Knowing what is good mileage on a used car is a principal question that many people ask. Whether you are considering either to sell or to buy a used automobile, it is crucial to know what is good mileage on a car. Multiple factors influence the overall distance traveled by your automobile. However, it is not the sole factor that you can use to determine the condition of your car.

Is mileage so important?

Whether The mileage is an important factor for determining the condition of the vehicle will always be debatable. Car producers always provide data that states how many miles will your automobile last. Does this mean that it is truly the main determinant criterion to access the condition of an automobile? Not really, as some car makers exaggerate not only mileage but also all the other performance stats.

If you look at two different cases of vehicle owners, you will notice that despite the similar mileage their cars can be in thoroughly different conditions. For instance, if one person uses an automobile on a daily basis to get to work in the city and takes good care of it, it is highly likely that the car will have a long lifespan.

However, if another person recently bought the same automobile but uses it for racing and does not take good care of it, it might have half-life expectancy than the car from the previous example. The mileage is simply the indicator of the number of miles you have driven. However, it’s not only the number of miles that you have to take into consideration but also how you cover this distance.

Besides mileage, there are many crucial factors that affect the life expectancy of your car. For instance, driving habits, frequency of maintenance, weather conditions, road system, and many other factors will determine whether a car is in optimal condition or not.

What factors influence the mileage of the car?

What affects mileage on a vehicle?

As you have seen, many factors influence the condition of the car. However, the mileage is still a vital criterion as it is used to access the life expectancy of an automobile by the buyers. This is why so many people seek to find out what is good mileage on a car. Similarly, Insurance companies use this factor to determine the payments that you have to make annually. Hence, it is vital to know what affects this seemingly useless indicator and how to keep it at a reasonable level.

In order to know what is good mileage on a used car, it is essential to know the factors that will affect it. These factors are also essential to determine what good mileage on a car in general. The main factors that influence the mileage of the automobile are location, age, gender, income level, lifestyle, cultural traits, etc.

Location

If you are one of those individuals who has to drive each day to work long distance you will know the importance of this factor. Such people tend to travel more than average (13,476 Miles / 21688 Km) and reach the expected life expectancy of their car sooner than average drivers.

Age

As it appears the driving habits are noticeably different when we use age as a determinant factor. Based on Federal Highway Administration of the US, the drivers between 20-54 are more prone to long-distance traveling as they drive around 15,000 miles (24,000 Km) per year that is almost twice more than the drivers from other age groups (see table 1).

Gender

Gender also has a significant impact on driving habits. The male drivers seem to be more prone to driving long distances. According to the Federal Highway Administration of the US on average male drivers cover around 60% more distance than female drivers (see table 1).

Age Male Female Total (per year) 
16-19 8,206 6,873 7,624 Miles / 12,270 Km
20-34 17,976 12,004 15,098 Miles / 24,300 Km
35-54 18,858 11,464 15,291 Miles / 24608 Km
55-64 15,859 7,780 11,972 Miles / 19267 Km
65+ 10,304 4,785 7,646 Miles / 12305 Km
Average 16,550 10,142 13,476 Miles / 21688 Km

Income Level

Parkinson’s Law suggests that more we make more we spend. This rule applies to the mileage as well. Our income highly influences our behavior when we consider different methods of transportation. For instance, high-income makes us more willing to use our car for transportation on a daily basis even for significantly longer distances. On the other hand, if the income doesn’t allow us such luxury, we are more likely to use public transport.

Lifestyle

Consider two different individuals. One person who admires traveling and covers long distances with an automobile each month and another person who lives close to work and uses car once in a while. You may have guessed that the mileage of these two cars will be significantly different. This example indicates the role of the lifestyle while determining the mileage of the automobile.

Cultural Traits

The culture that we are born in influences our character and lifestyle in general. For instance, in the Netherlands people use cars solely for certain situations and prefer bicycles for everyday life. On the other hand, In the US many towns are situated close to megalopolises and automobiles are the main method of transportation. Citizens of this towns will have to use an automobile on a daily basis if they work in the megalopolises.

The purpose of the car

Every automobile has its own purpose in the family especially when there are many families with more than one car. It is difficult to find an automobile that will offer all the advantages at once. Therefore, the purpose might vary from family transportation to speedy driving. Similarly, sometimes the car might even have several owners in the family that will significantly affect the mileage.

What is the average yearly mileage?

In order to determine what is good mileage on a used car, it is vital to know the average distance that we can use as a baseline. The average mileage around the world is 12,400 miles (20,000 Km) per year. However, these statistics differ depending on the country. For instance, as indicated in the table above, the average distance traveled in the US is 13,476 miles (21,688 Km).

Usually the appropriate department of each country states these statistics specifically for their country. Therefore, you can always check the relevant website that will provide the most up-to-date data for your country.

The carmakers with the highest reported life spans

Which cars have higher lifespan?

To understand what is good mileage on a used car it is vital to know the differences among the carmakers. The mileage is an important differentiating factor that automobile producers state when they introduce a new model. Despite the complex nature of a car’s life expectancy, the mileage still represents the decisive factor for car buyers.

