What is Good Mileage for a Used Car?

June 4th, 2023 by

When purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, there are many factors to consider. What type of vehicle do you prefer — a car, truck, or SUV? Do you want a manual or automatic transmission? What is your budget? Are there any additional features you want? And, of course, what color do you prefer? You must figure out your answers to all these questions before deciding on the perfect used vehicle.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search, it can be tempting to make the purchase — especially if the car is in excellent shape with a full vehicle history report and only one previous owner. However, before you make the purchase, be sure to check the mileage on the odometer, as it can be a critical factor in determining whether or not the vehicle is a good buy.

This guide will walk you through the average mileage on all used cars and the best mileage to sell your car. We also discuss what’s considered high and low mileage for a used car, tips for buying a used car, and additional factors to consider. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge to make an informed purchase or sale.

Why Does Mileage Matter?

Used car mileage

Mileage by jw286 is licensed with CC BY 2.0

While there’s no hard and fast rule when determining what mileage is good for a used car, typically, the lower the mileage, the more appealing the vehicle. This is because the lower mileage indicates less wear and tear on the mechanical components and bodywork. When you compare two otherwise similar vehicles, the one with the lower mileage will typically be more desirable. However, there are other factors to consider when whether a used car has good mileage, so it’s important to weigh these elements before making a final decision.

How To Shop for a Quality Used Vehicle With Mileage in Mind

In addition to assessing the mileage when shopping for a used vehicle, there are other key factors to consider. Here’s what you should look for:

  • Usage:  Learn as much as you can about the former owner’s driving habits. Cars frequently driven in stop-and-go city traffic tend to experience more transmission wear than cars mainly driven on highways.
  • Previous location: Cars driven in a location with harsher weather conditions — such as wet, cold climates — undergo more wear and tear than those driven in warm, dry climates.
  • Maintenance:  Inspect the vehicle’s maintenance records and ensure that the previous owner was up to date with the manufacturer-recommended service. A clean record signals that the previous owner took all the necessary preventive measures to avoid future problems.
  • Condition: Having a certified technician conduct a multipoint vehicle inspection before you purchase it is essential. This can help uncover any potential issues that may result in expensive repairs in the future.
  • Model reliability: Check consumer-sourced and published reliability scores from reputable automotive sources to ensure that you’re getting a quality car. Doing your research beforehand can help you avoid costly repairs and hassle.

What’s the Average Mileage of Used Cars on the Road?

Most cars accrue an average annual mileage of 10,000 to 12,000 miles; however, this number has decreased since the 2000s. In 2019, before the onset of the pandemic, the average miles per year had dropped to about 7,500 miles. This means a five-year-old car will have about 37,500 miles, while a 10-year-old car will have 75,000 miles. These figures will likely fluctuate in the coming years based on the amount people use their cars and how often. But you can use them to determine whether a car has a high or low mileage for its age.

Generally, the fewer miles on a car, the better. If you can find a car with fewer miles than the current average, it’s likely in better condition. However, higher mileage isn’t always a bad thing. If the owner primarily drove the car on highways, the vehicle won’t have sustained as much wear and tear as a car mainly used for city driving. You should also consider the age and make of the car, as certain cars are hardier than others. Finally, regular maintenance and upkeep over a car’s lifetime will also affect how it fares, even with higher mileage accumulation.

What’s a Good Mileage When Selling Your Car?

Your car’s mileage largely determines its perceived value. Used car buyers are more likely to purchase a vehicle with low mileage than one that has been put through its paces with a significant amount of miles. However, selling your car too soon can cause you to miss out on potential benefits, while waiting until it’s too late could make finding a buyer challenging. For these reasons, it’s important to determine the best time to sell your car based on its mileage.

The best time to sell your vehicle is before it hits 60,000 miles. At this point, your car should still be around five years old and could command a higher price from buyers. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the added cost of repairs and replacement parts associated with a car driven for longer distances.

What’s Considered High Mileage and Low Mileage on a Used Car?

Low mileage on a used car is defined as a figure below 7,500 miles per year when divided by the number of years the car has been on the road. This indicates that the car has traveled fewer miles than most cars of the same age. In contrast, a car with an average mileage of more than 7,500 miles per year is considered a high-mileage vehicle. This car has been driven more and is likely to have suffered more wear and tear.

Find Your Next Low-Mileage Used Car at Hi-Line Autohaus

Now you have a better understanding of what constitutes good mileage for a used car, it’s time to check out our extensive selection of pre-owned vehicles. Our vehicle inventory is full of high-quality, carefully inspected cars in excellent condition and ready to take you on your next adventure. Looking to trade in your current ride for something newer? No problem. We offer competitive trade-in rates, so you can maximize the value of your current car and get into a newer model. Contact us today to get started.

Shop Used Vehicles

Posted in Used Vehicles