Should I buy a high mileage car?

Are high mileage cars good value?

Asked on 9 November 2020 by John Horan

Answered by Georgia Petrie
A high mileage car can be a smart, bargain buy - but the car should have a full service history and we advise a history check, too. For a car that’s done more miles than an average car of the same age, we’d want to know everything’s in order before putting any money down. Lots of miles on a relatively young car can be indicative of a hard life, but with proper maintenance, cars can have a long life expectancy. In that time, you need to make sure the car’s had all the oil changes, services etc it needs to have had to be in good running order.

More than 10,000 - 15,000 miles per year is excessive, but the type of life the car has lived is also important. Not all miles are equal. Say you have two cars, one has 90,000 miles while the other has 60,000 miles. Most people would be tempted towards the lower mileage car, and that’s a fair choice - but a vehicle with 90,000 miles that are almost all from motorway driving is likely to be in better shape than the same vehicle with 50,000 miles that was a former rental car or a car that's done a lot of stop-start driving in a city due to the transmission wear you'll likely encounter.

Similarly, a 70,000-mile car with five owners and incomplete service history is potentially worse than a 100,000-mile car with a single owner and all of its service records.
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