A car with 100k miles can be much cheaper than a brand new one. However, the situation can quickly deteriorate.
Being an avid car enthusiast, I have reviewed hundreds of cars from numerous automakers. This is why I know the field inside out, which makes me well-informed about the field.
Here is all you need to know before putting your hard-earned money into a car with 100k+ miles.
Table of Contents
Is Buying a Car with Over 100k Miles Bad?
Buying a car with over 100k miles isn’t always bad. This is mostly due to the high-quality control standards that most carmakers maintain during the manufacturing process. The strict pre-delivery quality control and quality assurance checks of automakers ensure that the vehicles are robust and remain usable even after a long time.
Also read: Is Buying a 10-Year-Old Car Worth it? The Truth…
What are the Risks of Buying a Car with Over 100k Miles?
The major risks of buying a car with over 100k miles include high repair costs, high fuel consumption, spare parts replacement costs, and increased insurance premiums.
Any moving machine is susceptible to damage, and this is especially true in the case of cars due to a large number of annual global road accidents.
In the US alone, more than 38k car accidents took place in 2020. As the number of miles on the odometer increment, the risk and chances of these accidents also increase.
Furthermore, with usage, several parts undergo wear and tear, requiring them to be replaced.
Some parts, especially of German luxury automobiles, are particularly expensive to repair or replace. The transmission repair cost on a BMW can easily go north of $1800 to $5000.
In adverse cases, drivers might also need to replace the engine altogether, which can easily create a gaping hole in their wallets. In such situations, getting a car with 100k+ plus doesn’t seem to be a viable option, but there is more to it than meets the eye.
Why Buying a Car with Over 100k Miles Might be a Good Idea?
Buying a car with over 100k miles might be a good idea because you can get a car in great condition at a fraction of its original cost.
Here are some other factors which play a pivotal role in making a 100k+ mile car a good idea:
1. High-Quality Parts
In most cases, especially luxury vehicles, the parts used for manufacturing are of extremely high quality which allows them to stay in a good state for a long time, bearing the brunt easily.
Trending Video: How to Easily Bring Back to Life any Old Car Battery and Save Tons of Money (click to watch)
Depreciation is a blessing if you want to buy a pre-owned car. The reason is that with each passing year, the price of the vehicle decreases, making it more affordable.
For example, a BMW X5 xDrive35i retailed for $57,525 in 2014, but the same vehicle with over 100k miles can now be easily obtained for less than half the price of $23k, thanks to depreciation.
And this is just one case. There are several other options, especially Japanese vehicles with relatively high mileage, that not only run perfectly but also cost a fraction of their original sticker price.
Also read: 10 SUVs that Will Last 300k+ Miles (with Photos)
The Cost of Owning a Car with Over 100k Miles vs. a Car with under 100k Miles
The total cost of owning a car with over 100k miles vs. a car with under 100k miles might require much more mathematics than you anticipate. If done wrongly, in the worst case, it can leave a mark as heavy as five digits on your savings, depending upon the vehicle in question.
Let’s take the example of a used Toyota Camry
An average 2014 Toyota Camry with more than 100k miles presently costs somewhere around $14,000 in the US.
Whereas on the contrary, a 2014 Toyota Camry with 60k miles is available for around $17,000.
Initial savings by getting a vehicle with over 100k miles: $3000
However, the story doesn’t end here. Rather, it might just be the beginning. So, let’s compare some expenditures that are most likely to occur on a car with more than 100k miles.
The first items that are likely to wear out on a car with high mileage are tires. They usually need to be replaced every 35.000 miles, which means that by the time a car has crossed the 100k mile mark, its tires might have already been replaced more than thrice.
However, this can be a bet as some owners might not take the issue seriously, in which case you might end up having a car with not-so-new tires.
In the US, the price of a mid-tier tire varies from $100 to $300 each, varying on the brand. So expect that a car with over 100k miles will most certainly need $1k in tire replacement.
A car with less than 100k miles will most certainly not need any such replacement, however, this is a subjective matter.
Savings by getting a car with less than 100k miles (A): $1000
The next to wear out is the transmission which in daily city driving takes the most hit as car owners need to quickly change gears and with the ever-growing traffic on the roads, the rush is only increasing.
