Many people hear the term high mileage vehicle and automatically think of a rusted out beater car. This isn’t the case in this day and age! Car technology is improving rapidly and cars are lasting longer than ever before.
It used to be expected that a vehicle would last on average about 100,000 miles and you were lucky if you got more than that. Nowadays, you can expect to get to somewhere close to 200,000 miles with little to no major repairs, if not beyond that if your vehicle has been properly maintained over the years.
What Is Considered High Mileage?
High mileage is really relative to the age of the vehicle. An older vehicle with just under 100,000 miles isn’t considered to be a high mileage vehicle for it’s age whereas a 3 year old vehicle with that many miles is considered high mileage.
The average amount of miles put on a vehicle every year is between 10,000 and 15,000 miles. Anything above this is considered high mileage.
Another popular opinion on what high mileage means is any car with over 100,000 miles on it. This is generally a standard when purchasing a used car. Any car that you purchase with over 100,000 miles already on it is considered a riskier investment, though it doesn’t always lead to a sour outcome.
How Many Miles Does A Car Last On Average
The standard for a long time was 100,000 miles, but this is no longer the case. As technological advancements in the automotive industry continue to surge forward, so too does the limit of what our modern cars are capable of.
Today, you can expect your vehicle to get on average 200,000 miles without major repairs. This is an average and will depend on the make and model of the vehicle, conditions of the roads where you frequently drive the car, how the car is maintained over the years, and a healthy dose of luck.
How Many Miles Should You Put On Your Car Per Year?
The average car owner puts between 10,000 and 15,000 miles on their car. If you can put less than that on your vehicle a year, great! If not you may want to consider cutting back on your driving. For many individuals who use their car for business, this isn’t always possible and that’s okay. Your car is there for your convenience and if you need to put 40,000 miles on it in a year then that’s what it’s there for!
The best answer to this is as few as you can because the more miles a car has the less resale value it is worth. As a general rule of thumb try to stay within 10,000 to 15,000 miles whenever possible.
Should I Buy A High Mileage Vehicle?
Don’t judge a car by its miles! There are many factors to consider when purchasing a used vehicle and mileage is just scratching the surface. Mileage equates to wear and tear but it can also show that a car is durable. Instead of looking at mileage it is advisable to check the car’s maintenance history to see what large repairs have been made as well as if the previous owners have taken the steps to ensure the car was well cared for when it comes to routine maintenance.
While it is a combination of factors that decide a vehicle’s usable life before major repairs must take place, mileage isn’t a bad place to start. If you’re planning on going high mileage to stay within a budget or for whatever reason it’s a great idea to go newer. Newer cars as we’ve discussed tend to last longer in terms of mileage thanks to the newest technology and equipment in them.
Best High Mileage Vehicles To Buy
Experts agree that if you want to maximize the effectiveness of each dollar you spend on transportation, the best option is to buy a used car, maintain it well and keep it a long time. When buying a used car, some brands are better at making it to higher mileage counts than others. You want to make sure your money is working for you here and not the other way around. Purchasing one of these vehicles is a great way to make it past 150,000 miles.
- Toyota Camry
- Honda Accord
- Lexus ES 350
- Buick Verano
- Toyota Avalon
- Honda Civic
- Toyota Corolla
- Hyundai Sonata
- Toyota Prius
- Buick Lacrosse
It comes as no surprise that the Japanese car market is dominating this list. Japanese vehicles are renowned for being reliable and low repair cars. They are an excellent investment when picking out a car with a higher odometer count.
Common Problems Associated With High Mileage Vehicles.
As cars are driven and accumulate miles, they tend to need common fixes at certain miles. Parts have a usable life and after they reach that usable life they will need to be replaced. These repairs can be pricey if you don’t have a warranty on your vehicle. Though your mechanic will be the best source of information, on what you need to keep your car running smoothly, these are the repairs you can expect to face if you have a high mileage vehicle or intend to drive your current car until it dies.
