All buyers have their own set of criteria and personal preferences when buying a car. Some head straight for the brand new, taking advantage of the packages offered by dealerships, while others swear by buying used cars, drawn to the character and thrill of finding the ultimate bargain.
Thinking outside the box when buying any car can be advantageous, but what should you consider when buying a high mileage used car, and how do you avoid the pitfalls that used car owners come up against? Could opting for a high mileage car be the best thing you ever did?
Here is our checklist of what to consider when buying a high mileage car:
1. FULL-SERVICE HISTORY: Ensure that the car has a full service history and don’t even contemplate one that hasn’t. Go through the service schedule carefully looking at what work has been done, when and by whom.
2. MOT HISTORY: Look at the MOT history. Has it failed in the past? What were the failures for? Has the car racked up a long list of advisories? You can check a cars MOT history for free here.
3. PROFESSIONAL INSPECTION: Contemplate investing in a professional inspection, which will highlight any imminent issues with the car. This could save you in the long run, but if this isn’t within budget make sure you take a family member or friend who knows what they are looking for.
4. EX COMPANY CARS: Ex-company cars are a good option as they will almost certainly have a full-service history and will have been used for longer journeys, which will counteract the high mileage you can expect from them. The reason for this is that short distances with cold engines, local roads, potholes and speed bumps are much more likely to wear a car’s brakes, suspension and clutch more quickly than those with higher mileage.
5. MODERN CARS ARE BUILT TO LAST TO 150K: Never dismiss a car with mileage over 100,000. Modern cars are designed to last to 150,000 miles and should last this long if well maintained and serviced regularly, and this number could well be doubled if the car has been particularly valued by its owner. Remember that just because a car has had lots of money spent on it, doesn’t necessarily mean that things keep going wrong. It could mean that it was cherished and well looked after.
6. GET A GREAT CAR FOR A BARGAIN PRICE: Cars with mileage over 100,000 are notoriously difficult to find buyers for because that is generally the number most buyers are tentative about crossing. However, this is your opportunity to find a fantastic car with a reasonable price tag. High mileage cars cost considerably less than lower mileage cars of exactly the same spec, plus the money you save can be spent on maintaining your brilliant buy.
Not only is mileage important when it comes to purchasing a car, but it's also important when it comes to selling your car. Looking at the mileage when selling your car is a helpful metric to think about so do consider it carefully and explore whether it's worth selling your car on or selling it for scrap.
All in all, if you are looking for a real gem of a car and you’re prepared to spend a bit of time researching, high mileage cars may well be the right option for you!