You may wonder just how important Car Mileage is when it comes to buying a used vehicle. Some people will say that it’s the overall condition of the car that’s more important. Others will swear by the mileage.

When you’re planning on purchasing a used vehicle, you need to know why these arguments are made. There are definite perks to either one, so it’s in your best interest to make an educated decision about what is more important to you. 

man checking his car

Understanding Wear And Tear

There is an unofficial acceptance of the idea that less mileage means less wear and tear on a vehicle. This is both true and false depending on the vehicle or whether or not it has been taken care of over time.

Yes, lower car mileage means that the other components of the vehicle are typically going to last longer on the inside. This means that you won’t have to pay too much for maintenance costs any time soon.

Alternatively, with low car mileage, you’re looking at a car that may have not been driven much. Believe it or not, that can be a downside. Cars need to be driven to keep rubber from getting brittle when not used on a regular basis. Hot fluids are a good thing for these parts.

Not having fluids run through them on a regular basis can lead to some major repairs later on. You may even have issues that seem to never get fixed for a car that has low mileage.

Then there are interior issues if the owner has not taken care of the car the way it should have been. You can find a world of problems that you didn’t even know you had if you’re focused on mileage. The carpeting could be ripped, there could be mold growth that you can’t see, or seats could be in bad shape.

You’ll have to take everything into consideration when you’re looking into buying a car and not just focus on low mileage. The best purchase is going to be one that reflects the best of both worlds.

man handing out car keys

Resale Value May Be Important

If you look at this from a logical standpoint, upon purchasing a car that has low mileage in the beginning, then, in theory, it will still have low mileage later on if you want to resell it. Lower mileage means you’ll be able to request a higher price when you want to sell it a few years from now.

Cars with higher mileage aren’t that lucky unless it is a car that has a reputation for reliability. Certain Toyotas have that reputation, but even still, it’s hard to say for sure about high mileage car.

Looking at things from the other side of the coin, having low mileage may not make much of a difference to you at all when you’re thinking about value. Low-mileage cars tend to have higher prices, right?

What if you’re looking for a daily driver? Cars like that are going to rack up mileage just because you have to get from point A to point B. From that perspective, getting a car that has a higher mileage may not matter a whole lot.

Logically, there’s not a huge difference in car mileage as you get higher up the totem pole. With that in mind, you can end up paying thousands less for a car than you would for a lower mileage and get the same perks.

To Repair Or Not To Repair?

The reality is that older cars are going to need repairs sooner than later. The question is, do you want to worry about repairs or the way a car tends to depreciate?

As a car ages, insurance fees tend to fall. Cars also depreciate in value the older they get unless they’re collectibles. As per the U.S. News & World Report, you can see the way repair costs and depreciation expectations change over a ten-year time period.

The conclusion is that even when you're talking about older cars, they are still less expensive than their newer counterparts by comparison. That means that you pay less in repair costs than you would in insurance fees over time the older your vehicle gets.

 car mileage

Purchasing A Car With Higher Mileage

When you go into purchasing a car with higher mileage, you’re going to have more questions. It’s only natural. You want to know that the car has been taken care of and you want a good deal on a car, too.

You will need to inspect the car that you’re thinking about purchasing. According to Cars.com, there are some specific things you should pay attention to when you’re searching for the next new-to-you car.

For one, you need to research the model you’re considering. Determine whether or not the asking price is at least in the realm of fairness for what you’d be getting.

Call your insurance company, too, and see how much it would cost to insure the vehicle. Some states require that you have insurance on the vehicle before you can purchase it, so you’ll want to make sure you’re covered ahead of time.

Before, During, And After The Test Drive

Before you go through and start test-driving the car, you also want to look in and out for any body damage or rust. That means also checking for tire wear, checking oil, and looking for leaks in the radiator.

Once you’re in the test drive, don’t forget to test the brakes as well as the alignment. It would benefit you to also practice with parking the vehicle.

After the test drive, pay attention for any odd odors that weren’t there before. If you smell something that resembles something burning, that is a cause for concern.

luxury Mercedes-Benz

How Does This Apply To Luxury Cars?

Luxury cars are in a different class, even when you’re talking about used luxury vehicles. While you can absolutely get a used luxury Mercedes-Benz, if you go too far out in age, like over ten years, you’re going to be paying quite a bit for maintenance and repair on a vehicle like that.

Average cars will run you right around $600 to repair and maintain on a yearly basis. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? Luxury cars can be double or even close to triple that amount for the same maintenance and repairs.

It sounds pretty crazy to think that a ten-year-old BMW can cost upwards of $1300 over the course of a single year just to keep it running properly. At that point, it can make you wonder if getting that older luxury vehicle was, in fact, a good idea.

 looking for a car

Think About What You Want And Why

When you start looking for a car, there are usually more reasons behind it than just money. You probably want something that will be reliable, won’t break the bank, and will be safe for you and your passengers.

If you are searching for a family-friendly vehicle, there are certain features you should try to find. As an example, you’re going to want vehicles that have features like electronic stability as well as side airbags. You may also be interested in backup cameras and blind-spot monitoring.

Cars that are well taken care of are going to be the best way to go, so ask to see maintenance records to know that you’re getting a car worthy of you and your family.

A Few Last Words On Car Mileage

Car mileage does play a part in whether or not you want to purchase a given vehicle, but it doesn’t have to be the only factor. Mileage can definitely be a deal-breaker depending on the type of car you’re looking at, too.

If you’re looking for something older that is reliable and has a proven track record, mileage may not be as important to you. The same thing goes if you’re on the search for a daily driver. If you’re looking for something on the fun side like a convertible, low mileage still doesn’t guarantee that it’s going to be drive-worthy.

Have the car inspected if you can and request reports. If you don’t get a warm fuzzy feeling about the car, then walk away. The right car will be out there for you, but do yourself a favor and don’t rush into it blindly. Do your homework first, and then if it all checks out, go for it and drive away with no regrets.

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