Automatic Transmission: Though transmission life does vary depending on how a car is driven and maintained, automatic transmissions tend to go out at some point after the 100,000-mile mark. Replacement is the repair option available and it will cost you several thousand dollars. Typically a car is considered totaled when the transmission goes out because it is a repair that is expensive and is needed at the end of a car’s life cycle.
Battery: The battery of a vehicle is something that needs to be replaced every 4 years regardless of miles. Your mechanic will be able to test the integrity of your battery and determine if it is safe to use until your next vehicle check-up.
Brake Pads: The brake pads are a maintenance item where you can definitely tell when they’re going bad. Squeaky and squealing noises produced when braking could mean that the brake pads on your vehicle need to be replaced. There isn’t a set mileage or time frame that your brake pads will need to be replaced. It will depend heavily on the particular driver’s driving style.
For example, a conservative driver who speeds up and slows down less aggressively will see their brake pads last longer than someone who is always slamming on their brakes to stop more quickly. Your mechanic will be able to gauge at what point your brake pads will need replacing. On average you can expect brake pads to last 40,000 miles.
Tires: Like brake pads, the tires on your car will wear out depending on your driving style and there is no set time frame or mileage count. The best way to gauge if your tires need to be replaced is to check the tread.
Over time, the tough rubber that your tires are built out of will wear away against the pavement. Tread is measured in the United States to the 1/32nd of an inch. New tires will offer tread depths between 9/32 and 11/32 of an inch. Tires are considered unsafe when they reach 2/32 of an inch but it’s best to replace tires before it gets close to that tread depth. On average tires last between 60,000 and 75,000 miles.
Fuel Pump: A great way to prevent this costly repair is to keep your car’s gas tank as full as possible. Fuel pump failure can be caused by constantly driving at really low fuel levels. If you can avoid doing that whenever possible then your fuel pump will likely last the lifetime of your vehicle! With some maintenance along the way of course. Be sure to follow recommended replacement schedules for your fuel filter as instructed by the owner’s manual.
Water Pump: You can tell your water pump is starting to go when it begins to leak coolant. The water pump will typically last between 60,000 and 90,000 miles and then the entire part will need to be replaced. This part can be tricky to replace because it is difficult to access. It’s good to consider replacing the timing belt at the same time as the two are located in close proximity to each other and have around the same usable life.
Timing Belt: The timing belt will not give you any fair notice before breaking and when it does can cause some serious damage to your engine block. You should replace your timing belt when you replace your water pump somewhere between 60,000 and 90,000 miles.
How To Make A High Mileage Vehicle Last
Whether you absolutely love your current car, or can’t afford a new one for the time being, you want your car to run for a long time. Not only do you need to get around, but if a high mileage vehicle is in good working order then some of it’s value can still be recouped at the end of it’s time with you if you do decide to sell or trade it in. While it won’t last forever, there are steps you can take to keep your car going for as long as possible. Be sure to
- Make repairs immediately: When something breaks, repair it as quickly as possible and do not drive the car until the problem has been resolved. Your problem is unlikely to go away and will likely just get worse and may lead to other more severe issues. As soon as your check engine light comes on or you start hearing some unusual sounds coming from under the hood, take your car to a mechanic to get it checked out and repaired.
- Follow the owner’s manual when it comes to maintenance: No one knows how to care for your vehicle and maintain it better than the people who built the dang thing. The owner’s manual should be your bible to what routine maintenance will need to be completed over the many years and miles that you spend with your car.
From what type of coolant and fluids the car takes to the appropriate time frame for oil changes, let your owner’s manual guide you to a long happy life with your vehicle. Neglect these maintenance items at any point in the life cycle and your car’s usable life will be cut shorter than necessary.
