what is a good millage for a used car? and at what point do they become unreliable?

Asked by Peter

It’s impossible to give a single figure as mileage and age are so interdependent. Glass’s, the valuation experts, work on the assumption that the average car will cover 12,000 miles in years 1, 2 and 3, 8,000 in years 4, 5, and 6, and 6,000 every year after that so for example average mileage for an eight year old car would be 72,000.

A car that’s covered a lot more than average mileage will have spent much of the difference on motorways – effectively cruising in a straight line with everything up to normal operating temperature and with little wear and tear on brakes, steering and clutch.

The key is service history rather than getting hung up on mileage – look for evidence of persistent problems or major repairs and for confirmation that the car has been regularly serviced in line with the vehicle manufacturer’s schedule. This is just as important for cars with very low mileage as owners might be tempted to skip or delay servicing.

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