What is considered good mileage for a used car?

By Kijiji Autos
What is Good Mileage for a Used Car?

Giorgio - stock.adobe.com

You’ve decided that getting a used car is the best option for your budget. Now you have questions. One of the first things to consider is what is good mileage for a used car. Below, we will cover what is deemed high or low mileage and how to approach the mileage range.

How to help determine a low or high mileage range

If you want to determine if a used car is in the low mileage range or high mileage range, you could take the average yearly mileage of 24,000 kilometres and multiply it by the car’s age, then compare that to the mileage reading on the odometer. You could also divide the odometer reading by the car's age to get the average reading.

All mileage calculations aside, some believe that any number on the odometer of 160,000 kilometres or over is a cause to be cautious, regardless of the car’s age because that is what is typically considered high mileage for a used car. 

High mileage does not necessarily mean too much mileage

A car that has 12,000 miles per year is what most of the professional mechanics would consider high mileage but not be overdriven. If you’re looking at a ten-year-old car, then an acceptable mileage could be 120,000 miles. How many kilometres is considered good for a used car? 120,000 miles might translates to just over 193,000 kilometres for a balance of high mileage, yet not overdriven.

High mileage is not necessarily equal on all cars

Factors that determine high mileage don’t necessarily mean the cars have the same wear and tear. One of the most important determining factors is whether the car was driven primarily on the highway or in the city. Fewer traffic lights and stop signs on the highway could mean using less of the features of the car. City driving often means more frequent stops, more idling, more uneven pavement, speedbumps and accelerations and slowdowns, meaning more use and higher wear of brakes, engine and suspension.

Some advantages of a high mileage vs. a low mileage car

Yes, there are advantages to a higher mileage car. One could be the price. If a lower price suits your budget, then high mileage cars could be the better option. Higher mileage could also indicates that the car has been used often. It is actually good for a car to be used because if it isn’t, its parts and components could get rusty or brittle.

One advantage of a lower mileage car is that the condition of the car could be better because of less wear and tear. The condition of a car will be affected by the former owner and how they treated the car, but for the most part, a low mileage car could be in better condition. Also, a lower mileage car might have a higher resale value should you decide to trade it in or sell it.

Factors besides mileage that affect a used car are the car’s age, maintenance and care of the car, and how it was used by the previous owner. Mileage is important and one of the first things to look at when deciding on a used car, but you have to weigh these other factors into the decision as well.

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