Best mileage on a used car and why low isn’t always the best choice

Best mileage on a used car and why low isn't always the best choice

There are many things to consider when buying a used car, but one thing that most buyers seem to appreciate the most is finding a low mileage car. But could buying a car with a higher mileage make more sense? Car sales experts car gurus answer some of the questions to ask when looking at a car’s odometer.

What is average mileage?
Many of us think that about 10,000 miles a year is the right margin for a used car.

In fact, the distance traveled by passenger cars has decreased in recent years, as evidenced by the examination of the kilometers recorded in annual MOT inspections over the past decades.

In 2002 the figure stood at 9,200 miles.

Since then, however, that figure has dropped quite a bit and the average mileage now stands at just 7,500 miles per year.

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For example, a car driving during rush hour has used its clutch, gearbox and brakes much more than a car that has been on the highway all day, which can lead to premature wear of those items.

And it’s also true that some car parts deteriorate from lack of use: rubber parts can deteriorate and brake discs can rust on cars that are rarely used.

However, a low mileage car can also be in better overall condition inside and out. The seats are likely less worn and less likely to pick up stone chips on the body during its lifetime.

If your annual mileage is above average, then it makes financial sense to buy a low mileage car because if you keep it for two or three years, chances are it will have an average mileage for its age and still have a solid retained value.