What is The Best Mileage to Buy a Car?
Written by : Ray Pierce
Last Updated: 11/14/2023

A quick overview of the topics covered in this article.

What is The Best Mileage to Buy a Car?

Car Mileage

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that the brand and model of a vehicle, together with how the vehicle is used and how well it is maintained, all have a significant impact on its overall condition. However, the mileage that a car gets is also a significant element that a vehicle’s owner should be very concerned about.

Mileage has a significant role in determining a car’s longevity. It is important to know what is the best mileage to buy a car and why it is essential. This content will inform you about everything you must know about mileage and other related factors while purchasing a car.

What is Car Mileage?

Mileage means the sum of miles a vehicle covers. It is one of the factors that have a significant impact on a car’s overall condition. By determining a car’s mileage, you can understand a car’s condition, previous damages, repairs or replacements, and maintenance records. Miles of cars is a complicated factor for a car buyer because there is no rigid rule on how many miles on cars are too low or too high.


Does Mileage Affect the Value of a Car?

Before purchasing a car, you must consider the advantages and disadvantages of a car’s mileage. High-mileage cars are not very reliable to buy, especially when the car is a used one. They require proper maintenance, and the maintenance cost of high-mileage cars is expensive when it exceeds 100,000 miles. The most common issues we see with high mileage used cars are fuel pump damage, breakdown of brake pads, damage in the engine by the timing belt, transmission stiffness, worn-out tires, etc.

Of course, a car’s mileage is a big factor that affects the value of a car. Therefore, you must check a used car mileage before purchasing. Though in most cases, high-mileage cars have more drawbacks than low mileage. There are pros of high mileage cars and cons of low mileage cars too. Let’s get into the discussion on how mileage affects the value of a car.

Advantages of high mileage cars

  • If you are more concerned about a car’s pricing, choose a high mileage car as they are less costly.
  • The car parts maintain good mobility as they are frequently used. A high-mileage car needs regular movement and exercise.
  • High-mileage cars don’t require costly repairs like low-mileage cars.
  • A low mileage car has more advantages than a high mileage car. It is more attractive and safer to buy a mileage car.

Advantages of low mileage cars

  • Low-mileage cars have less wear and tear; for this, they last longer than high-mileage cars. However, a car’s longevity depends much on the owner’s usage, treatment, and maintenance of his car.
  • Low-mileage cars have higher resale value.

How Much Mileage Devalues Your Car?

You must check the mileage reading shown by the odometer to determine whether it is lower or higher than the reasonable range. Now, the question is, how much car mileage is considered too high? Note that the average mileage should not exceed 15,000 miles per year. So, when you want to understand the mileage reading and whether it is within the acceptable range, multiply the ideal range by the age of your car. After that, divide your car’s odometer reading by its age if you want to get the actual reading. Many people compare their car’s mileage to a year’s average car mileage reading.

What Is a Good Mileage for a Used Car to Buy?

You might ask what is considered a good mileage for a used car to buy. In most cases, the buyers want a low mileage used car, but there is no parameter to determine how many miles are too high on a used car. However, it is good to stick to 12,000 miles per year; that should be multiplied by the car’s year. The current average car mileage per year is about 12,000 miles. On that note, a ten-year-old car might have a 120,000 miles odometer reading. Most car owners drive their cars on highways and city mileage, but knowing which cars cover the most is necessary.

You need to research well to know the average mileage for a used car. It has been found that an average car owner drives 14,263 miles per year. Don’t think any mileage car is worth your investment. Neither low mileage cars nor high mileage cars should be chosen. If the range after multiplication is significantly higher than the excellent mileage range for cars, you must go for an in-depth check on that used car. After checking well, you can identify the car maintenance condition and the major repairs or replacements, if there were any. There is no proper answer on how many miles are too high or too low. However, you must ensure that the odometer reading about mileage is accurate.

Good Mileage Car

Is It Worth Buying a Used Car with High Mileage?

We can see many issues with a high-mileage car, mainly when used very roughly. Before purchasing a used car, you should bring a technician to the car’s dealer to conduct a driving test and get the car inspected. The mechanic will inform you about the symptoms of wear and tear (if there are any) in the very initial stage of your purchase. There is no doubt that used cars with high mileage may cause different issues such as-

  • Damage to the Fuel Pump
  • Breakage of Timing Belt
  • Failure of Automatic Transmission
  • Leakage of Water Pump
  • Damage to the Battery
  • Dead Tires

However, the car’s mileage is not the only necessary thing you should be concerned about while purchasing a used car. You should look for many factors when it comes to buying used cars like:

  • The age of the car
  • The reason to use the car
  • Maintenance techniques of the car used by the owner
  • The damages occurred to the car so far

Which is More Important, Mileage or Year?

Many are worried about what to look for more in-depth when buying a used vehicle, mileage, or years of use. These questions are so apparent to the seller to hear from the buyer in the used car markets. Both mileage and year are crucial factors to consider before purchasing a car. You must know how much impact these factors have on a car’s condition and which one is more vital. Let’s check out how these factors matter to a used car.

How Does Mileage of Cars Matter?

Looking at the reading of mileage helps you understand the car’s maintenance and its previous life to its owner. The more miles a car was used for, the higher the chances are to hold signs and symptoms of wear and tear.

How Does the Age of Cars Matter?

To identify the overall condition of a used car, it is essential to know the car’s age also. Maybe, a car’s age is not that strong an indicator like mileage, yet its age affects a car in numerous ways. Old cars tend to be banged up more than new cars. Since the old cars are used for a long time, the parts of the car wear down naturally due to dust and debris.

How Many Miles Can Affect Your Car?

The miles that can affect your car are highly dependent on the condition of your car, its history, making, and model. Before car shopping, a mechanic should be taken to the spot of car purchase to inspect the car’s overall condition. The mechanic can give you different ideas you need to know for a used or new car based on the indicators. If you see the odometer reading is close to 100,000 miles or more, it should be under proper maintenance. A well-maintained car can survive for an extended period without costly repairs or replacement of the different parts of the car.

So, when your car is affected by its high mileage, you should take care of it properly. Remember not to ride your car on bumpy roads. You should also avoid hitting the car’s brakes very hard. Any vehicle can be easily attacked by rust, dirt, grime, and debris, which cause damage to the vehicle and prevent the car’s speed. Therefore, cleaning your car can save your car from potential damage. The more you take care of your car, the better performance you can expect from it.

Mileage Odometer


Mileage doesn’t affect modern vehicles much compared to older vehicles. However, you should consider the best mileage to buy a car. While buying a used car, always try to bring a professional mechanic to check the signs and symptoms of wear and tear that can lead to potential damage to a car. In the case of a used car, try to know the previous maintenance records of the car used by the seller. Dealing with the seller can make the purchase safe and receive reliable assurance.  You can also check out Zippy Cash for Cars for better guidance regarding this matter.

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Written by : Ray Pierce

Ray Pierce founded Zippy Cash for Cars in 2001 and has been in the automotive industry buying cars ever since. Starting off with 2 employees, Ray is proud to now have over 50 employees buying cars coast to coast.