When in the search for a used car, there is not much information available to you as a purchaser. Even when buying from a person and not a dealership, rarely will you find records on maintenance and on which parts of the car have been replaced. In most cases, the only available information to a used car purchaser on the condition is the visual appearance and the mileage. The phrase ‘looks can be deceiving’ clearly rules out the first criteria. Mileage being our only option, the only prudent question would be then: How many miles is too many for a used car? Carzing looks at this concept and provides an excellent opinion that can be used by buyers nationwide. m
So, what’s the magic number?
Common sense would suggest that the used car with a lower odometer reading should be the number one option for you. But when mileage is used on its own to assess a car’s worth, it can be quite misleading.
First of all, the accepted assumption is that the normal driver would drive about 12,000 to 15,000 miles in a year. Working with that assumption, a five-year-old car should have a reading of between 60,000 to 75,000 miles. If it has a 30,000 mileage, does it mean it is a good value purchase? Those miles could be 30,000 miles of hard-driving, leaving significant damage on the suspension, shocks, and bearings. See what we mean?
What we encourage is to look at the odometer against the upper limit. A reliable and well-made car is said to max out at 300,000 miles or thereabouts, with the proper maintenance. You can therefore check how many years your car can serve you.
Put mileage aside; just for a second
While mileage can be a good indicator of the condition of the car, it is easy for the mileage to provide an incorrect assessment. To help you in your purchase, we have been able to identify some tips (aside from mileage) that can help you lock down on a good choice.
Cars are like property especially with regards to a particular characteristic, heterogeneity. There are some car models known for holding out at higher mileage while there are notorious for their low mileage despite regular maintenance and service. Carzing recommends that you conduct thorough research into the car model and history to ascertain how many more miles you can draw off a particular car model.
Hiring a qualified and licensed mechanic to accompany you to the purchase/ inspection might look like an extra cost, but it could probably be the best decision you can make. A mechanic can conduct a thorough examination of the vehicle and find out the true condition of the vehicle. While the mileage is a good indicator, it may be hiding the true condition of the vehicle. Better safe than sorry. It would do you good to follow that adage.