This article discusses the importance of mileage when buying a used car. It explains that mileage, along with other factors like make, model, driving conditions, and maintenance, affects a car’s condition and longevity. It suggests normal mileage ranges for used cars and advises against buying vehicles with excessively high mileage. The article also mentions exceptions for certain durable models.
Mileage is one of the main criteria for assessing the profitability of buying a used car. How much the car has traveled during operation depends on how much more it can go without breakdowns, without causing problems to the driver. From the mileage depends on the degree of wear of the chassis, engine, the cost of operation and maintenance of the car by the new owner, driving safety.
What mileage is normal, and with what mileage it is better not to buy a car at all? Answers to these questions and useful recommendations to the buyer you will find in this article.
How do I calculate my car’s mileage?
Mileage itself is important, but there are other factors to consider when evaluating mileage:
- Make and model of the car, as each car has its own working life. For one car and 50000 is a lot, and the other even with a mileage of 150 000 km in good technical condition and with a long working life. German and Japanese cars are considered to be the most hardy and durable.
- The driver’s experience and driving style.
- Roads. A car that has been driven around town and on the highway will be in better condition than a car that has been used off-road.
- Quality of service. This includes regularity and timeliness of maintenance, quality of consumables, quality of fuel.
Thus, when calculating the normal mileage for a used car, you should analyze the actual mileage not by itself, but in conjunction with other data about the car – age, manufacturer, operating conditions, history, etc. Why is it important to compare age and mileage? The point is that the car may have been used as a cab. In this case, its annual mileage will be many times higher than the mileage of a similar car of an ordinary user, who simply drove the car to work. The condition of the cars after working in a cab service, even if they are newer than other options on the market, will be much worse.
Indicative figures to help you calculate the optimal mileage of a used car on your own:
- For a used car that has received good care and maintenance, a mileage of 40000 km is considered normal;
- if the car with such mileage looks worn out, it is worth thinking about the reliability of the odometer readings provided by the seller (there is a risk of falsification of mileage data);
- check the technical condition of the vehicle, its history.
A free odometer check can help you avoid falsifying your mileage data.
In addition, experts recommend a full external and technical inspection of the car, consult with a master to avoid deception on the part of the seller. During the inspection it is necessary to scrutinize the condition of the chassis, engine, paintwork.
What mileage is considered normal for a used car?
The optimum and maximum mileage is specified by the car manufacturer in the recommendations for vehicle operation. If we take the average norms of safety margin of cars, then for gasoline cars it is about 150000 km, and for diesel cars it is a little more – around 250000 km. If we take into account the average mileage of a passenger car: 12000-18000 km per year, it is best to buy a variant no older than 3 years with a mileage of 30000-40000 km. In this case, you can be sure that the car will serve you trouble-free for at least 3-4 years, until it reaches not the maximum, but the psychological barrier of its capabilities.
However, this criterion cannot be the same for all cars on the secondary market, because, as we have already said, each car has its own safety margin. In addition, you should also choose the car based on the expected intensity of use in the future. The above calculations are relevant if the car is expected to have a standard annual mileage. The higher the intensity of use of the car, the lower its initial mileage should be.
What kind of mileage should you not buy a car with?
It is not rational and wrong to buy a car with the maximum mileage for this car. Such a car has already exhausted its resources, which means that during its operation, you are guaranteed to experience breakdowns, unnecessary repair costs, high maintenance costs, including high fuel costs.
A mileage of 100000 km is considered a psychological barrier for gasoline cars, and odometer readings of 150000 are already critical. With such figures on the kilometer counter, it is better not to buy the car at all. For diesel cars, these values are slightly higher than 150000 and 250000 km, respectively.
However, there are some exceptions. So, for some brands models of cars even 250000-300000 km of mileage are not critical because their real working limit reaches 500000 km and more. Such cars are called “millionaires”.