How Important is Low Mileage When Buying a Car?

When buying a second hand vehicle, there are a lot of factors to consider. What is the purpose of the car – do you need a vehicle for the daily commute, or will it mostly be used for weekend getaways in the countryside? What additional features are you looking for? Are you hoping to buy a particular make or model? Does the colour matter?

You’ll undoubtedly have all of these questions circulating around your head, but perhaps the main question on your mind is the mileage of the car. This just means how many miles the vehicle has travelled. It is important to look at the mileage, but why do people put so much stock into this number?

Why is Mileage Important?

The mileage of a vehicle is essentially a way of determining how much life a car has left in it. Some people are reluctant to buy a vehicle that has done more than 100,000 miles, as there is a higher likelihood that the car would have higher repair and maintenance expenses. Things that become worn over time, such as the brakes and clutch, may need replacing before too long, and the costs can add up.

In terms of the average mileage of a car, anywhere between 8,000 and 12,000 miles would be considered to be a normal annual mileage. And once a vehicle does over 20,000, as a general rule, it is said to lose 20% of its value. The same logic applies to a car that has done over 40,000 miles – it will lose around 40% of its value.

car mileage

Does Mileage Affect the Cost of a Car?

Vehicles with a lower mileage are usually more expensive than those with more miles on the odometer. There is no precise formula to determine how much more expensive a vehicle with a lower mileage is, but there are rough guidelines you can use. In fact, according to Motorway, an online used car marketplace, a lower mileage car will sell for around 20% to 30% more than the same type of vehicle with a higher mileage.

It is important to note that there are a lot of other things that impact the price of a second hand vehicle alongside mileage. The overall condition of the car, its age and service history, the number of previous owners, as well as the popularity of the make and model will all affect the price.

Benefits of Low Mileage Cars

The mileage of a car can help you get a good idea of how well used the vehicle is, and how much wear and tear it’s had over the years. This can then help you predict the likelihood of maintenance and repair costs later down the line. Generally speaking, cars with lower mileages will be in better condition, and although they usually come with a higher price tag, they should be cheaper overall.

Another benefit of a low mileage vehicle is that they have a great resale value. As long as you don’t drastically increase the mileage, you should be able to sell the vehicle at a reasonable price when you decide to get a new car.

Downsides of Low Mileage

While it’s generally assumed that a vehicle with a lower mileage is always the best option, this is not always the case. There are actually a few limitations that come with a low mileage car. We’ve listed the top three downsides below:

Lack of Usage

If an older car has a low mileage, this could be due to the fact that it’s been sitting in a garage or driveway for years. This in turn can mean that the vehicle will need a lot of work done, with parts like the battery or brakes needing to be replaced. Underused cars, even with a low mileage, can end up costing more in the long run.

car finance mileage

Risk of Clocking

While we may not want to believe that this practice is still carried out, clocking may be more common than you think. Clocking is where the odometer of the car, which measures mileage, is tampered with. So if you come across a vehicle with a suspiciously low mileage, there is a chance that it really is too good to be true.

Poor Return on Investment

While a low mileage car is great at first, if you’re planning to use it for longer journeys, racking up the miles, it may not be worth getting a low mileage vehicle. Should you ever come to resell the car, you won’t make back the money you invested initially, as the vehicle will now have a much higher mileage. It would therefore make more sense to opt for a car with a higher mileage that comes with a great service history.

How to Finance a Low Mileage Car

As discussed above, vehicles with lower mileages tend to be more expensive than those with more miles on the clock. You may therefore be looking to get a car on finance, to spread the cost of purchase. That’s where Vehicle Finance  Today can help – we can find you a suitable lender, so that you can buy the car of your dreams!

Our short online application is incredibly straightforward – you’ll be asked for a few personal details, information about your income and expenditure, as well as details about the vehicle you’re looking to purchase. We’ll then compare lenders for you, and if approved, you can choose a vehicle from any reputable UK lender. So what are you waiting for – simply click the button below to get started!


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