How Many Kilometers is Too Much for a Used Car


The purchase of a brand new automobile is cited as a high involvement purchase decision. This decision is less risky if the car is new. However, purchasing a used car is comparatively time-consuming, risky, but a high involvement purchase.

What information do you need?

It’s pertinent to inquire and get all the information you can get about the vehicle you’re looking to purchase. Numerous factors need to be considered before getting the car’s ownership.

Kilometers driven:

As a guiding principle, the average kilometer per year of a car should be approximately 20,000 KMs— the benchmark distance people in the business use to determine the standard warranty coverage.

When purchasing an eight-year-old model, it is essential to inquire how many of the kilometers a used car has driven by now. If it is under or between 160,000 to 170,000 km, it’s a safe bet. If not, then should you still go ahead with the purchase?

Mileage can indicate how much wear a car has had, therefore, how much life is left in the parts. Yet, several factors need to be considered other than what looks through the odometer.


Kilometers cannot be the only variable that needs consideration for a used car. A vehicle that shows 200,000 kilometer plus on the odometer but well looked for throughout its lifespan will be a suitable purchase than a vehicle with 75,000 kilometer on the odometer but was ill-treated by its previous owner.

Hence, we cannot establish how many of the kilometers are too much for a used car.

When looking at mileage level for a used car, two things need to be considered; budget and car type. Prices and types of vehicles will have different criteria as to what “too many kilometers” means.

Car’s History:

It is essential to check the car’s history concerning its maintenance, accidents, and mechanics and check the state of all crucial parts that are expensive and difficult to replace.

It’s always a good habit to check the service and track  record of any previously used car, and if it hasn’t been consistent, it could cause trouble. The value of used vehicles significantly diminishes if there’s any apparent bodywork damage.

When purchasing a used car along with an unconvinced reading of kilometers on the speedometer, it is rewarding to do some research. There’s an ocean of statistics available online regarding which manufactures and models stand the best of time and which ones don’t do well.

Rare, older vehicles will, of course, have relatively huge numbers on the speedometer, but if they’ve been taken care of by a responsible owner, then these numbers won’t mean much.

It is best to take an expert’s opinion, perhaps a friend or a trusted mechanic, to see for what it’s worth. They would probably know tips and tricks on examining a used car and whether it’s worth the purchase.

Vehicles are meant to be manageable – and when they aren’t, they can suffer an entire multitude of problems. What impacts on the lifespan of a vehicle is the total number of kilometers it moves in a year. A car might be two years old, but if it’s only driven 5,000 km under that timeframe, it should be considered as a brand new. Some vehicles have been built to see more distance in their lifespan than others, and sometimes the owner’s maintenance practices make all the difference.

Following are the advantages when it comes to buying a low mileage car:

  • Potentially less wear can support the vehicle’s survival long.
  • It might have a better resale value if one decides to trade it with some other car.
  • You can save from car insurance money as well. Check here for the best insurance deals.

But prices might be more for a vehicle with lower mileage than for a higher mileage. Dealers might lower the cost of a used car that’s been driven more frequently.

That can save a considerable amount of money and make purchasing a used car more pocket-friendly.

Of course, the catch is that a secondhand higher mileage car requires more maintenance work. If the vehicle suffers from a mechanical issue concerning the higher miles it has driven, it could wipe out the savings you tried to save up from by purchasing at a reduced price.

Trade-in Value:

Even if you don’t have such issues, a higher-mileage used vehicle could offer less trade-in value, as the high odometer reading will turn most people off.

So, if resale value is imperative to you, you may want to look for a car with low mileage and determine how many of the kilometers are suitable for an old vehicle.


The color also tends to be reflected in the price. An outlandish car might be more, or it could be less in the market, depending on how long people have tried selling it for.

Rust is an utter deal breaker as it will only continue to depreciate, and parts for imported cars can often be rather expensive.

However, keeping all of these factors in mind, it’s essential to be aware that buying a car is an experience; it’s not all just money. Purchasing a vehicle is also an extension of your personality.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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