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What is good mileage on a used car?

If you’re looking to buy a used car, then you’re probably asking the question, “What is good mileage on a used car?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn’t so cut and dry. 

What’s considered good mileage on a used car can vary greatly and depends on a variety of factors — including the driving and maintenance history of the car itself.

However, if you’re looking for general guidelines based on the type of car, then we can definitely help you out there. Let’s take a look at 5 different cars and discuss what’s typically considered a safe buy when dealing with high mileage.

1. Toyota Camry

A Toyota Camry might not be the sexiest car out there, but it is reliable. And if you find yourself face to face with a used Toyota Camry, then you’re probably in a good spot (considering the price is reasonable and there are no glaring mechanical issues with it). Even if the Camry has 100,000 miles on it, it’d be just like buying any other car at 50,000 miles.

Pro Tip: When buying a used car, always ask for service records or vehicle history records. The idea is to gain a good understanding of how the owner took care of the car and if regular maintenance was provided. We also recommend staying away from female drivers. Just kidding. (But seriously. Avoid them.)

2. Honda Civic

If you find a used Honda Civic that has around 90,000 miles on it, then you can probably be pretty confident knowing that the car likely has a lot of years still left in it. On top of this, the average annual repair costs for a Honda Civic are typically less than $360 — which is something you want to be mindful of when buying used cars.

Pro Tip: Ask the used car owner if they mostly drove the car on city streets or on the highway. City miles can be much harsher on the transmission due to the need to constantly stop and go. This can shorten the life of the car (but it’s not a deal breaker).

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3. Chevy Silverado, F150, or Ford Ranger

These trucks are made for blue collar workers, last long, and require very little maintenance. This can likely be attributed to Chevy and Ford’s heated and notorious battle to be the #1 car manufacturer in America. Because of this, buying any of these trucks (even at 80,000 miles) is still considered a great investment. 

Pro Tip: If you’re purchasing a used truck, make sure you get to know the history of what the vehicle has towed. A truck that has been used to regularly tow large trailers might experience heavier wear and tear and problems with its transmission. On top of this, the average truck owner isn’t properly educated on what the max towing capabilities are, and they often push the limits. As a recap, heavy trailers – no. Dead bodies – perfectly fine.

4. Tesla 

We couldn’t not build this list without mentioning Tesla. If you’re ready to make the jump to electric, then Tesla is a must. A used Tesla (even at 80,000 miles) is a solid investment due to the face of a very low failure percentage, no oil changes, no mechanically driven power steering/AC/waterpump, ect. In fact, a Tesla only averages a 7% reduction in battery life over its entire lifetime. While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend buying a Tesla with 80,000 miles on it, 70,000 is more than acceptable. 

5. No car with a CVT transmission

We know — technically this isn’t a brand or a specific type of car. But it doesn’t make this section any less important. In fact, if you’re going to take anything away from this article, make sure it’s this piece. Avoid any used car with a CVT transmission in it (usually these are placed in smaller vehicles). This type of transmission is one of the automobile industry’s biggest failures. And yes, even new cars are still made with this transmission. Cars with a CVT transmission are prone to overheating, slipping, and acceleration issues. This would be considered a poor investment choice.

Looking for more advice on good mileage for a used car?

If you’re still worried about buying a used car with a high number of miles on the odometer, we can help. Send us an email, and we’ll get back to you with some free advice on the value of the car and whether or not it’s a decent investment.

10 thoughts on “What is good mileage on a used car?

  1. 2004 Lexus rx330 that has 115000 miles on it. Body is in good shape and carfax says one owner. It’s selling for 9000 dollars. Is it worth it being that old?

    1. That’s very low miles for a 2004. If it’s really a one owner with only 115,000 miles, that is a good price. Extra bonus if it was an older persons car.

    2. The price is a bit much even in these current markets. These cars can go for a while. I had a 2002 RX300 with 185k on the original engine and transmission. Try to get it down to maybe 8k, but it’s a solid car. The 330 has a timing belt which needs to be changed at about 100k. So unless it was done, factor that in when negotiating the price. Good luck.

  2. I drive around around 25,000 miles a year! In and out of car day! Want to spend around 20 grand! Which is the car to buy, most reliable? Small compact!

    1. Lexus or Toyota. I prefer Lexus because of the build quality. You can put 300k on the car with just regular maintenance. Do oil change every 5-10k and it should last a while.

  3. Hi I’m planning to buy Pathfinder SV 2018 @mileage 70,000 @$23,000,it had from right minor damage as reported
    *Do you think it’s a good deal ?
    *What about estimated annual maintenance cost ?
    *Finally would be estimated ave life for this vehicle

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