How Does Mileage Affect The Value Of Your Used Car?

How Does Mileage Affect The Value Of Your Used Car?
  • Opening Intro -

    When it's time for you to buy a new car, you of course will want to get as much money as possible out of your used car.


Whether you sell it to an individual or instead trade it in to a dealership where you purchase your new car, the mileage on the odometer will be crucial in determining your car’s value.

If you’re wondering just how mileage does impact the value of your car, here are some factors to keep in mind.

Average or Excessive Mileage?

For starters, a buyer will determine if your car has an average number of miles on it for its age, or instead has an excessive number of miles already on it.

The average driver puts around 15,000 miles per year on a car, so this will likely be the standard used by a private buyer or dealership.

When comparing two cars that are the same make and model, the higher mileage car will often be valued as much as 20% less.

Wear and Tear

When used cars have higher mileage, even if they have been kept in good condition, buyers take the wear and tear into consideration. Most car engines have limited miles before they start needing repairs and part replacements.

Thus, even if your car looks great, higher mileage will lead a buyer to think that a variety of repairs may be right around the corner, which will lower its value.

You can always go online to check the estimated miles per the make and model of the car. These numbers are typically averages and dependent on regular maintenance.

Depreciation Happens Quickly

Unfortunately for you, the moment you drive a new car off the dealer’s lot, your vehicle technically becomes a used vehicle. Believe it or not, even after you have only driven your new vehicle 3,000 miles, this amount of mileage will result in your car’s value dropping by anywhere from $5,000 to as much as $10,000.

Therefore, if you are a person who tends to trade in your car every year or so for a newer model, don’t expect to receive anywhere near the amount you originally paid when you trade it in for another vehicle.

Beware of Mileage Milestones

If you have not heard of mileage milestones, you’re probably not alone. Used by dealers to value used cars, each mileage milestone will mean your car is worth less and less.

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For example, the first milestone is roughly 30,000-40,000 miles, which is when most new cars need their first major service. Should your car reach 100,000 miles or more when you want to sell it or trade it into a dealer, it will be considered to be running on borrowed time, meaning they offer you get will be quite low.

By driving your car an average number of miles per year and keeping it in great shape mechanically and otherwise, you can maximize its value.

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