There is something of a myth about buying high mileage cars. Many people, when looking for a pre owned car that is a couple or a few years old, are put off by higher mileages, but this begs the question: what exactly is a high mileage?
Put simply, modern cars last a lot longer than older models. They are also built to be driven. An engine – and the other moving parts – requires constant lubrication. So, it follows that a car which has been driven regularly will be one that has well-lubricated systems.
This doesn’t answer our question, though; surely, as many people assume, a car with higher recorded mileage stands a greater chance of things going wrong? This is where the myth is perpetuated, for as we said above, a car that has been used is one that has been doing the job it’s designed for!
There are in fact benefits to buying a car that has, say, 100,000km as opposed to a similar model that has 50,000km. The first is cost saving, and in more ways than you might believe.
The Problem of Depreciation
Depreciation is loss of value. In simple terms, every car will lose value over time, and at a certain mileage, depreciation tends to level out. In other words, you’ll pay the same for a car with 70,000km on the clock as you will for one with 100,000km – or very close.
Also, what you will find is that you can afford to buy a better, higher-specification model with more miles, once depreciation has hit its low point. So, you get more car for your money this way. There are some things to look out for, and these are generally applied when you come to sell the car on.
As depreciation has hit a low after a few years, you will lose very little if you sell your car on after using it for a while. However, high-performance vehicles – or those of a luxury and desirable nature – can be difficult to move on if they have a high mileage, as owners like to buy low mileage models in this case. These cars also hold their value more readily, so be careful if this is what you are buying.
As we mentioned earlier, moving parts in cars are designed for regular and long term use, but will deteriorate over time. Service intervals are usually performed at certain distances – and not age-related – so look for a full service history and you will find consumables have been replaced when necessary.
This means that when you buy a higher mileage car, you are buying one that has – or should have – been serviced as and when it should, and is therefore in the best possible condition.
In terms of saving money – both when buying and when selling on – a higher-mileage used car is not the poor deal that it once might have been, so shop carefully, check for the right paperwork, and get yourself a great deal.