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GAFF
Alabama Fan
Georgia
Member since Aug 2010
1195 posts

How miles is too many for used car?
About to start looking for a new car for the wife. This will be the “family car” and her everyday driver. She’s currently driving a 2012 Chevy equinox. 163k miles and while not a bad car it’s started to have some issues (timing chain). I work out of town and would like for her to have something that I don’t have to worry about when I’m not home. We also just had a baby so reliability is now even higher on my list.

I would like to stay within the 2018 or newer range. What mileage should I look for and what mileage should I avoid? In the same breath at what point does mileage begin to affect the price for cars in this range?

And lastly, if two cars have similar options and miles but are a year model apart how much less should you expect to pay for the older model?
This post was edited on 2/9 at 7:59 pm


crawfishcharlie
LSU Fan
Crawfishtown, USA
Member since Dec 2003
4707 posts

re: How miles is too many for used car?
I'd rather have a little older vehicle with a few more miles that was WELL taken care of...
if you look close enough you can tell. Check tires, suspension & running gear,under the hood, condition of seats and carpets, etc.....

as opposed to a newer vehicle with less miles that has not been taken care of...just look for the opposite of what I explained above


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Ramblin Wreck
Georgia Tech Fan
Member since Aug 2011
2330 posts
 Online 

re: How miles is too many for used car?
I have 3 vehicles with near 200,000 miles. I would like to get at least another 100,000 on each of them.

2013 Toyota 4Runner - 195,000
2013 Ford Explorer - 230,000
2000 Jeep Wrangler - 230,000

Edit - I tend to keep stuff forever and admit it is fun to brag about my high mileage cars. I will however add that my wife travels a lot so we did buy a new car for her. My college age kids and myself drive the high mileage vehicles. If they break down, I view it as a learning opportunity. LOL. Ironically the new car, Acura RDX, is less than a year old and has been to the shop twice already. When it was about a month old it lost power while my wife was driving between Lake Charles and Lafayette with two dogs with her. She was able to drive it about 20 mph on the shoulder until she reached an exit. Fortunately after letting it sit a while, it reset itself and she was able to drive home. The second issue was another electronic one where the auto shutoff (most annoying thing ever) along with the battery lost communication with the computer. The warning stated that the battery wasn’t recharging.

Just because they are new and Japanese isn’t a guarantee they don’t break down.
This post was edited on 2/10 at 10:21 am


Paul Allen
Notre Dame Fan
Montauk, NY
Member since Nov 2007
61380 posts
 Online 

re: How miles is too many for used car?
125k


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07
Fat Bastard
Boston College Fan
Member since Mar 2009
46189 posts

re: How miles is too many for used car?
yep i am with ya there on 2 of them

2008 nissan titan 190k

2006 honda pilot just over 200k

2014 nissan armada 90k

2015 honda cr-v 35k


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11
KamaCausey_LSU
Member since Apr 2013
7250 posts

re: How miles is too many for used car?
I'm not the financial guru that some others are, but I would just buy a new car, maybe last years model if you can find a lot trying to get rid of it.

Peace of mind for you and your wife/child when you're out of town is worth a couple extra thousand dollars over the course of a few years.

Last time I was car shopping, I didn't notice much of a difference between new and 1-2 year old cars. Granted that was for an entry level sedan and not a mid to top trim SUV.


seawolf06
LSU Fan
Raleigh, NC
Member since Oct 2007
7072 posts

re: How miles is too many for used car?
Get a Honda or Toyota and don't worry about the mileage. Focus on the condition and the price.

Make sure you check the history on it. I'd be wary of anything from states that get a lot of snow due to salt, but just make sure you check the undercarriage.


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bbesse
LSU Fan
Waveland, MS
Member since Nov 2005
7040 posts

re: How miles is too many for used car?
quote:

Last time I was car shopping, I didn't notice much of a difference between new and 1-2 year old cars. Granted that was for an entry level sedan and not a mid to top trim SUV.