- Don’t use cheaply made replacement parts: When repairs need to be made on your vehicle, you want to make sure that you’re putting the best parts in. When it comes to auto parts, you typically get what you pay for and while a new part may be expensive upfront, it will save you a whole lot of cash and frustration down the road. So if you want to keep your car in optimal safe driving condition, put the parts in your vehicle that your mechanic recommends.
- Drive well: If you beat the heck out of your vehicle every time you get behind the wheel, your car probably won’t last as long as it could. There is something to be said for conservative driving and it does in fact correlate with the lifespan of your car. Don’t speed up and slow down quickly, take turns reasonably and at a good speed, and avoid bad roads to help your car last as long as possible.
- Prevent salt damage: Keep your car clean if you live near the beach or in an area where it snows. Saltwater is highly corrosive and should be kept away from your vehicle whenever possible. If your car is exposed to snow that has been treated with salt or was driven on the beach you should care for it by washing it. Especially the undercarriage of the vehicle which is especially susceptible to rust and corrosion.
- Consider an extended warranty: There are tons of third party companies that offer extended warranties for higher mileage vehicles. These can be a great option especially if you fall on hard times and your car suffers a mechanical break. The peace of mind alone knowing that your car’s repairs are paid for is incredibly valuable for some. Check out Protect My Car’s Extended Warranty Options below.
Protect My Car Can Help You Afford The Expense Of Repairing A High Mileage Vehicle
We offer three levels of extended vehicle protection to meet consumer’s needs. These plans are for consumers with vehicles that are less than 10 years of age and less than 125,000 miles. With one of these policies, you pay a $100 deductible and we pay the rest.
Protect My Car’s Driveline policy provides protection for vehicles that are 4 to 10 years of age with more than 80,000 miles. Driveline customers get a full 5 years and/or 125,000 miles of warranty coverage against unexpected mechanical failures.
Protect My Car’s Select policy is the best option for level of coverage on vehicles with more than 50,000 miles. Our Select policy provides complete protection for those vehicles that are just outside of the requirements for the Supreme policy.
Protect My Car’s Supreme policy is very similar to the manufacturer’s new car warranty and is designed for consumers who need additional coverage because you plan to keep your new vehicle for longer than the manufacturer’s warranty terms.
About Protect My Car
Best Extended Car Warranty Plans
Consumer Affairs has ranked Protect My Car as one of its Top 5 Extended Warranty Plan companies.
Flexible Payment Terms
At Protect My Car, we strive to provide our customers with the best possible coverage at payment terms that they can afford. We offer flexible payment terms ranging from 36 to 48 monthly payments. This makes our extended auto warranty plans affordable on almost any budget.
Money Back Guarantee
Protect My Car will stand by our product by offering a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee on all extended car warranty plans. Once you purchase an extended car warranty plan from us, if, for any reason, you are not completely satisfied with the terms and conditions of your coverage plan, there is a hassle free process for providing you with a full refund of your down payment.
24/7 Roadside Assistance
When that inevitable breakdown happens, Protect My Car will be there to help you through each step. We provide 24/7 roadside assistance. Once your car is towed to a licensed repair shop, we provide rental car reimbursement. All Protect My Car warranty plans include roadside assistance at no additional cost.
