What is Good Mileage On A Used Car?

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Whether you’re shopping for, trading in, or simply appraising a used vehicle, there’s plenty of things that need a good looking-over. Of course the car’s physical and mechanical condition are pretty first-and-foremost items. However, in the used car buying and selling business, almost nothing comes across as more important to folks than your car’s mileage. Let’s talk about that.

As a general rule, most people will tell you to avoid buying a used car that has over 100,000 miles – but that isn’t necessarily a steadfast rule. There’s plenty of people out there on Forsyth area roads driving reliable vehicles well into the 250,000+ mile mark – it’s simply a matter of maintenance and how the vehicle has been driven. In this article, we’ll talk a bit about the ins and outs of mileage over time, and try to answer what exactly good mileage is for a used car.

Four More Pillars of Used Car Decision Making

Although mileage is a decent enough estimate of general use, it doesn’t address a few key factors that could even potentially render the number all but irrelevant. When shopping for a used car, try to get as much of the following information as possible, it could sway your decision on a higher-mileage car that you like.

  • Location – Vehicles driven in an area that have a warm, dry climate tend to undergo less stress than vehicles from areas that have a damp, cold climate.
  • Maintenance – Try to obtain, if possible, any maintenance records for the vehicle in question. If regular oil changes, and other maintenance are noted, it’s a good sign!
  • Usage – A car driven 100,000 miles in heavy traffic will wear down certain components sooner than one that has racked up 100,000 miles on the open highway. Try to get an idea of the previous owner’s driving uses before you buy.
  • Condition – Have a trained mechanic inspect the vehicle for any issues, such as mechanical problems or rust. Garage-kept vehicles in dry climates may look like new, but a mechanic can see beyond that.

Is Mileage the Ultimate Decider?

Unfortunately, there’s no perfect answer for the question, “what is good mileage on a used car?” There’s too many other factors that a good used car shopper should take into consideration. A used car from the 90’s and early 2000’s could have over 100,000 miles and a perfect maintenance record, while a much newer vehicle could have significantly less miles and a neglected engine from the previous owner. There’s simply more to it than just the number on the dashboard. 

Age vs. Mileage 

It’s worth noting – speaking of older cars with higher mileage – that the typical driver clocks about 12,000 miles per year. Ideally, your next used car is indoor kept, driven locally, and regularly maintained – in a perfect world, anyway. However, in an imperfect world, always make sure to take these thoughts into account:

  • A vehicle with a well-documented maintenance history is preferable to one that has been neglected.
  • Low mileage vehicles often come with a higher price tag. 
  • A car that hasn’t been driven regularly will often have higher repair costs. Mechanical issues, or problems with rubber seals and gaskets, can develop if a car isn’t driven on a regular basis. 

Find Top Quality Used Cars in Forsyth!

If you’re looking to eliminate a ton of risk when it comes to buying a used car from a private seller, a dealership-inspected used vehicle, like those available right here at Volume Chevrolet, is worth considering. Looking to add to that feeling of security with some extra savings? Check out how much insurance you should have on a used car. Then, check out our used car specials section online! You can even pre-apply for financing through our convenient online tool!

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450 North Lee Street
Forsyth, GA 31029
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