What Is Average Mileage For A Car?

Mileage meter on car.

You might have been using your car for a long time, and now you are asking about how many miles your car would last. Well, you are not alone, for many car users out there are also asking the same question. However, the answer to how long your car would last depends more on several factors, though knowing how many miles a car can still go is crucial if you want to buy a used car. 

The average mileage for cars should range between 12,000 to 15,000 miles annually based on what the AARP specifies. Thus, a five-year-old vehicle will have around 60 to 70 thousand miles on its odometer.

How Many Miles Should a Car Last?

Going back to how many miles a car should last, well, the average lifespan of vehicles is a little over eleven years based on the data of Autotrader. At present, the modern fuel car should run up to 200,000 miles. On the other hand, electric vehicles should last up to 300,000 miles

Of course, for a car to reach such mileage, you need to maintain it regularly. If you can keep your car well, you can prolong the use of your car. Prolonged use of your vehicle comes with benefits. First, it can save you money. You can save up to $30,000 or more if your automobile is well maintained. 

Your car’s longevity boils down to how you drive and how you maintain it. It also depends on which type of car you are using. Hence, if you want to have a car that can last long, it will be useful to choose a brand and model known for longevity. Nevertheless, your driving habits will still factor well in the longevity of your car.

What is Low Mileage and High Mileage?

Any witty person will readily surmise that if the average mileage of cars is 12,000 a year, the low mileage will be lower than that average mileage. If you are eyeing a six-year-old car with 65,000 miles, then that car has a low mileage relative to the average mileage of cars. 

As a used car buyer, it will be useful to consider low-mileage cars, for less used cars will usually exhibit less significant wear and tear.

When assessing whether a car is of high mileage, the reference point is the same as that of low mileage. If the average mileage is 12,000 miles and a vehicle is six years old and registers around 76,000 miles, it is considered a high-mileage car. 

It will be useful to note that a high mileage car doesn’t necessarily mean that it is old. It is just that the vehicle is often used beyond the average range of usage.

What is Considered a Good Mileage When Buying a Used Car?

My friend asked me a year ago about a good mileage for used cars, and I told him that there is no single rule that applies to used cars. The reason is simple. A high mileage car may be in better shape than a low mileage vehicle. 

You might be eyeing, for example, a vehicle that has been driven over 150,000 miles and still shows no wear and tear because the owners maintained it well. On the other hand, you may be looking at a car that registers 70,000 miles and looks raggedly worn out.

Hence, you can’t solely rely on mileage when shopping around for a used car. Instead, you should also look at the car’s condition and be cognizant of its servicing history. It will be best to look at the car’s essential components like the brake system, cam belt, and many other elements.

How Can I Know that a Car has already High Mileage?

As you look externally at two or three cars, you may think they all have almost the same mileage. Yet, as you check their mileage, you will notice that one has 60,000 miles, while the other two have 80,000 and 150,000 miles, respectively. 

Upon knowing their mileages, you might assume that the one with lower mileage is the better choice to purchase. Yet, such a conclusion is not warranted at this point. You can’t simply decide based on low mileage. You need to consider other factors to make a wise decision. 

It will also be useful to note that not all miles are the same or equal. A car that has been driven on good highways, for example, may have high mileage but is in better shape than a vehicle that is driven 50,000 miles on rough roads in the rural area. 

Moreover, you may either be looking at an 80,000 miles car that has changed ownerships five times and lacks good service records or a 100,000-mile car owned by only one person with good service records. The one with higher mileage with good service records may be the more appealing and better option. 

It will also be useful to consider the industry average for miles/year. AutoCheck and CARFAX, for example, set the 15,000 miles per year as the industry average.  

High Mileage Cars Also Differ from Each Other

At the onset, it will be useful to note that some brands are known for more durable cars than other brands. As such, it will be good to factor this consideration when looking at high mileage cars. Toyota, for example, is known for rolling out durable and long-lasting vehicles. Honda is also known for rolling out cars with a longer lifespan. 

It will be reasonable to assume that Toyota and Honda cars with more than 100,000 miles are far more worth buying than a car of another brand with the same mileage. Hence, you should also factor in the brand of the car you are eyeing to buy when looking for a high-mileage used car.


When buying a used car, you will generally feel apprehensive about whether what you are buying is a good buy or not. In a way, you will have mixed emotions when shopping around for a used car. So, aside from considering the mileage of the prospective car, you should also consider other factors. 

Of course, your budget will be your first consideration. Then, consider the vehicle history, which includes its service history and mileage. 

It will also help to consider the car brand because some brands of cars are known for manufacturing. Then, drive test the vehicle to figure out more about its worth.