What is considered high mileage on a car? Often, 100,000 miles is considered a cut-off point for used cars because older vehicles often start requiring more expensive and frequent maintenance when mileage exceeds 100,000.At what mileage should a car be replaced? ›
A conventional car can last for 200,000 miles. Some well-maintained car models will reach 300,000 or more miles total. The average passenger car age is currently around 12 years in the United States. Choosing a well-built make and model can help extend your car's longevity.Is 125 000 miles a lot on a car? ›
A wary buyer should use as a general rule of thumb that most cars are driven 12,000-15,000 miles per year. If a vehicle is 10 years of age, it should have between 120,000 miles and 150,000 miles on the odometer.Is 137 000 miles on a car bad? ›
Many modern cars with 100K-150K miles are in great condition and will easily go another 100K. However, if a car has not been maintained properly and has been driven hard or previously wrecked, it can be junk with only 30K miles on the odometer.Is 200 000 miles on a car bad? ›
In general, most modern cars can cross 200,000 miles without any major issues, provided the vehicle is being well-maintained. Considering that an average person drives 10,000-20,000 miles per year, this will account for roughly 15 years of service. Here are some factors to consider when assessing used car mileage.At what mileage is a car not worth fixing? ›
Depending on the car's value, repairing it might be worth the money to keep it going for a few more years. However, most modern gasoline-powered vehicles will start to struggle after the 200,000-mile mark. Electric cars can usually make it up to 300,000 miles before they're considered well used.What is the average life of a car? ›
What's the Average Life of a Car? In the past, the average lifespan of a car was significantly lower than it is today. Now, you can expect a standard car to last around 12 years or about 200,000 miles. More advanced vehicles like electric cars can go even longer, up to 300,000 miles.How bad is 150k miles on a car? ›
How many miles on a car is bad? As a general rule, most vehicles begin to seriously degrade at around 150,000 miles. It is considered rare, and therefore outstanding longevity, if a car reaches 200,000 miles on the road.How many miles should a 15 year old car have? ›
|Years||Average Mileage||Depreciation Percentage|
Depending on how well you treat your car, you could potentially reach over 500,000 miles. In fact, there's a driver whose car reached even more than that. Check out this short video to take a look!
The highest mileage car on record is Irv Gordon's 1966 Volvo P1800S, with over 3 million miles. There were even two electric cars in the study. The Tesla Model S has a potential lifespan of 133,998 miles and the Nissan Leaf 98,081.What if a car has over 100k miles? ›
Transmission failure is more likely to occur once a vehicle eclipses the 100,000-mile mark. However, lack of proper maintenance can cause a transmission to fail sooner. Battery lifespan is generally around four years, regardless of the miles you've put on your vehicle.How to make a car last 500 000 miles? ›
- Study the owner's manual and adhere to the exact. maintenance schedule.
- Keep the car's interior and exterior clean.
- Regularly check the engine to make sure it's running to the best it can.
- Use high-quality gasoline and never, ever drive on empty.
- Drive as carefully as you can.
iSeeCars analyzed more than two million vehicles to find out which models have the potential to last the longest. On average, 1 percent of cars built every year make it past 200,000 miles.Can you reset miles on a car? ›
While resetting or tampering with an odometer is illegal, it certainly won't stop people from doing odometer rollbacks. With the right tools and know-how, the odometer can be rolled back to take hundreds to thousands of miles off the displayed number. Even digital odometers can be altered using special tools.How to fix a car with 200k miles? ›
- 1) Seek out seals.
- 2) Change your power steering fluid.
- 3) Brake fluid maintenance.
- 4) Clean the mass air flow (MAF) sensor.
- 5) Clean the fuel injectors.
- 6) Assess the air conditioning.
- 7) Replace the engine and transmission mounts.
- 8) Check the timing-chain tensioners.
We've all seen it: You buy a shiny new vehicle, and then your fuel economy drops off after just a few years. For example, a study by the University of Michigan found that vehicles over 10 years old consume 33% to 35% more fuel per mile compared to newer vehicles.Do miles matter if the car runs good? ›
A car's life isn't determined by miles driven.
Mileage is just one indicator of a vehicle condition. Theoretically, a vehicle that has covered more miles has more wear and tear, but a car with 60,000 miles on the odometer can easily be in worse shape than one with 120,000 miles.
Does a new engine reset mileage? No, replacing your car's engine won't reset its mileage. The odometer is connected to the front wheel hub rather than the engine, and any changes made to the engine, even as far as replacing it - won't affect the odometer. You can only reset the mileage by tampering with the odometer.Which brand of cars last the longest? ›
|Rank||Model||Cars Over 200k Miles|
Average engine lifespan
For some time, the average lifespan of a car's engine was eight years, or 150,000 miles. New designs, better technology and improved service standards in recent years have increased this average life expectancy to about 200,000 miles, or about 10 years.