Thus, the transmission on a car with more than 100k miles will soon need replacement, even if it isn’t creating a problem for now. Even repairing the Toyota Camry’s transmission can easily cost upwards of $2000.
This amount can be easily saved in a vehicle with less than 100k miles.
Savings by getting a car with less than 100k miles (B): $2000
As the miles go higher, the engines also deteriorate in performance. With more than 100k miles, a car may soon be needing an overall engine replacement or overhauling.
The price of a new 2014 Toyota Camry is about $4500 whereas engine hauling can cost upwards of $2500 and go as high as $4000.
Savings by getting a car with less than 100k miles (C): $3500
These are the major costs. However, as a car gets older and gets more miles, a large number of parts including but not limited to the alternator, fuel pump, brakes, AC compressor, radiator, and fan belt can also go faulty.
Replacement and repair of all these items combined can easily cost upwards of $2000.
Savings by getting a car with less than 100k miles (D): $2000
Overall savings by getting a car with less than 100k miles (A+B+C+D): $8500
So total savings by getting a relatively newer car: $8500 (Cost of repairs) -$3000 (Higher initial cost) = $5500
This means that a car with less than 100k miles that initially costs $3000 more will cost $5500 less in maintenance.
In addition to this, it is also worth mentioning that the insurance costs of older vehicles are significantly higher than those of newer cars. Thus, in the longer run, the insurance premium is also likely to cause a big dent in your savings.
Also read: 10 Cars Under $20K that Look Like They’re for $50K+
How to Buy a Car with Over 100k Miles that Won’t Have Problems in the Future?
To purchase a car with over 100,000 miles that will not have problems in the future, it is critical to conduct extensive research on the model’s common known flaws. Furthermore, hiring a paid car inspection service to determine a vehicle’s overall performance is always a good idea.
Typically, bigger and more luxurious vehicles depreciate more than smaller, simpler vehicles. Moreover, the more gadgets there are in a vehicle, the more likely it is that one of them will fail.
If the goal is to get a utilitarian vehicle, choose one with fewer features. Such a vehicle will not only be less expensive to buy in the first place, but it will also require fewer repairs.
Furthermore, with a $10,000 budget, you might be able to get a 2018 compact car, whereas you will only be able to get a 2005 or so BMW’s luxury vehicle.
What are the Most Reliable Cars with Over 100k Miles?
If you’re wondering which is the world’s most reliable car, here are the top three most reliable cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks in the world.
Most Reliable Cars
The three most reliable cars in the world include:
- Toyota Corolla
- Toyota Camry
- Honda Civic
It’s no surprise to see that the top three most reliable cars in the world all have Japanese origin.
Most Reliable SUVs
The three most reliable SUVs in the world include:
- Toyota Land Cruiser
- Chevrolet Suburban
- Ford Expedition
Most Reliable Pickup Trucks
The three most reliable Pickup trucks in the world include:
- Toyota Tundra
- Honda Ridgeline
- Toyota Tacoma
It is also worth noting that diesel engines are typically more durable and perform better over longer distances than gasoline engines.
And if you want to know which vehicles to avoid, here is a list of the world’s three most unreliable cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks.
Least Reliable Cars
- Jaguar XF
- Alfa Romeo Giulia
- Porsche Cayenne
Least Reliable SUVs
- Range Rover
- Volvo XC-60
- Jeep Compass
Least Reliable Pickup Trucks
- Chevrolet Colorado
- Chevrolet Silverado
- RAM 1500
Often, 100,000 miles is considered a cut-off point for used cars because older vehicles often start requiring more expensive and frequent maintenance when mileage exceeds 100,000.How long will a 100k mile car last? ›
A car with 100,000 miles is no longer the maximum life expectancy for a vehicle. If you keep up with routine maintenance, you could push your vehicle to well over 200,000 miles. Keep reading to find out how – and why – some drivers are keeping their cars on the road longer.What to check after 100k miles? ›
- Prioritize Oil Changes. ...
- Be Mindful of Maintenance. ...
- Take a Look at Your Tires. ...
- Maintain Your Fluids. ...
- Check Your Battery. ...
- Wash and Wax. ...
- Stop and Check the Brakes.
Average car mileage per year
Experts agree that the common rule of thumb on mileage for a used vehicle is roughly 12,000 miles added each year of ownership. That means if you are looking at a 5-year-old vehicle, it should have about 60,000 miles on it.
