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3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Fear High-Mileage Cars


If you’re shopping for a car, you probably have a list of “must-haves” for your ideal vehicle: from four-wheel drive to tackle Pennsylvania’s winters to a gorgeous sunroof that’s perfect for summer road trips, we all have criteria for our perfect car. But what about mileage? Most drivers assume that when it comes to buying a used car, it’s always better to choose a model with low mileage. But is that really true? If you’ve only been looking at low-mileage vehicles, you might be missing out on a great deal!

What is a High-Mileage Vehicle?

First, we need to define what exactly is a high-mileage vehicle. As a general rule, the average driver can expect to put about 12,000 to 15,000 miles on their car per year. To determine if the car is high mileage or not, compare the age of the vehicle with its number of miles. For example, a car that’s 3 years old and has 40,000 miles on its odometer would not be considered high-mileage, but a vehicle that’s only 1 year old and has 20,000 miles on it would be. 

Why Invest in a High-Mileage Vehicle?

Still not sure of the benefits of higher mileage cars? Read on to learn three reasons why you shouldn’t always shy away from cars with higher mileage.

  • Fears over high mileage are often overblown. While earlier vehicle models could be unsafe if driven after a certain mileage, today’s vehicle designs focus on long-term sustainability and strength. Vehicles made in this day and age last much longer than previous models, and fears over high mileage are often overblown in light of technological advancements.
  • Vehicles with higher mileage are more likely to have better service records. Buying a car with high mileage is often a better choice than buying a car of the same age with lower mileage. This is because vehicles with higher mileage often have more attentive owners and have seen more preventative maintenance. If you’ve received your bad credit car loan in Trenton, NJ, and you’re torn between two vehicles of the same age, you might be getting a more reliable vehicle if you choose the higher-mileage model.
  • Mileage isn’t what causes depreciation—age is. After a certain number of years, the depreciation curve of a vehicle flattens out. This is because the vehicle’s age and wear-and-tear on the vehicle’s parts is what causes depreciation—not miles driven.

Be advised that many older vehicles also don’t display the correct number of miles. Vehicles created in the 1960’s and 1970’s may have an odometer that only displays mileage up to 99,999 miles. Past this point, the odometer would “roll over” back to 0, making it much more difficult to accurately estimate the number of miles on the vehicle.

Comparing Mileage With Age

Instead of focusing on the number of miles driven alone, it’s much better to compare the mileage with the vehicle’s age. Like any type of machinery, cars and trucks need to be replaced every so often as their parts wear down and become less effective. Though you can extend the life of your vehicle with regular maintenance and care, the age of the vehicle plays a key, often-ignored role in the depreciation of the car. In some cases, higher mileage might even be a good sign, as it may indicate a more sound vehicle that has withstood the test of time.

It’s worth the effort to do some quick math when you compare a vehicle’s age with its milage. If a vehicle is averaging more than 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year, you might want to inspect it more thoroughly to be sure that you’re getting a good deal. You can also request a professional inspection before you agree to the sale to be sure that the age of the vehicle won’t cause problems when you’re on the road.

Think a high-mileage car might be right for you? With a bad credit auto loan in Philadelphia, PA from PA Auto Credit, you can drive away in a car with up to 150,000 miles already on it that can still be a reliable option! Give us a call today at 800-371-1769 to learn more!