What is a good mileage for a used car?

April 15th, 2022 by

Knowing when to buy a used car can help you get the most for your money. Over time, cars depreciate, but some vehicles have more life at higher mileage than others. Toyota vehicles, for example, have a reputation for lasting a long time while maintaining performance. This article will cover what factors to consider in buying a used car and what you can do to ensure your care has a long life.

What Is the Best Age to Buy a Used Car?

If you buy a car that is a few years old, the vehicle is often cheaper but still is a reasonably new car with low mileage. On average, a person places about 15,000 miles a year on a vehicle, so a three-year-old car should have around 45,000 miles. Also, if you were to buy a car around its third year, you know that most of the more significant depreciation has occurred and that depreciation should slow going forward. Here are some other tips for buying the right car for you.

Understand Depreciation

Over time, cars depreciate as they tack on mileage and as newer, more technologically advanced vehicles hit the road. Some of the factors that might impact depreciation include how old a car is and how many miles the car has been driven. The rate of depreciation is not constant. Rather, vehicles tend to lose more value right away. If you understand how depreciation occurs, it can help you make a buying decision that maximizes value.

Although individual factors can influence a vehicle’s depreciation, there are some general trends you can use as a guide while car shopping. In general, a vehicle loses about 20% of its value after its first year. After that first year’s decline, the car continues to lose about 15% to 25% of its value every year for about five years. At five years, the rate of depreciation tends to slow.

Consider Car Brand and Engine Size

A vehicle’s engine size or the automaker’s reputation can affect how quickly a vehicle depreciates. Some automakers have a reputation for long-lasting vehicles or vehicles of high quality. This kind of reputation can help a car maintain its value, as there is more demand for them in the used car marketplace.

In terms of a vehicle’s engine size, a vehicle with a larger engine can generally handle more mileage. The larger engine size tends to mean that the drivetrain has more durability. If you see two used cars of a similar make with similar mileage, but one costs a bit more, check the specifications. It’s possible one has a four-cylinder engine, and the other has a V-6.

What Can I Do to Make My Car Last Longer?

If you have a new car, respect the break-in period of the new engine. Usually, the break-in period lasts about 1,000 miles. Automakers often recommend keeping your speed below 55 mph as much as possible during this period.

You also should avoid rapidly accelerating and placing a lot of stress on the engine during this time. Another good practice is to let the engine idle for a minute after starting it rather than immediately heading out on the road. Here are some other ways you can ensure your car lasts as long as possible.

Perform or Seek Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is an important element of keeping a vehicle’s engine running smoothly. Routine matters like getting regular oil changes can make a big difference in a vehicle’s life. Beyond regular oil changes, you can check your oil after every other fill-up.

Sometimes, you might need to add some oil in between your regular changes. You also should change the oil filter after every other oil change. The filter can become filthy with old oil particles.

You can change the air filter on the vehicle about every two months. Lastly, remember to change the transmission fluid about every 25,000 miles. Car dealerships often have a regular maintenance schedule you can follow to schedule maintenance with professionals.

Keep Your Vehicle Clean

If you keep the vehicle clean, it can accomplish much more than simply making it look nice. A clean car can help maintain the exterior and the interior. If you wax the exterior periodically, it can help maintain the paint job. Also, it’s a good idea to wash your vehicle during the winter.

If you live in a place that gets snow, salt from the road can end up on your vehicle and have a corrosive effect on the car. If you take the car through a car wash, you can get the salt off the car, including the undercarriage, to help protect vital parts.

The interior of your car can also degrade over time. It’s a good idea to have floor mats that can absorb moisture and that you can clean regularly. Be sure to polish the interior and regularly clean the gauges as well. You can seek expert help with both tasks.

Can a Car Last 300,000 Miles?

A car can last 300,000 miles, but to get a car to last that long, you have to lessen the stress on the vehicle. For example, many of us will immediately put on the air conditioner as soon as we start the vehicle in hot weather.

This places more stress on the engine, and it’s better to let the vehicle run for a bit before turning on the heater or air conditioner. Other habits can help your car last longer, like coasting to stop signs rather than approaching an intersection and hitting the brakes hard.

Try to also avoid unnecessarily starting and stopping the engine. For example, if you have several errands to run, try to do them all in one trip rather than letting the engine cool down in between a series of short trips. You can also avoid hitting the acceleration hard and revving up the RPMs. Rather, you can gradually accelerate. These little habits can help you get more out of your vehicle.

Classic Toyota is committed to helping you get the most for your money on new cars and used vehicles. We hope these tips help you maintain your vehicle and keep it in great shape. Stop by Classic Toyota’s showroom to see our selection of Toyota cars and trucks.

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