When considering a used-car purchase, inevitably a major question is how many miles are on the odometer. In the past, a car that reached 100,000 miles was almost considered ready for the scrap pile and sold at a steep discount. With the recent improvements in technology and manufacturing techniques, many vehicles reach the 200,000-mile level with ease.
At AutoMax, we advise consumers to look at how many miles are left on a used truck or used SUV as opposed to how many miles are on the vehicle to understand the longevity of buy here pay here cars.
There are some simple factors to consider when assessing whether a used vehicle is worth purchasing. One of the first factors to consider is the maintenance history of the vehicle. Has the vehicle been maintained with regular oil changes and other regular maintenance requirements?
Another thing to check is if the vehicle has been subject to any recalls and if the vehicle has received all necessary recall repairs. A vehicle with one owner that has regularly maintained the vehicle is generally going to be a better purchase candidate than a vehicle that has had multiple owners and somewhat incomplete maintenance records, but that doesn’t mean a car with fewer records is always a bad choice.
Additionally, one should consider how the vehicle was used in its past life. If the vehicle has been used by a person driving the car principally for business, it has most likely been well maintained. A vehicle with 80,000 highway miles can sometimes be in better shape than a car driven hard in the city with 50,000 miles on the odometer.
A wary buyer should use as a general rule of thumb that most cars are driven 12,000-15,000 miles per year. If a vehicle is 10 years of age, it should have between 120,000 miles and 150,000 miles on the odometer. If a vehicle has accumulated substantially more miles or fewer miles, an inquiry related to this should be investigated. Of course, it’s possible that an older car with low mileage was a second family car or owned by someone who rarely drove, but you should still do your due diligence to inquire about whether it was inspected to check for issues that can arise when vehicles sit for long periods of time.
Beware the four-year-old vehicle that has 90,000 miles on it with more than one owner — it may not have been maintained in a fashion that will get it to that 200,000-mile level and may have substantially less than the approximately 100,000 miles of use left that you could reasonably expect.
All in all, an inspection by an independent mechanic before purchasing the vehicle is always a good idea, or purchasing a used car with a warranty from the lot. Requesting a vehicle history report from a reputable source such as Carfax will show you how many owners a vehicle has had, help to verify service, maintenance, and repair records, and will show any history of accidents in which the vehicle may have been involved. These reports can be an invaluable aid when seriously considering the purchase of a vehicle. (AutoMax provides both a Carfax report and a complementary warranty with every vehicle sold!)
Vehicles that have been used as rental cars are certainly worth considering. These vehicles are generally newer, but have higher mileage than the 15,000 miles per year rule of thumb. However, these vehicles, by virtue of their usage, are usually well maintained and have likely been reconditioned before being offered for sale.
When you consider that the average vehicle on the road these days is 11 years old, if you find a vehicle that is seven years old with around 100,000 miles on it, you can reasonably expect to get several more years on the vehicle if it has been properly maintained.
Purchasing a used vehicle from a buy here pay here lot rather than a private seller in Raleigh-Durham is also something that a buyer should consider. A vehicle from a professional car lot like AutoMax will most likely have been thoroughly inspected and reconditioned, and at least can give a purchaser some comfort in knowing we will take care of any obvious issues. We even offer a worry-free warranty.
There are certain vehicle makes and models that history shows have been more reliable and have consistently proven to last longer than other vehicles. Research shows that there are a good number of vehicles on the road that have reached the lofty range of 300,000 miles. Of course, lots of factors play into whether a vehicle will reach this milestone, including how well it was maintained and whether it was responsibly driven.
The Honda Civic has been consistently one of the best vehicle performers in longevity and has been a fixture on the Consumer Reports list of the longest-lasting vehicles.
The Subaru Forester is another vehicle that owners have rated highly for dependability on an ongoing basis. In general, all Subaru vehicles are highly rated as having a good chance at lasting over 200,000 miles.
If you are looking for a truck, the pre-2016 Toyota Tacoma is a safe bet to give extended mileage and reliability.
Looking at electric vehicles? The Ford Escape Hybrid has accumulated impressive mileage numbers as attested to by New York City taxi fleets. The first 18 put into service all accumulated more than 175,000 miles and have remained a significant percentage of the taxi fleet to this day, with many having more than 400,000 miles on the odometer.
The granddaddy of all vehicles in terms of mileage and reliability is the Toyota Camry, which sees more than 20% of its owners keeping the vehicles for 10 years or more and even passing it down to their kids as their first cars.
When buying a used vehicle, consider AutoMax, where you can find a great buy here pay here car. Our mission is to make it easy for Raleigh, North Carolina residents to buy reliable vehicles. We do this with in-house financing. For people with past credit challenges or no credit at all, buying a car through a traditional dealership can be a struggle if they can’t qualify for a bank loan. At AutoMax, we have the solution, and can get you into a new-to-you car with financing options that are right for you.
You can get started on the search for your next car by getting approved for our buy here pay here financing before you visit our lot. We’ll use the information you provide to show you cars that fit your budget and lifestyle. We’ll even let you trade in your old vehicle as a downpayment!
Visit our car lots in Henderson and Youngsville to browse our selection of vehicles, or check out our inventory online.