A conventional car can last for 200,000 miles. Some well-maintained car models will reach 300,000 or more miles total. The average passenger car age is currently around 12 years in the United States.Do cars lose value after 100 000 miles? ›
Holding onto your car for longer than average can sometimes be a benefit at trade-in time if the vehicle is in good condition. However, the rate of depreciation tends to slow after the odometer hits 100,000 miles.How much is a car with 100 000 miles worth? ›
Last summer, the average used vehicle with between 100,000 and 110,000 miles on its odometer was worth about $12,700, according to Edmunds.com. That was just a few dollars more than it had been worth the year before. This year, that same sort of vehicle would be worth about $16,500, a roughly 30% increase in value.How many miles should a 10 year old car have? ›
Given that number, the average 10-year-old car should have roughly 120,000 miles on the odometer. You can use these numbers to determine if the car you're looking to buy is considered to have high mileage or low mileage for the age of the vehicle. Usually, the fewer miles that a car has been driven, the better.What is the average lifespan of a car? ›
Better electronics help your car run more smoothly and precisely, which adds to a car's life expectancy. Some estimates for the average lifespan of a car come in lower. According to a report from Consumer Reports, the common lifespan of a car is still estimated to be about eight years or 150,000 miles.What maintenance is due at 100K miles? ›
In all likelihood, your transmission fluid, oil, coolant, power steering fluid, and brake fluid will all require to be replaced during your 100,000 mile maintenance appointment.
- Oil Change. ...
- Check and Top Off or Replace Fluids. ...
- Check and Replace Filters and Belts. ...
- Tires. ...
- Wax and Wash. ...
- Battery Care. ...
- Engine Treatment. ...
- Clean Fuel System.
Average mileage on a vehicle will usually be in the range of 7,000-12,000 miles per year. If the vehicle is only a few years old and already has 100k miles on the clock, it has seen a lot of usage and may be experiencing higher levels of wear and tear, which could quickly become costly through repairs.Is mileage more important than age? ›
While it's a good idea to consider the age of a vehicle and the number on its odometer, it's more important to look at how well the owner maintained the car. A 10-year-old car with 100,000 miles may have received more TLC than a five-year-old model with 50,000 miles.What is the best age to buy a used car? ›
In retaining “like new” quality and inheriting a slower depreciation rate, the best used car age for buying is 2-3 years. In fact, Americans are saving up to $14,000 on a 3-year-old vehicle. For example, a car that may have cost you $30,000 when new would cost around $16,000 after just 3 years.Is a 10-year-old car too old? ›
When buying a used car that's 10-years-old or older, your primary concerns are purchase price and reliability. Don't pay more than that 10-year-old car is worth. And, pick a car with a solid reputation for dependability. No car is really too old if you follow those rules.At what mileage do most cars start having problems? ›
Generally, vehicles are likely to start experiencing problems after the 100,000-mile mark. Also, in most cases, they no longer have a valid manufacturer's warranty, meaning you have to pay for repairs out of your own pocket when something goes wrong.At what mileage is a car not worth fixing? ›
Depending on the car's value, repairing it might be worth the money to keep it going for a few more years. However, most modern gasoline-powered vehicles will start to struggle after the 200,000-mile mark. Electric cars can usually make it up to 300,000 miles before they're considered well used.What mileage do engines last? ›
Average engine lifespan
For some time, the average lifespan of a car's engine was eight years, or 150,000 miles. New designs, better technology and improved service standards in recent years have increased this average life expectancy to about 200,000 miles, or about 10 years.
If you think you might want to trade it in again, choose an optimal time. That way, you increase your potential trade-in value. There is no exact mileage number that will make or break your vehicle's trade-in value — but if it's possible, you should trade your vehicle in before it reaches 100,000 miles.Do new tires increase trade in value? ›
Older tires may decrease the value of the car, while newer tires can add value. Tires wear over time, which can cause cracks or bulges. If you notice these signs on the vehicle's tires, you can often negotiate a lower price because you'll have to replace the vehicle's tires soon.
