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Should you buy a used car with over 200k miles?

buy a used car with over 200k miles?
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When buying a used car, buyers are usually faced with challenging questions such as the one above, and if truthful, complete, and unambiguous are not given could result in bad shopping decisions.

So as a used car buyer, should you buy a car with over 200k miles? What are some of the factors to consider when making this decision, this and some other related topical issues will be discussed in this article. 

“Mileage” is a term used to describe the total distance traveled by a vehicle in a given trip or the total distance traveled in this course of its life span.

This should not be confused with gas mileage which is the total distance a car can travel per gallon of gas. (Gallons per mile)

Surely the increasing use of electric vehicles is gradually rendering the gas mileage definition obsolete.

So should you buy a used car with over 200k miles? To answer this question we need to understand some of the factors that affect the mileage of a vehicle.

How is Mileage calculated?

The mileage is a function of the radius of the tire, and fan belt diameter, the measuring instruments receive pulse signals each time the tire makes a complete revolution, these signals are the data needed to output the mileage figure displayed in the digital or analog odometer, you may wonder if some clever experts can roll back the odometer? We have already answered this in a previous article.

Mathematically the mileage can be calculated as follows: 

Let mileage = M

Tyre radius = Rt

Let circumference of fan belt = Fc

if the number of times tires rolls/year = Tn

therefore M = Tn + [(2 x Rt) + (1/Fc)]

Factors affecting the mileage of a vehicle

What could lead to a vehicle having a high mileage or a low mileage? Here are some factors that affect the mileage of cars.


Car mileages are expected to increase with age, this is so because conventionally an older vehicle is considered to have been used more than a relatively new vehicle. This, however, may not always be the case as some vehicles are old but have spent more time in the garage than some newer vehicles.

Topography and road conditions

No doubt you will agree with me that we tend to drive faster on good roads with no speed breaks or gallops, this makes the drivers drive even longer distances hence increasing mileage.

Vehicle Purpose

You cannot compare a commuters sedan’s mileage to the old lady’s SUV mileage bought the same year. 

Because they are serving different purposes, the old lady could only be using her SUV every Sunday morning, while a commuters sedan hits the road every blessed day.

The sedan is also expected to have a higher tear and wear, high mileage and high tear rate are usually expected of vehicles used in the transportation industry.

Are you contemplating buying an SUV? Here are some factors to consider.

Driver's disposition

A younger driver may tend to go “fast and furious” racking up mileage, while an older person may choose to go “slow and steady” recording fewer miles.

Should you buy a used car with over 200k miles?

The above information shows that cars with high mileage are prone to plenty of tears and wear.

On average, a car is expected to clock 12,000 miles or 19,200 kilometers per year.

You can use this information to make some calculations. The factors you should consider are the year the car went into use, and the mileage reading on the odometer.

200k divided by 12,000 is 16.6years, so will you like to buy a car that has been used for nearly 17 years? What do the physical and mechanical examinations show about the car?

There are other things to consider and ultimately this decision is yours to take, what do you intend to do with the vehicle, is the odometer reading true? Our detailed vehicle history report provides accurate odometer records for used vehicles. 

Another factor that may be considered when contemplating buying or not buying a vehicle is the number of previous owners, this information you can get when you run a VIN check, the detailed vehicle history provided will show you how many persons have used the vehicle in the past. 

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Cost of Buying Vehicles with High Mileage

Vehicles with high mileage or deceptive mileage increase cost in the long run for users as they incur high maintenance fees.

On the other hand, there are some vehicles whose values appreciate with time, such as classic cars, in this case, the cost of owning such a vehicle is low considering the profits that could be racked up.

Whatever the case may be, Detailed Vehicle History (DVH) offers you a rare opportunity to leverage a top-notch vehicle history research tool today.

Run a VIN check and gain access to information about any used vehicle of your choice, you can get to know if a car has been damaged by flood, if it was stolen, if it has police markers, see the title, check the loan and lien records, or recalled, etc.

More to explore

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