What is Good Mileage for a Used Car?

Posted: Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

When you shopping for a used car, mileage is likely number one on the list of things you’re thinking about. While everyone would prefer a model with as few miles as possible, most vehicles can go well beyond 100,000 miles if they’re properly maintained. If a car has a lot of miles but has been well-maintained and has just done easy driving between Herculaneum and Florissant, for instance, it’s likely still a very good buy.

The fact is that there are lots of other factors to consider beyond good mileage for a used car.

Good Mileage for Used Car Depends on Use

If you’re thinking about purchasing a used car, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Driving Conditions: A car that’s been subjected to 50,000 miles exclusively in the stop-and-go nightmare of downtown St. Louis has likely experienced much more wear and tear than a car that’s been driven mostly long distances on the highway.
  • Where It’s Been Driven: If a car has endured several harsh winters with the attendant wear from road salt, it’s not going to be in as good of condition as a car with the same mileage that’s been exclusively driven in a hot, dry area.
  • Maintenance and Repair History: A vehicle that’s not properly maintained will not stand the test of time. A car that has been serviced properly and has avoided major collisions stands an excellent chance of lasting well past 100,000 miles. Be sure to get a vehicle history report to be certain that the pre-owned car in question hasn’t had any major issues.

Age Matters, Too

Another thing you’ll want to consider when shopping for pre-owned cars is their age, which, depending on the above factors, could have a much bigger effect on its long-term viability than the number of miles on its odometer. For instance, cars that haven’t been driven very often are likely to need more expensive repairs — if a car isn’t driven regularly, maintenance issues like cracking in its rubbers could crop up. There’s also the fact that a vehicle with lower mileage can usually demand a premium on the used car market, even if its maintenance history is spotty.
Green Light Auto Excited Punk Rocker with new Car

In other words, it’s important to take a holistic view of older cars rather than fixating on the miles it’s been driven.

Need a Loan to Buy the Right Used Car?

At Green Light Auto Credit, we specialize in second chances — regardless of your credit history, we can help you get the financing you need to purchase a used car. If you’re ready to get started, you can apply for financing online after finding a model you’re interested in from our list of the most fuel-efficient cars of 2019.

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