How Many Kilometres Are Too Many For A Used Car?

How Many Kilometres Are Too Many For A Used Car?
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When it comes to buying a second-hand car, there are lots of things to consider. But probably the most talked-about of them all is the number of kilometres. Let’s take a closer look at that, shall we?

When buying a used car how many kilometres are too many?

I’m looking to buy a car/suv for my teen daughter’s first ride. I have only ever bought new cars and have never put more than 120,000 kilometres on a car. Shopping for a used car I’m not sure how many miles is too much. I want to make sure that whatever I get is fairly reliable. She will be driving less than 100 kilometres per week.

This is an excellent question, and mileage is often a major concern when shopping for a pre-owned vehicle. Of course, any car nut will tell you that “mileage is just a number and it’s the condition that matters most”. That’s true, but mileage can be an indicator of how much wear a car has had and therefore how much life is left in the components.

You could, of course, have a 200,000-kilometre car that runs very well, and a 100,000-kilometre car that should head for the junkyard. When it comes to looking at mileage thresholds for used cars it really comes down to the budget and the type of car. Various price points and certain types of cars are going to have different guidelines on what constitutes “too many kilometres.”

In this particular case, I’m going to assume that like most parents buying cars for their kids you are likely trying to spend less than $15,000, perhaps you want to spend less than $5000. Within that budget zone if you set a mileage threshold at around 200,000 there will be a number of decent cars to choose from. While that 200,000 mark may seem a bit arbitrary, a line needs to be drawn somewhere, and I don’t subscribe to the “once a car hits 150,000 it’s junk” philosophy. At the same token once you start pushing to 250,000 kilometres and more there is a much higher likelihood of shelling out even more money to fix things. As always if you find something that seems worthwhile, you should invest in getting it inspected prior to your purchase.


This story originally appeared on Jalopnik. It’s since been republished and updated.

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