That's a common realization. Too many people in the first 1-2 years of ownership assume all of what they paid in poor haggling, taxes, warranties, paperwork, and extras should be recovered when it's sold. Dealerships also mark up used cars to whatever they want because it's not like there's a set MSRP on a used car. While on the new side, every dealer is competing for the sale on identical cars, and many times the same exact car. With new cars, you can pick the exact model with exact options, and then pull in a million dealerships to get the best price.

Also, most 1-2 year old cars are sold by dealerships from trade-ins, and they know every penny a car is worth. From a private seller, you can often haggle more, and they are not motivated by monthly margin. They just want it sold.

Although buying a used car is most often the better financial move, in the 1-2 year old car market, you do need to do some work to get a better deal in the used market vs. new.


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Carson123987
Texas Fan
Middle Court at the Rec
Member since Jul 2011
62674 posts
 Online 

re: How miles is too many for used car?
3 years, <30k is the magic window


NaturalBeam
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2007
14121 posts

re: How miles is too many for used car?
quote:

3 years, <30k is the magic window
This.

I bought a Tahoe last year that was 2 years old with 30k miles. After doing some research, I found this was the sweet spot for biggest savings vs. expected life of the vehicle. 30k is just one year of driving for me, and I saved about 30% off what a new one would have cost.
This post was edited on 2/11 at 6:48 am


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10
Bestbank Tiger
Tulane Fan
The Landmass
Member since Jan 2005
50229 posts

re: How miles is too many for used car?
Do the math. How much you'll pay to buy it plus how much you'll pay for repairs divided by the expected life. Is that a good deal compared to other options?


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RedlandsTiger
LSU Fan
Redlands, CA
Member since Jan 2008
2460 posts

re: How miles is too many for used car?
Go to Kelly Blue Book, it's free!
LINK

If you're buying a 2018 it can't have a ton of miles. People go crazy when I say it, but buy direct from a car rental firm or a dealer with lease car turn ins. Enterprise, etc. Their cars are usually low miles and still in warranty. I got a lease turn-in 2017 Lexus RX 350 with 44k miles for $30k from a local dealer. Great SUV, possibly the last car I will ever buy (I'm retiring this year).


tman1
Member since Jan 2015
5 posts

re: How miles is too many for used car?
My rule of thumb is this...

Everyone should buy a new car once...

With that said, I look for vehicles that are a) Honda's b) have around 24,000 miles....

Honda's will last you easily to 200,000... Hell you'll get sick of the car before it breaks down...

Also in general... The industry builds car much much better today. Get ur second hand car, enjoy the writeoff, and drive ... "Ford vs Ferrari.... :D


GAFF
Alabama Fan
Georgia
Member since Aug 2010
1195 posts

re: How miles is too many for used car?
My truck was an off the lot new Sierra. Bought it in 2017 and will pay it off this March. I was looking at new for the wife initially but decided to see what the used markets were offering. So far it’s an average of about 6-7k cheaper (before negotiating) for the used model that’s in the 30k mileage range. Still not 100% sure I’m not going to buy new. I’m not the best at haggling over prices so I found it’s easier for me to haggle over equal vehicles than ones with different factors (mileage, options, etc). I thought buying new was a no no on this board?

And to the poster who mentioned buying rentals. Vroom offers a lot of those at good pricing but the business model makes me cautious (all online, no salesmen, ships car to your location, drive the car for a week then buy or return based on your opinion). I always thought rentals were a bad buy? Is this wrong?


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braindeadboxer
LSU Fan
Utopia
Member since Nov 2011
7843 posts
 Online 

re: How miles is too many for used car?
All about the maintenance. I have a 2011 Sierra I bought new that now has 222k miles on it and I’d take off cross country in it without looking back.


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SalE
Member since Jan 2020
165 posts

re: How miles is too many for used car?
Look for a 5-10 year old Lexus w/less than 50K miles.


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AndewO11
Member since May 2019
11 posts

re: How miles is too many for used car?
I think it is important to find a used car where the owner has "pride of ownership" because if it has been well maintained, then the car will last a long time. I am sure you will make sure the car is in great shape even if it has 100K miles on it. So, I wouldn't worry too much about higher mileage. While buying a used vehicle, I always suggest to check vin here
This post was edited on 3/12 at 9:30 am


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