When buying a used car, one of the most important considerations is whether the vehicle has good mileage. But what is the ideal used car mileage? As you’ll see here, it’s not only about numbers on the odometer. There are various mileage considerations to predict whether a pre-owned car will be reliable or not.

How Many Miles Should a Used Car Have?

On average, people drive about 12,000 miles a year. This equates to about 120,000 miles for a 10-year-old car. Most people believe a low mileage vehicle is more likely to last longer and is worth more. However, the number of miles on it won’t necessarily tell you how long the vehicle will last. For example, if the car has logged more city miles than highway miles, driving in stop-and-go traffic can contribute to greater wear and tear (a possibility in a car that’s older with fewer miles). On the other hand, cars with more highway miles tend to have less issues with performance parts.

To put it short, lower mileage doesn’t always mean you’re getting a better deal.

How Important Is Mileage When Shopping for a Pre-Owned Car?

Mileage is important, but it’s just one factor in evaluating a used car’s dependability. Compare two cars—one with 50,000 and one with 150,000 miles—both can be equally reliable. To determine reliability, you’ll have to do more research. The vehicle history report will tell you more about whether the car has an accident history and provide a look at its service records. Maintenance records can tell you whether the vehicle was routinely serviced, which can provide insights into its overall condition.

Vehicle condition is determined by various factors. In addition to miles driven, it’s important to determine the condition of the brakes, steering system, engine, transmission, suspension, and emission system. You’ll also want to know if the car has any leaks or corrosion. Acceleration performance should be evaluated as well; a vehicle’s power and pick up can tell you a lot about the shape it’s in.

An inspection by a professional mechanic can identify potential issues and possibly predict how much more mileage you may get—before you decide to purchase the vehicle.

Used Car Shopping Tips

Mileage and service records are key considerations when shopping for a used car. Some other factors to look at include:

  • Car Appearance: Check the car’s interior and exterior thoroughly; this can reveal how well the previous owners maintained the vehicle. 
  • Drivability: A test drive of the car will reveal how it responds on the road and if it meets all your needs and preferences, or if there are flaws in how it drives.
  • Car Brand & Make and Model: Research the brand, make, and model of the car, as some brands are known for their long-term reliability and value more than others; brand, make, and model choice can influence available features and options as well.

Contact Hawthorne Auto Square

If you’re shopping for a used car, our Hawthorne car dealership can help you find pre-owned cars that’s are in good condition and have great mileage. A large inventory of popular and luxury vehicles is available at our buy here, pay here used car dealership along with convenient financing options. We are open to serve customers in and around Los Angeles, with enhanced sanitizing and social distancing procedures during the coronavirus pandemic. Feel free to browse our used car inventory online; or schedule an appointment to visit our Hawthorne showroom by calling 866-707-7664.