While the exact point at which a vehicle reaches this threshold is somewhat subjective, 150,000 miles is a realistic estimate. A modern car with 150,000 miles on the road may be considered high mileage, but it can still provide years of reliable use.What is done in a 100k tune up? ›
Your vehicle's transmission fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant should be inspected during your 100,000-mile maintenance check to determine their condition and if they need to be topped off or changed.How much is a high mileage car? ›
Mechanics usually agree on the figure as 'average' car use. More than that is considered high mileage, so a three-year-old car with 40,000 miles, for example, would be in the high mileage range. Still, mechanics typically use the phrase 'high mileage' when a car has 100,000 miles or more on the odometer.How many years does it take to put 100k miles on a car? ›
Used Car Mileage Shopping Tips
If the car has 100,000 miles on it, that's still nearly four years of driving to get to the average. In some cases, you can be fine buying a used car with 150,000 or even 200,000 miles on it, because maintenance helps them last far beyond what many people have come to expect.
At a Glance: As a rule of thumb, a used car should have no more than 12,000 miles for each year since the car was originally bought.How many miles should a 15 year old car have? ›
|Years||Average Mileage||Depreciation Percentage|
There is only so low a car goes in value. In general, buying a higher mileage newer is better than buying an older car with less miles. The reason for this is simple: parts in a car, especially the rubber components deteriorate over time, regardless of mileage. It's entropy at work.Which car brands last the longest? ›
The longest-lasting car brands are Toyota, Honda, GMC, Chevrolet, and Ford, but Japanese SUVs are the longest-lasting vehicles out of all the options. Share: Finding a reliable car, truck, or SUV is even more important these days as costs are higher across the board.How long do Toyotas last? ›
The average lifespan for a Toyota vehicle is 200,000-250,000 miles. With proper care and maintenance, some Toyota models can last as long as 500,000 miles.What is the longest lifespan of a car? ›
|Rank||Vehicle||Potential Lifespan (miles)|
|1||🇯🇵 Toyota Avalon||245,710|
|2||🇺🇸 Chevrolet Impala||230,343|
|3||🇯🇵 Honda Accord||226,168|
|4||🇯🇵 Toyota Camry||223,249|
In general, most modern cars can cross 200,000 miles without any major issues, provided the vehicle is being well-maintained. Considering that an average person drives 10,000-20,000 miles per year, this will account for roughly 15 years of service. Here are some factors to consider when assessing used car mileage.At what mileage does a car depreciate the most? ›
Zero to 30,000 Miles
New vehicles experience their biggest decline in value during their first year of ownership. Subsequently, they continue to depreciate sharply until their manufacturer's warranties expire, which is usually after three years or 36,000 miles.
Although it may have been well maintained, the purchase of a vehicle with over 200,000 miles on the odometer might lead to significant maintenance costs. At this point, the car is likely nearing the end of its useful life, and you may soon need to either invest a significant sum in repairs or replace it entirely.How many miles should a 10-year-old car have? ›
Given that number, the average 10-year-old car should have roughly 120,000 miles on the odometer. You can use these numbers to determine if the car you're looking to buy is considered to have high mileage or low mileage for the age of the vehicle. Usually, the fewer miles that a car has been driven, the better.Is 100k mileage too high? ›
Average mileage on a vehicle will usually be in the range of 7,000-12,000 miles per year. If the vehicle is only a few years old and already has 100k miles on the clock, it has seen a lot of usage and may be experiencing higher levels of wear and tear, which could quickly become costly through repairs.How many miles should a 9 year old car have? ›
|Years||Average Mileage||Depreciation Percentage|
When buying a used car that's 10-years-old or older, your primary concerns are purchase price and reliability. Don't pay more than that 10-year-old car is worth. And, pick a car with a solid reputation for dependability. No car is really too old if you follow those rules.What model car has the highest mileage? ›
The highest mileage car on record is a 1966 Volvo P1800S, with over 3 million certified miles.What percentage of cars make it to 200000 miles? ›
iSeeCars analyzed more than two million vehicles to find out which models have the potential to last the longest. On average, 1 percent of cars built every year make it past 200,000 miles.What mileage is too high for a new car? ›
The general rule, though, is that anything under 200 miles is acceptable for a new car. That allows enough capacity for transport from the shipping port or between dealerships if the car is sent to a new showroom. It's also unlikely that the car would suffer any technical issues with fewer than 200 miles.
- Change the Oil. ...
- Oil Supplement. ...
- Transmission and other Fluids. ...
- Battery Care. ...
- Check and Replace Filters and Belts. ...