Interpreting Used Car Mileage Figures

When you’re considering a variety of used cars for your next purchase, one of the primary areas you’ll look to for some general clues about the vehicle’s history is the mileage. At Auction Direct USA, we have a wide range of miles on our huge selection of used cars for sale, depending on your preferences.

How important should mileage be when you are browsing our selection? Let’s take a look, plus view some examples of when mileage can be misleading.

Basic Assumptions

In a very general sense, it’s good to assume that the average driver logs about 12,000 miles on their vehicle per year. If there’s very little other information about the car available, this can be a good baseline for determining roughly how long and how frequently the car has been driven for. If a car has significantly more or less mileage than this based on the number of years it’s been in circulation, this is something to look into.

However, there are situations where relying only on the mileage can get you a misleading idea about a car. Our next section will discuss a few examples.

Mileage Can Be Misleading

  • In some cases, a car will have a standard number of miles and only a single ownership, plus good maintenance. In these cases, this is a great car to pursue.
  • Rental cars, in many cases, can sometimes be had for less money and with better mileage.
  • On the flip side, a similar car to our first example, but with multiple owners and more years in circulation, might not be as good an option. This is particularly true if you can’t find a good maintenance history.
  • Also consider the inverse, however: A car with the same year and make as our other examples, but with just 3,000 to 5,000 miles per year on the odometer. Cars like these are usually garaged, and while they may appear well-maintained due to rarely being driven, they can come with elements like dry-rot, weakened batteries and dried-out oil seals. These are all threats to the longevity of the car, so you should be wary.

For more on interpreting a used car’s mileage, or to view any of our cars for sale, speak to the pros at Auction Direct USA today.