Best Mileage on a Used Car and Why Low Isn’t Always the Answer
There are a lot of things to consider when buying a used car, but most buyers seem particularly keen on finding a car with low mileage. But could buying a higher mileage car make more sense? CarGurus car sales experts answer some of the questions you need to ask when looking at a car’s odometer.
What is the average mileage?
Many of us think that around 10,000 miles per year is the right range for a used car.
In fact, the distance traveled by passenger vehicles has declined in recent years, as revealed by examining the mileages recorded during the annual MoT tests over the past two decades.
In 2002, the figure was 9,200 miles.
Since then, that figure has dropped quite significantly, and the average mileage now stands at just 7,500 miles per year.
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A car driven during rush hour, for example, will have used its clutch, gearbox and brakes much more than a car that has been on the highway all day, which could lead to premature wear of these elements. .
And it’s also true that some car parts deteriorate from lack of use: rubber parts can perish and brake discs can rust on cars that are only lightly used.
However, a low mileage car may also be in better overall condition inside and out. Its seats will probably have suffered less wear, and it will have had less occasion to have picked up stone chips on its body during its life.
If your annual mileage is above average then buying a low mileage car makes financial sense because if you keep it for two or three years and then by the time you have just sold it there are strong odds that she’s covered an average number of miles for her age by then and still have solid retained value.