How many miles on a used car is too much?


Whether thinking about buying a used car from a private seller, dealership, or evaluating your current car, there comes a point when you ask yourself how many miles on a used car is too much.

An exact number of limited miles on a car doesn't really exist. Though we can look at the few factors to consider that determine if that mile count is too high.

All three of our dealerships specialize in acquiring and selling pre-owned vehicles so we have a load of experience with this question. The strongest argument can be made for one underlying factor, warranty. The second, more obvious aspects are how the car was kept and did the owner keep up with maintenance. Let’s take a look at each of these.

Is the warranty up?

Usually, when asking how many miles on a used car is too much, the car has a larger amount of miles and years in its life. Like every other machine, eventually, it’s going to break. With cars, the costs can add up very quickly. As time passes and those miles rack up, the game of time and its risk vs savings equation moves further from your favor. So what you need to consider is what warranties and extended service contracts are still available for this used car.

Whether the vehicle has the bumper-to-bumper “factory” warranty or powertrain warranty still active is a huge aspect to consider. When cars get older, parts start to deteriorate from use. And these two warranties cover repair costs! Mitsubishi’s and Kia’s notably have the longest warranty by five years compared to its competitors.

“At Mitsubishi, we are so confident in the quality, reliability, and durability ...a 10-year/100,000 mile Powertrain Limited Warranty, a 5-year/60,000 mile fully transferable New Vehicle Limited Warranty, a 7-year/100,000 mile Anti-Corrosion/Perforation Limited Warranty and 5-years/Unlimited miles Roadside Assistance.”

For cars passed the manufacturer’s warranties, the option for an extended warranty or extended service contract is usually available at dealerships. Your wallet will thank you. There are many extended warranties and service contracts to choose from but essentially you want a safety net that will cover the costs of repairs. With vehicles with high miles, it will be well worth the investment.

Was it maintained?

Did the vehicle receive its recommended maintenance? Keeping up with a car’s maintenance schedule isn’t a ploy for mechanics and dealers to make money. It directly affects the riding and longevity of a vehicle and should be considered as an investment in keeping the car running better for longer.

Change, check, inspect, and examine everything from belts and hoses to paint chips!

For example, regular oil changes are extremely important for your engine because the oil lubricates the engine and absorbs heat. Over time the oil's effectiveness decreases. Without this service, the engine would be blown before you know it.  


Well, how was the car kept?

With previous owners and years of wear and tear, used cars can get beat up and run down. How the driver handled the car while on the road affects the car’s value and remaining lifespan. The worst the treatment the low your answer to 'How many miles on a used car is too much?'

If the previous owner drove the thing like a maniac, the parts will have more wear and tear than usual. The motor will be further along than compared to one who’s owner didn’t floor it.

Other questions to ask:

How well kept was the interior of the vehicle? Are there dings? Paint chips? Scratches?

So how many miles on a used car is too much?

Unfortunately, there’s no specific number. Each vehicle will have its own condition with different histories. Take into consideration the warranties available, if maintenance was kept up with, and the wear and tear. Gambling your money on a higher mileage vehicle may not be gabbling when you invest in an extended warranty. Matt Blatt has a huge selection of used cars with the option of an extended warranty. Don’t throw your money away on something that could break in a month. Weigh your options!

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