coming from under the hood, you might want to move on to another car. You don’t always need to be a mechanic to tell that a car is in bad shape by listening to it.
  • Drive it: Driving the car is one of the best ways to tell what kind of condition it is in as a whole. Pay attention to how smoothly it drives, and take note of any strange noises or sensations.

It is also a good idea to get the car you are interested in buying inspected by a mechanic you trust. This will provide you with a comprehensive picture of what the vehicle’s overall condition is like. You simply do not want to buy any car in particular until you have done this. You shouldn’t need to pay very much just to have it checked out.

Miles vs. Age

While a lot of people focus on the number of miles used cars have, the age of the vehicle is also very important. The older a car is, the more likely it is to have rust underneath it, as well as other issues. If a car has been sitting somewhere for a long time without being driven, it could have serious problems that are expensive to fix. This is something else that you want to keep in mind when shopping around and weighing your options.

Final Thoughts

The fact is that there is no single number of miles on a car that is too much. It depends on lots of factors, including your particular needs, your budget, and the car itself. If you want a vehicle that is dependable and will last you a while, it’s not a good idea to get one with 150,000 miles on it. As we mentioned above, some vehicles can still last a long time even when they get to the 100k mark. You need to take all of these things into consideration before buying any used car.

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