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.
However, modern advances in automotive technology mean most cars produced in this millennium will keep running long after the 100,000-mile mark, so it ultimately depends on a car's overall condition. Some brands are known for making vehicles that regularly exceed 200,000 miles with only minimal maintenance. Plus, highway miles typically put less wear and tear on a vehicle than city miles.
A well-maintained car with 120,000 highway miles on the odometer might last longer than a similarly sized, lower-mileage car that was primarily driven in the city.
Why does used car mileage matter?
Every mile you drive contributes to the wear and tear of a car, so mileage can act as a rough estimate of a car's longevity. Under normal circumstances, a vehicle with 40,000 miles may be considered relatively new, even if it's several years old. A younger vehicle with 140,000 miles would be considered significantly older, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's in bad condition. When buying a used car, consider all aspects of the car's condition, including its accident and maintenance history, age, wear and tear, repair needs, and more. Learn more about what to look for when buying a used car.
How many miles on a used car is too much?
That ultimately depends on a vehicle's condition, motor vehicle history, and the car make and model. Look into hiring a professional mechanic to inspect the used car you're considering, especially if it's odometer reads close to 100,000 miles or more. Many well-maintained cars can go a much longer distance without extensive repairs, and a mechanic can give you their perspective on the car's overall condition, beyond just its mileage.
Learn how car mileage impacts insurance.