Consider the Per-Year Average
The first thing to know when looking at a car’s mileage is the average number people drive every year. This is around 14,000. A four-year-old vehicle, for instance, should have about 56,000 miles.
Anything way above that should be cause for concern. The same is true, however, if it’s a lot lower.
Buyer Beware with Low-Mileage Vehicles
A car with very low miles sounds great, but let’s take a closer look using that four-year-old car as an example. If this vehicle has, say, 30,000 miles on its odometer, don’t just be enamored by the number. This means it was only driven about 7,500 miles per year, which is well below average.
In order to keep components healthy, cars need to be driven. If a vehicle sits unused for long stretches of time, parts can deteriorate.
You also need to know how a car was maintained. Because it wasn’t driven as much, the owner may have decided that things like oil changes and filter replacements just weren’t necessary. This is why you should always look at a vehicle history report.
Don’t Immediately Pass on High-Mileage Vehicles
Just because a car has a higher per-year mile average doesn’t mean you should pass it over. For one thing, depending on where it came from, most of those miles may have come on the highway.
This puts less wear and tear on a vehicle compared to one that does a lot of stop-and-go driving. In addition, because it was driven a lot, the owner may have been meticulous about routine service.
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