To determine the life span of different automobile makers we cannot simply rely on the statistics that they provide. Most of the time they tend to overstate such characteristics to boost the sales in the short-term, hoping that after 10 years of car exploitation the owners will not be able to recall the misleading characteristics. Here are automobile manufacturers that truly meet or exceed the expectations and have proven to have superior life expectancy:

  • Toyota: Automobiles of this amazing car maker can sometimes exceed 250,000 miles (400,000 Km);
  • Mazda: Can go up to 200,000 miles (320,000 Km);
  • Honda;
  • Ford: Even though Ford has a noticeable place in this list, it only applies to trucks and SUVs models;
  • Chevrolet: Similarly to Ford, long-lasting nature applies to trucks and SUVs only;

How many miles is too many?

Let’s look at the limit that you have to keep in mind when buying a used car. Imagine buying a used automobile that you have to keep under maintenance each month. This is quite common when a car has already reached its limits. Therefore, it is crucial to know the margin of the automobile’s life span that you have to observe.

150,000 miles (241,000 Km) is a limit that applies to most of the carmakers. The most vital takeaway is to keep the expected life expectancy of your car model in mind. Let’s look at the example that will show the importance of this criterion when you make a buying decision. However, as we have seen in most cases it can be irrelevant figure.

Let’s take the example of the US. if you buy 10 years old average Toyota car in the US, it will have mileage around 130,000 miles (217,000 Km). As we have mentioned Toyota Automobiles can go up to and even exceed 250,000 miles (402,000 Km). Hence, you will be left with 120,000 miles (185,000 Km) driving that also means almost 9 years of life span.

On the other hand, there are a plethora of cars that cannot go up to 100,000 miles. Therefore, buying such automobiles with the mileage as low as 70,000 miles will mean around 2 years of life span left.

What is good mileage on a used car?

Any mileage below 110,000 miles is a reasonable mileage that you would not like to exceed when purchasing a used automobile. As you have seen there are many factors that you have to consider while determining the lifespan of your car or a car that you intend to buy. However, as we have discussed in the previous paragraph, some automobiles cannot even last more than 100,000 miles. It is essential to make in-depth research before you decide to consider any offers.

If you intend to buy second-hand automobile firstly use the optimal mileage suggestions that we provided to find the most reasonable options. Secondly, look for reviews online related to the longevity of those cars. I would not suggest relying solely on the statistics that manufacturers state on the official websites.

This information will be enough to estimate the remaining life expectancy of the automobile in terms of mileage. Simply devide this number by the average yearly mileage (12,400 Miles worldwide, 13,476 Miles in the US) and you will get the approximate number of years that the car will serve you. For more precise results you can take into account your driving habits or usage data from experience and determine your average early mileage.

Don’t expect to get the precise assumptions. Whether the previous owner took good care of the car or not will highly impact these presumptions. There is always a risk when you buy a second-hand automobile.

Keep your car’s mileage reasonable

If you would like to sell your second-hand car or just keep your car mileage reasonable you have to make sure that the health of your automobile is in optimal condition. Even though it might even be a useless indicator in certain cases, you may find it problematic to sell an automobile with high mileage. Therefore, it is essential to keep it at a reasonable level.

If you find this step unnecessary you may have to think again. It will also help your automobile last longer as wear and tear significantly affects the condition of the car. Even if you don’t consider selling your automobile in the near future, avoiding unnecessary journeys with your car will save you time and money required for its annual maintenance.

How to avoid misleading mileage data?

As you have already seen the mileage of your car is an important characteristic that you have to be cautious about. However, sometimes this data might be misleading if your automobile is not functioning as it has to. For instance, even the slightest changes in the tire size can significantly affect the mileage in the long run.

The mileage is calculated by multiplying the number of wheel rotations on the circumference of the wheel that came with an original automobile. Any changes to the size of the tire to enhance the appearance of your car or even wear and tear will affect the mileage that will be recorded in the memory of your automobile.

To solve this issue, you can always be proactive and make sure your tires are of optimal size. It would be almost impossible to prove buyers of your second-hand car that the mileage is significantly exaggerated.

How to test the performance of your car?

How to check the performance of the car if mileage is so useless indicator? The best way to check your automobile’s performance is to find an optimal testing environment and compare this data with the performance statistics provided by the manufacturer. However, you would like to avoid recording unnecessary mileage that will even worsen these stats.

You can purchase a premium-quality Mileage Stopper, install it on your own in less than half-hour, and test the performance of your car. This module is useful for multiple purposes and you can always find good use for it later.

Takeaway

Now you have all the information that you might need to determine what is good mileage on a used car. Multiple factors affect the performance of the automobile. However, the mileage is used to portray the whole picture of your automobile’s condition. Calculating the optimal amount of distance traveled by the used automobile is not as easy as it might seem. Many underlying factors influence the overall life expectancy and you have to make required assumptions.