A car that is eight years old should have around 120,000 miles.What is the best age to buy a used car? ›
In retaining “like new” quality and inheriting a slower depreciation rate, the best used car age for buying is 2-3 years. In fact, Americans are saving up to $14,000 on a 3-year-old vehicle. For example, a car that may have cost you $30,000 when new would cost around $16,000 after just 3 years.Does mileage go down as car ages? ›
Myth: As a vehicle ages, its fuel economy decreases significantly. A vehicle that is properly maintained will retain its efficiency for many years.What's the best mileage to buy a used car? ›
Average car mileage per year
Experts agree that the common rule of thumb on mileage for a used vehicle is roughly 12,000 miles added each year of ownership. That means if you are looking at a 5-year-old vehicle, it should have about 60,000 miles on it.
Any number of reasons can end a car's life before the million-mile mark, from crashes to terminal rust, to major repairs costing more than the car is worth. Still, it's possible to get your car to a million miles and beyond. The late Irv Gordon famously drove his 1966 Volvo P1800 past 3 million miles.Can Toyotas last 500000 miles? ›
Yes, Toyota's are known for their reliability. Toyotas have an average lifespan of 200,000-250,000 miles. If you make sure to keep your car with proper care and maintenance, Toyotas can be driven over 500,000 miles.Should I buy a car with 500000 miles? ›
The current quality of high-mileage used cars ultimately comes down to its maintenance. A 500,000-mile used car or truck has obviously seen its fair share of wear and tear but if the damages wear repaired immediately and the parts were changed when they were supposed to, the vehicle is bound to survive long.What car brand is the most reliable? ›
What is the most dependable car brand? Here are the brand rankings based on the number of problems per 100 vehicles, according to J.D. Power's 2023 U.S. vehicle dependability study. The industry average is 186. The highest-ranking premium brand was Lexus, and Kia was the highest-ranking mass market brand.What percentage of cars make it to 300 000 miles? ›
Believe it or not, a lot of vehicles don't last that long. Only 1% of vehicles make it past the 200,000 mile mark. Just . 03% of cars roll over the 300,000 mile mark, which is pretty incredible.
In all likelihood, your transmission fluid, oil, coolant, power steering fluid, and brake fluid will all require to be replaced during your 100,000 mile maintenance appointment.What to replace on a high mileage car? ›
- Oil Change. ...
- Check and Top Off or Replace Fluids. ...
- Check and Replace Filters and Belts. ...
- Tires. ...
- Wax and Wash. ...
- Battery Care. ...
- Engine Treatment. ...
- Clean Fuel System.
It is extremely unusual for cars to last over 500,000 miles (804,672 kilometers). It's less unusual for cars to go over 300,000 miles (482,803 kilometers) without encountering major repairs though.Is it worth keeping a car after 100k miles? ›
Often, 100,000 miles is considered a cut-off point for used cars because older vehicles often start requiring more expensive and frequent maintenance when mileage exceeds 100,000.Can a car last 250 000 miles? ›
The car most likely to last beyond 250,000 miles is the full-size Toyota Avalon sedan, which was replaced by the Crown for 2023. The Toyota Sienna, which is still alive and well we should note, tops the foreshortened pack of minivans that age well.How can I extend the life of my high mileage car? ›
Driving gently, including accelerating slowly and avoiding the need to slam on the brakes, may help prolong the life of a high-mileage car. On a cold day, Car Talk also suggests keeping the speed lower for the first few minutes of driving until the oil has warmed up.Do trucks or cars last longer? ›
Trucks Have More Longevity Today
This means that when you purchase a modern truck, you can expect it to last for at least 10 years and 100,000 miles. With proper maintenance, you can extend those marks significantly, with the average truck being nearly twice as likely to last for 200,000 miles as the average vehicle.
