Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


How Important Is Mileage When Buying A Used Car? - Vol.209

New cars are pricey. According to US today, the average cost of a new car straight of the lot is about $31,252, compared to the average $15,617 of used car sales of that same year. At just about half the total price, it's no wonder why an overwhelming number of buyers are choosing to drive cars have been used.

That's not to say that used cars come with their fair share of problems. One of the most common concerns when buying new vehicles is the overall mileage. While you can get a great deal on a high mileage vehicle, you need to understand the risks associated with the purchase and some strategies to help avoid common problems.

Learn About the Previous Owner
A car might have 200,000+ miles on the engine, but how many times has it passed hands in ownership? Single owner vehicles?especially those with high mileage?generally depict more extensive maintenance and care during the life of the vehicle. Those owners were satisfied with the vehicle to keep as long as they did, and chances are, they were willing to invest the money in major repairs instead of just pawning it off on someone else.

Next, try to determine the owner's purpose for using the vehicle. Vehicles experience the most strain within the first few seconds of turning the key and starting the engine. Think of it like trying to push a heavy rock down a hill. At first, the force required to get the rock moving is going to be pretty high. Once the rock get's going, the amount of work will be reduced from inertia and forces working in its favor?like oil and fluids running through the engine. As a general rule, cars that were used to drive long distances without constant stopping and starting are better investments than those used to drive in urban areas.

Calculate the Costs
The best way to determine whether or not you should buy a high mileage vehicle is to determine the cost. You should calculate:

- The initial purchasing price of the vehicle
- Licenses and title transfer fees
- Possible repair costs
- Value of your time and convenience

Most buyers forget to value their time when making a purchase, and it can cost them dearly if something is to go wrong. Can you afford to miss a day of work because your car breaks down? Are you okay going without a car because it's in a shop getting repaired? If you answered no, perhaps reconsider your decision and instead invest more money into buying what can accommodate your needs. Just know that even new cars can break down. As one of our purchasing standard, you can find out that most of our vehicles on are below 75,000 miles.

The higher the mileage on the vehicle, the lower the cost to purchase the vehicle. If you find a single owner vehicle, you have a better chance of getting a well-maintained vehicle for a fraction of the price compared to both used and new vehicles. For even greater insurance before making the purchase, ask to see repair shop receipts and records of maintenance performed. If an owner can furnish these items without a problem, you know you are getting an honest deal.

Lastly, look beyond the engine when considering the impact on miles and the cost comparison. Small parts and pieces within the car are just as likely to break or cause problems as some of the larger and more obvious car factors like the engine or transmission. Long periods of use can cause rubber parts and belts to snap, and if enough of these need replacement, the costs can really add up.

If you understand the risks and put in the research before investing the money, you can minimize the importance of high mileage in your buying decision and walk away with a truly fantastic deal.