When buying a second hand car, one of the first things you’ll look at, after the price, will be the mileage. Some people wouldn’t want to buy a vehicle that’s done more than 100,000 miles, while others might opt for a car that’s done up to 200,000. The question is, does mileage really matter? Is it truly a good indicator of how reliable a vehicle will be?
People who do appreciate cars with a higher mileage often focus on vintage and classic cars, recognising their longevity and reliability. On the other side of the coin, those who prefer to steer clear of high mileage vehicles are concerned about the cost of maintaining older cars, as there is bound to be wear and tear after that many miles.
Both of these arguments have merit – it will often be down to the individual vehicle as to whether a high mileage is worth the risk. We’ve explored the pros and cons of high mileage vehicles, to help you make your mind up!
Pros of High Mileage Vehicles
Some people may argue that there’s no way to guarantee high mileage vehicles will be dependable, and are therefore a liability. But there are several advantages to getting a car with lots of miles on the clock – we’ve listed the top three benefits below:
1. Classic Cars
The thing about classic cars is that, no matter how many miles they’ve done, they’re still valuable. These vehicles are often iconic – think of the Delorean DMC-12, which will forever be associated with the Back the the Future movies.
And because most of these cars are fairly old, there tend to be fewer of them on the road these days. This makes them a rare item for collectors – you could make a lot of money selling a vintage car.
2. Slower Depreciation
If you’re buying a new vehicle, as soon as your name is on the registration documentation, it will depreciate in value. This is because it’s now classed as a second hand car. But with higher mileage cars, which tend to be older, the depreciation is much slower.
Whether you’re just looking to buy a car that retains its value, or if you regularly buy and sell vehicles for profit, higher mileage cars may be the way to go. Particularly classic makes and models that people will buy even if they no longer run.
3. Cheaper Prices
Perhaps the most obvious reason for buying cars with higher mileage is that they tend to be cheap. The purchase price, unless it’s a classic car, will generally be low, and even maintenance costs might be less expensive than you’d think. With regular use, there should be less carbon build up, and less friction with moving parts.
You also need to weigh up the expense of maintaining an older vehicle versus paying a lot upfront for a brand new model. Even if you do have to pay to replace and fix parts, you may still save money in the long run.
Cons of High Mileage Vehicles
When it comes to the disadvantages of high mileage cars, the majority of these will be fairly obvious. Things like maintenance expenses, general wear and tear, as well as a lack of all the convenient modern features many of us are used to. We’ve looked at three of the main limitations of high mileage vehicles below:
1. Higher Maintenance Costs
As a general rule, cars with a lower mileage will be in better condition than those with more miles on the clock. Wear and tear will start to take its toll, and you could be facing anything from a faulty transmission to an oil leak. If you do have an older car, you’ll have to make sure you do regular maintenance, to keep it in the best possible condition.
You’ve also got to consider the reliability of the car. If you need a vehicle to get to work or for your daily routine, you don’t want the constant worry of it breaking down hanging over your head.
2. Fewer Features
When you buy a newer car, it will probably come with all sorts of exciting features and high-tech gadgets. These could include safety features like intelligent sensor systems and automatic emergency braking, as well as useful things like automatic parking and adaptive cruise control.
If you’re buying a vehicle with high mileage, you may have to resign yourself to living without these modcons, or see if you can modify the car so that such features can be added.
3. Hard to Finance
When purchasing a vehicle on finance, mileage can matter. Some car finance providers will be hesitant to lend to you if the vehicle has done over a certain amount of miles. Part of this will be due to the worry that you’ll need to spend a fair amount of your disposable income on maintenance costs.
And if you do manage to secure finance on a higher mileage vehicle, you may end up with a poor interest rate. The deal could therefore cost you more money long term.
Should I Buy a High Mileage Car?
There are often more risks involved with a high mileage vehicle, so it’s important to carefully consider whether you’re making the right choice. It’s also recommended that you get a mechanic, or someone who knows a lot about cars, to look at any car before you buy it. They should be able to spot any glaring issues that could impact you later down the line.
Overall, you probably shouldn’t dismiss vehicles out of hand if they have a lot of miles on their odometer, but should nonetheless be cautious about purchasing them. And if you’d like to discuss particular makes and models, the team here at Vehicle Finance Today would love to hear from you!