(Closed) How many miles is too many miles for a used car? (Pole)

posted 4 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: How many miles is too many for a used car?
    Less than 35,000 : (6 votes)
    12 %
    Less than 50,000 : (11 votes)
    21 %
    Less than 75,000 : (9 votes)
    17 %
    Less than 100,000 : (6 votes)
    12 %
    Other : (5 votes)
    10 %
    Idk, I just like voting in poles! : (0 votes)
    I would buy a better quality car with more miles : (10 votes)
    19 %
    I would get a moderate quality car with moderate miles : (5 votes)
    10 %
    I would get a lesser quality car with lesser miles : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    2393 posts
    Buzzing bee

    auggiefrog:  I couldn’t vote because it really depends on the model and how it was maintained by the previous owner. Those two things are way more important than how many miles are on the car, IMO. 

    I wouldn’t buy ANY used vehicle without

    1. Heavily researching its reliability ratings on Consumer Reports and
    2. Factoring in previous ownership.

    If you don’t take those two things into consideration then you’re just rolling the dice and crossing your fingers.

     For example, generally speaking, given the choice between a Toyota with 100,000 miles on it and one previous owner with a stack of receipts documenting that it had been maintained correctly; and a Ford with 30,000 miles and two previous owners with no trail of paperwork, I’d take the Toyota anyday. 

    I once bought a brand new Camry and maintained it faithfully. At the time I had a job that involved a lot of driving. I took it all the way to 240,000 miles and rarely had problems with it during the time I owned it. 

    Post # 4
    2922 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 1996

    I didn’t vote; I think it depends too much on the car. Instead I’ll suggest that you find a compromise # in the middle… could you accept 65k miles, for example? Just settle on a range that you agree on and move on with the process. You want less than 50k, he thinks 85k is okay, maybe call it 50k-70k?

    Post # 5
    7413 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    The number of miles is a poor standard by which to judge a car. I’d rather have a car with 100k  mostly highway miles where the owner changed the oil regularly than one with 50k mostly city miles and sloppy maintenance.

    You need to look past the mileage to other factors such as a mechanic’s inspection or maintenance records.


    Post # 6
    10699 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    It really depends on several factors, IMO.  I used to drive a Mercedes S class with 298K miles on it that ran beautifully.  The body was srarting to fall apart–the passenger door started flying open on turns!

    Some makes, models & years are built to last many miles.

    Here in SoCal, we don’t have to worry about rust, so that’s not a factor.

    How the car was maintained is really important, too.  I try to get oil change & transmission service receipts, if possible.  Where I live, 100K + is the norm.  We drive a lot in CA.  My Lexus (which is really a Toyota) has 130K & Dh’s Toyota has 160K.  Both cars run great.  

    Before we buy a used car, we like to spend time on message boards devoted to the vehicle in which we’re interested.  You can learn a lot that way.

    I went thru a period years ago when I was single & broke & had to buy beaters for under $1000.  I bought one for $200 that ran fine & even passed CA smog!

    So there are no hard & fast rules about milage.  Some cars are ready for the crusher at 50K, some are still running with 400K on them.

    Post # 7
    5374 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I wouldn’t buy a car with kms under 100,000 (63,000-ish miles), because as soon as the kms go over that the price drops dramatically and you have more room for negotiation 😉 As for the maximum kms, it depends on the car. For example, Honda Civics tend to last forever (especially the older ones – like 400,000+ kms/ 250,000-ish + miles) so it wouldn’t bug me to buy one with 150,000 (93,000-ish miles) on it. But if it was a Dodge Caravan, I would want it to have as close to 100,000 as possible since they don’t last as long. We definitely looked at kms when we were buying our used car, but we were also concerned with rust (since cars often become undrivable because of rust – not high kms/miles), how many drivers the car had, how it was maintained, city vs highway kms, the year of the car, etc. We got our 2007 Mazda 3 a few years ago with 101,000 kms on it and now we have 136,000 on it and haven’t had any issues with it at all.

    Definitely research the lifespan of the specific vehicles you’re looking at and that should give you a good idea about how many kms/miles you should aim for on a used one (and problems that typically come up in that vehicle) 🙂

    Post # 8
    6883 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I wouldn’t buy used, that is just me due to every used vehicle have owned has had issues.  The last used car I had, had less than 30 k miles on it and my dad knew the lady who owned it last.  She rarely drove it out of the area.  But yet barely 60 days in ended up having to replace the transmission and then a host other issues. Since then I swore would never buy used again

    Post # 10
    10699 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State


    They should be willing to let you take it to your own mechanic.  It’s the law in some states.

    Post # 12
    1214 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    Here is why mileage matters. The more the vehicle has been driven, the more parts you are going to need to replace. I’d give you a list, but really, I’m talking the working parts of the front end. On the same token, you don’t want a used vehicle that has been sitting for a long time. That isn’t good for it either. I’d look at the year, figure that the car should have been driven about 10,000 miles a year with regular oil changes, and see if anything has been replaced. Wheel bearings and breaks are the biggies. If they haven’t been replaced, you can plan on doing the bearings when the car is about 10 years old and the breaks every few years depending on the type of driving you do. A mountainous area or lots of stop and go traffic, plan on a little earlier. Fairly easy highway driving a little later. Regular oil changes are a good thing, but a lot of newer vehicles don’t need the oil changed every 3K miles / 3 months like what used to be the norm. So look at the manual and see what it says. If the vehicle had sat for say, 6 months to a year, make sure they started it up every so often and moved it around or at least had a tune up before they ran it on the road. Old gas is so hard on a vehicle. So is sitting on wheels that don’t move. They tend to get soft spots that way. The newer vehicles can handle a lot more miles than what used to be the norm as long as the vehicle was maintained. Also, the tranny fluid needs to be replaced every 100k miles so keep that in mind. If nothing had been replaced, that can either be a good thing or a bad thing. If you are serious about a certain vehicle, you can take it to a shop and have them look at it for a small fee. They will be able to let you know if there is anything glaringly wrong with it or if you are going to need some maintenance work done. Just ask around and make sure you get a good shop. And tell them up front that if there are a ton of problems, you won’t be buying the vehicle. And that you plan on using a “different shop closer to home” if problems arise. That keeps them honest, even if it isn’t true.

    Post # 13
    980 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2016 - Blue Hound Farm

    auggiefrog:  I have a 99 Honda crv with 208,000 still running strong. Love my car and will never buy anything but Honda again. 

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