Informational Guide

How Many Miles On A Used Car Is Too Much?

So how many miles on a used car is too much? We discuss how much mileage is good for a used car so that you can find the best deal.  

Buying a used car is a great option if you want to save money, but how many miles on a used car is too much? Because engine performance and motor health are important to purchasing a good investment, you don't want a vehicle with too many miles.  

So how many miles on a used car is too much? We discuss how much mileage is good for a used car so that you can find the best deal.  

What is good mileage for a used car? In general, you will assume that most owners put around 12,000 miles on the car per year. To determine if the vehicle has been used normally, you would multiply how many years old it is by 12,000. If the odometer reads this amount or less, the vehicle wasn't used excessively.  

With this rule, a five-year-old car would have 60,000 miles on it or less to be a good value. If there are many more than that, it was probably used quite heavily. 

Additionally, a diesel engine tends to last longer than a gas engine, so you can put more miles on these vehicles with fewer problems.  

On top of that, mileage can in itself be misleading. If you have a ten-year-old vehicle that had four owners, you can assume that at least one of them probably didn't maintain it well, making it less likely to continue running. Finding low mileage used cars with only one owner would be a far better choice.  

What Is Good Mileage On A Used Car

How Many Miles On A Used Car Is Too Much? 

What's good mileage for a used car? It depends on how old the vehicle is. However, here are some common problems you can start to see at various stages of a car's life, assuming it was taken care of.  

Over 50,000 miles

Car will likely need new brake pads, a new fuel filter, and a transmission flush. There are very few problems that a well-maintained car should be dealing with at this point. 

Over 75,000 miles

Car will likely need a new timing belt, water pump, or other essential component. At this point, the car is considered to have high mileage and should start using special oil during changes. 

Over 100,000 miles

Car will likely need a new transmission. At some point past the 100,000 miles, it's common for transmissions to fail if they weren't properly maintained.

Over 150,000 miles

Car will likely have issues with the engine. Very few engines are going to make it this long unless the maintenance was meticulous. 

Over 200,000 miles

Car will probably need to visit the junkyard. Is 200,000 miles on a car bad? Typically, cars aren't going to make it this far, unless it has a diesel engine.

What is considered high mileage for a used car? When you evaluate what might need to be done, high mileage for you begins at the issues you don't want to deal with. If you can get a copy of the service history to see that a car was well-maintained, it is likely going to last longer and provide you with fewer problems.  

How Many Miles On A Used Car Is Too Much

Is Mileage Or Age More Important When Buying A Used Car? 

Looking at used car mileage is important. You don't want to see a vehicle used more than normal because this wear and tear adds up. However, you need to look at more than just the mileage. Is mileage more important than age? No! Does mileage matter on used cars? Yes, but it's not everything. 

The average car will be driven 12,000 miles a year. If a five-year-old car has 100,000 miles on it, that is a red flag. However, you should be just as concerned about the five-year-old car with only 15,000 miles on it.  

Instead of basing your purchase solely on the mileage, take a look at the ownership records. You want a pre-owned car that had fewer owners because there's more of a chance it was taken care of. Additionally, it's helpful to look at any available service records to ensure that all regular tune-ups were performed. These simple maintenance tasks ensure that the engine and transmission last longer, which provides you with more guarantees.  

Of course, you can only buy what is in your price range. If you only have $3,000 to spend, finding a low-mileage car might not be in your future. However, you should be able to find one with a service history and fewer owners, ensuring that it is a better option.  

Is Mileage Or Age More Important When Buying A Used Car

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can cars last 300,000 miles? 

It's possible to keep your car running until it hits or exceeds 300,000 miles, but you would need to meticulously maintain it and take care of it.  

How old of a used car should you buy? Is 20 years too old? 

If the vehicle was kept in a garage and taken care of, a 20-year old car can still provide plenty of service. Evaluate the mileage, service history, and model year to determine if the car is too old to purchase.  

What cars last the longest? 

According to Business Insider, Toyota, Honda, GMC, Chevy, and Ford have more cars on the road with over 200,000 miles. However, the tides might be shifting toward brands such as Subaru, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW in the future.  

At what mileage should I sell my car? 

Many people choose to sell their vehicle around the same time that the new car warranty expires. This might be around 60,000 to 70,000 miles in most cases. If you aren't prepared to pay for car repairs, this is a great time to sell.  


Is it wise to buy a car with high mileage? If the car has been taken care of, you could get a great deal. Determining the best mileage to buy a used car requires you to evaluate your goals and your budget. Do a little shopping, and you will find the best option for your lifestyle.