What Does the Mileage on a Car Mean?

December 4, 2023

When shopping for a used car, most people will consider the mileage on the odometer to be a critical piece of information. After all, high-mileage cars tend to be seen as less reliable and may require more maintenance than their low-mile counterparts. In fact, some people avoid vehicles that have a lot of miles on the odometer completely, assuming they will be more likely to break down or need costly repairs sooner than a similar model with lower mileage.

However, when evaluating mileage, it is important to remember that it depends on several factors. For example, if the previous owner was a commuter who drove their car to work in dense traffic every day, their vehicle’s engine and braking system are going to take a beating that would be significantly lessened if they primarily drove on highways or other sparsely-populated areas.

Annual mileage is also an important factor when comparing cars, as it helps determine a vehicle’s overall reliability and value. For example, if a vehicle is driven around 12,000 miles per year, it will have an annual mileage of about 20,000 miles by the time it is five years old.

A used car that has been driven more than the average number of miles each year can still be a great purchase. Because of the way newer vehicles are designed, they will be able to endure more wear and tear over a long period of time without needing significant maintenance or repair work.


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