Most car owners have a fairly good superficial knowledge of important car features, and they leave the rest to the pros. Mileage is an important element in monitoring how your car is doing, and it’s a key element in searching for a used car. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of mileage and what it means for you as a car owner.
How does mileage affect your car?
The simple but misleading answer is that it doesn’t. Mileage is simply a marker of how many miles, or kilometers as the case may be, your car has been driven. The truer answer, however, is that the mileage is generally speaking an excellent indicator of the car’s condition. Most people are aware of this, but to clarify, in very general terms, the lower mileage, the better condition the car is in and vice versa. This is due to wear and tear, which happens to a car no matter how careful the driver drives. There isn’t really anything you can do about it, but if you drive safely and keep your car in good shape, the mileage plays less of a role in its condition and value, and you should get many years of good use out of your vehicle, mileage notwithstanding.
What type of mileage is typical?
A car is typically driven between about 15,000 and 20,000 kilometers annually.
How much of a factor should it be when choosing a second-hand vehicle?
There are many factors to consider when purchasing a car secondhand, and mileage is but one, but an important one. The mileage gives an overall picture of the condition of the car as said earlier, so it’s a snapshot of where this car is holding and how much more life is left in the car. Therefore, it should be a big factor when determining if you should buy the car at all, and if yes, the value of the car and its price.
That’s why mileage plays a bigger role than years owned. If a car was preowned for only two years but driven 70,000 kilometers each year, (quite a feat!) that’s already 140,000 and a good chance of strong wear and tear. A car that’s four years old but was only driven 20,000 miles a year is almost certainly in much better shape and will last you much longer, even if the styling is a bit more outdated. Beware of cars that were driven too many miles annually, as in the former case, as it indicates strain on the car and greater wear and tear than if the car was driven the same amount of miles in more years. In the previous example, if both cars had the same amount of mileage but one was two years old and one was four years old, the newer car might actually be in worse shape. Since as we know mileage is really simple a number, any car you’re thinking to purchase should always undergo a thorough inspection by an experienced and knowledgeable mechanic.
What does monitoring mileage do for you as a car owner?
Mileage is used as a monitor for testing and changing different parts of your car. For example, as a rule tires need to be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles.
So, mileage does matter; but don’t think about it too much when you’re driving. Keep your car in good shape and enjoy the drive!