How Many Miles Should a Used Car Have?

by Shanan Miller

Overview

Dealership Guidelines

A used vehicle should have 12,000 miles per year or less for optimal trade in value.

If you are going to trade your vehicle into a dealership, the suggested amount of mileage for a car is 12,000 miles per year. Take the age of the car and multiply it by 12,000 to determine preferred mileage. If you're trading in, you can expect a hefty deduction off the trade in value for every 1,000 miles more than 12,000 miles per year. However, if you are buying a car, you can probably get the car for less if the mileage exceeds 12,000 miles per year.

Personal Preference

As long as the vehicle is well maintained the mileage can be a secondary factor.

As long as a vehicle is maintained properly and is in good condition, its mileage is a secondary factor, says UsedCarAdvisor.com. Commuters should have more mileage on a car, while people who don't drive much at all should have less. There are no concrete guidelines to follow; everyone uses a vehicle differently.

Bottom Line

Fully inspect the vehicle no matter how old it is when considering a purchase.

Depending on your situation, suggested vehicle mileage differs. If you want to buy a newer car for less money, you might hope that there are many more miles on the car than the industry appraisal standards. If you want a car under warranty, you can hope to find a car with fewer miles. Overall condition and maintenance history are the most important factors when looking for a used car; no matter how old the car is, have it thoroughly checked out by a mechanic and get the maintenance history.

About the Author

Shanan Miller covers automotive and insurance topics for various websites, blogs and dealerships. She has extensive automotive experience, including auction, insurance, finance, service and management positions. Miller has worked for dealer sales events around the United States and now stays local as a sales and leasing consultant for a dealership.