Although a car's parts might be longer-lived these days, mileage can be a key indicator of used-vehicle health. At higher mileage, it's more likely parts will need repair or replacement—some of those components, if not properly maintained by an earlier owner, can be expensive and difficult to fix.How can I lower my car mileage? ›
- Make sure the gas cap is screwed on tight. A loose cap can cause you to lose gas, even when you're staying in one place!
- Try not to idle. ...
- Accelerate and brake softly. ...
- Coast when you can. ...
- Try not to use the AC. ...
- Get rid of excess weight.
New engines offer a long-term, reliable solution to your car troubles. On the other hand, used vehicles may come with their own set of engine problems. If your used vehicle replacement encounters engine issues, you could end up paying twice as much in the long run.
The key to making your vehicle last 300,000 miles or more is regular maintenance. That means changing your oil at the recommended intervals and following the manufacturer's maintenance schedule. It's all there in that extremely valuable but underutilized piece of literature in your glove box.What is done in a 100k tune up? ›
Your vehicle's transmission fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant should be inspected during your 100,000-mile maintenance check to determine their condition and if they need to be topped off or changed.How long does it take to put 100k miles on a car? ›
Used Car Mileage Shopping Tips
If the car has 100,000 miles on it, that's still nearly four years of driving to get to the average. In some cases, you can be fine buying a used car with 150,000 or even 200,000 miles on it, because maintenance helps them last far beyond what many people have come to expect.
How many miles on a car is bad? As a general rule, most vehicles begin to seriously degrade at around 150,000 miles. It is considered rare, and therefore outstanding longevity, if a car reaches 200,000 miles on the road.Is 250 000 miles on a car bad? ›
Typically, putting 13,000 to 14,000 miles on your car per year is viewed as “average.” A car that is driven more than that is considered high-mileage. With proper maintenance, cars can have a life expectancy of about 200,000 miles.What to replace on a car after 100 000 miles? ›
In all likelihood, your transmission fluid, oil, coolant, power steering fluid, and brake fluid will all require to be replaced during your 100,000 mile maintenance appointment.Should I buy a car with more than 200k miles? ›
Although it may have been well maintained, the purchase of a vehicle with over 200,000 miles on the odometer might lead to significant maintenance costs. At this point, the car is likely nearing the end of its useful life, and you may soon need to either invest a significant sum in repairs or replace it entirely.Is it bad if a car has 300k miles? ›
Cars are built differently. Plenty of large vans and trucks will continue to run smoothly way past the 200,000-mile mark. Depending on the manufacturer, you can even get a long life out of a smaller vehicle. Surprisingly, most Miata's will continue to drive well (give or take a few repairs) past 300,000.
The general rule of thumb about how often to change spark plugs is that they should be replaced after about 100,000 miles of driving.How do you fix a high mileage car? ›
- Oil Change. ...
- Check and Top Off or Replace Fluids. ...
- Check and Replace Filters and Belts. ...
- Tires. ...
- Wax and Wash. ...
- Battery Care. ...
- Engine Treatment. ...
- Clean Fuel System.
- 1) Use High-Mileage Oil. ...
- 2) Schedule Frequent Oil Changes. ...
- 3) Give Your Fuel a Boost. ...
- 4) Get Fresh Brake Fluid. ...
- 5) Rotate the Tires. ...
- 6) Check Transmission Fluid. ...
- 7) Get an Alignment. ...
- 8) Conduct Three Monthly Routine Inspections at Home.
|Rank||Model||Cars Over 200k Miles|
Any number of reasons can end a car's life before the million-mile mark, from crashes to terminal rust, to major repairs costing more than the car is worth. Still, it's possible to get your car to a million miles and beyond. The late Irv Gordon famously drove his 1966 Volvo P1800 past 3 million miles.