At what mileage should I sell my car?

Mileage is one of the most helpful metrics to think about if you’re considering selling your car. It’s one of the key factors in a valuation and has a big impact on buyers’ perceptions of the vehicle, whatever condition it’s actually in.

Should I sell my car before 100,000 miles?

The threshold is usually around 10,000 miles where people start asking the question of whether they should sell their car. However, we’ve gone beyond that, splitting mileage down into four different brackets below to help you make an informed decision.

0-30,000 miles

New cars suffer their biggest drop in value within their first year of ownership and continue to lose value sharply until their warranties run out, which is normally at 36,000 miles or your third year of ownership – whichever comes soonest.

If your car’s still young with low mileage, you should only think about replacing it if your goal is to own the latest models, rather than getting value out of each individual car. The cost of selling up to buy a new car every two or three years is significantly higher than the cost of buying one car and keeping it for ten years, even if you get barely anything in return for it at the end of that time.

However, if you sell your car at this mileage you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a buyer and, in terms of a lump sum, you’ll get more back for the car than you would at any other time. If you’re into new cars and want to be able to have the latest model fairly regularly, sell up as early as you think you’re able to in order to recoup the most money.

30,000-60,000 miles

During this mileage bracket, your car will have its first service and will likely run into some minor issues that need fixing. However, if the car comes from a decent manufacturer it’s unlikely that it will need an expensive repair in this time period unless it’s damaged in some way. It will also continue to decline in value, but at a much slower rate than in the earliest years of its life.

Selling before 60,000 miles is a good choice if you don’t want to sink a lot of money into repairs and replacement parts. At this stage, your car is probably in the region of five years old and you’ll still get a bit of money for it, as well as being able to upgrade the model on a semi-regular basis. It’s still not quite as good value as selling later could be, but it’s not a bad compromise.

60,000-100,000 miles

If you’re looking to eke as much out of your motor as possible, this mileage is a good time to sell. Yes, you’re likely to have to make one or two expensive repairs to keep it running as it should, but it’s unlikely that your car will completely give up on you if you look after it and get it serviced regularly.

At this mileage, you’ll have got a lot of use out of the car for what you paid for it, and it’s probably a good idea to think about selling up and looking for something a little fresher.


The value of a car takes a final, sharp drop at the 100,000-mile mark. Cars with more than 100,000 miles on the clock are perceived as less desirable by consumers, even if they actually run just fine. Consumers who look for used cars online tend to filter out models with over 100,000 miles, which means that it will be very hard to sell privately. Dealers and online car buyers will also offer you less as it will be harder for them to sell the car.

While some cars can continue to run perfectly well after 100,000 miles, consumers avoid them for good reason. It’s much more likely that they’ll need expensive repairs beyond this point, which makes them a risky investment.

Modern cars are designed to stop running completely at around 150,000. At this point, they can be sold for scrap and not much else.

If you want to see how much you could get for your old motor, enter your registration number to get instant quotes online.

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