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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.

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