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What is Good Mileage for a Used Car?

Used car mileage is a good indicator of wear and tear on a vehicle. Here are some guides for what to look for with mileage when shopping for a used car.



When shopping for a used car, there are likely many things you are considering. One of those factors is the mileage. Mileage is a good indicator of wear and tear on a used vehicle. It also shows how soon you will have to replace certain items, such as tires and brakes.

What is good mileage for a used car?

This is relative to the age of the vehicle. A typical average you should expect is around 12,000 miles for each year since its first use. For example, a 5 year old vehicle should have somewhere around 60,000 miles, or less, whereas a 3 year old vehicle should have around 36,000 miles or less.

Does high mileage mean that a used car will wear out more quickly?

If maintenance is performed in proportion to the vehicle’s use, it should still have a long life ahead of itself. Most vehicles in production today have less moving parts than before, and a lot of components are made to eliminate the need for services, such as transmission fluid flushes, as was needed several years ago. This means as long as basic maintenance is achieved, you can still expect to get several years of use out of a vehicle with around 100,000 miles.

What else should I look for about the condition of the used car?

Specifically related to mileage, you should check the vehicle history report to see how many owners the vehicle had, and the intervals in which the mileage is updated in the service records. Consistent driving patterns also matter. If a vehicle had 2 owners, where the first put on a lot of miles each year, then the second owner barely drove it, that can also lead to some maintenance/repair concerns that you will have to consider.

What is the average mileage tires need to be replaced?

Assuming normal tire maintenance is achieved – rotating tires, ensuring proper inflation, and vehicle alignment, most tires are able to last between 50,000-60,000 miles under normal conditions. Most tires state the expected lifespan, and a corresponding warranty.

What is the average mileage brakes need to be replaced?

This is heavily dependent on driving habits, and the conditions in which you are driving. Brakes could be worn at 20,000 miles if you have frequent heavy braking, or use both feet, where you are simultaneously pressing both the accelerator and brake pedals. The typical average with normal conditions is somewhere around 40,000 miles. At the upper end, some people are able to go 65,000-80,000 miles before needing to replace brake pads and/or rotors.

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