At What Mileage Should You Sell Your Car?

Wondering when it's time to sell your car? Find out what the best mileage point to sell your car at is with Car-Worth.

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vehicle with nearly 100,000 miles

Every car owner knows that their relationship with their vehicle will eventually come to the end of the road. Under the usual circumstances, you’re going to want to part ways with your vehicle long before it reaches its end.

Mileage is the chief factor in deciding when it’s best for you to let go of your roadster.

When selling your car, you can guarantee that prospect buyers will ask to know your vehicle’s mileage. Oftentimes, that’s the very first thing they ask about!

But Why Is Mileage So Important When Selling Your Car?

Most modern cars will last well past the 100,000 miles mark. That said, depreciation remains a constant factor when determining the value of a vehicle.

The longer it’s on the road, the more its value will depreciate. That is why mileage is so important for potential buyers to know.

Your car’s depreciation rate decreases as time passes, but the impact of each mile driven on your car’s value is not constant.

The first three thousand miles see a car’s value drop about $5,000-$10,000, averaging out to around $1.50 to $3 per mile. After that, the price drop is lower, and can go from around $.5 to $.25 per mile.

What Is Good Mileage On A Used Car?

Generally, you want to assume owners put 12,000 miles on their vehicle annually. In order to figure out whether a car has a reasonable amount of miles on it, all you have to do is multiply the age of the vehicle by 12,000.

[Vehicle Age] x [12,000mi] = Acceptable Mileage

You could estimate acceptable mileage on a five year old car to be around 60,000mi. Anything significantly greater than or less than that amount may be a sign that it has issues.

With that in mind, mileage can also be misleading; you’ve got to factor in the number of previous owners as well.

car on road trip on highway

A ten year-old car with 90,000mi on it is a pretty good deal. However, if it’s had three or four owners over those ten years, it’s highly likely one of them didn’t maintain the vehicle properly.

Conversely, a ten year-old car with 30,000mi on it is likely to have only had one previous owner and be in great condition. Those types of cars have likely sat in a garage and been maintained with utmost care (a.k.a. a great deal)!

What Mileage Is It Best To Sell Your Car At?

Having a good grasp on which mileage is the best mileage to sell your car is the first step towards giving yourself an advantage.

Not only will it make it easier for you to find a buyer for your set of wheels, but it will also enable you to get the most out of the deal you make.

Most car owners start to ask themselves if they should sell their car around 10,000 miles. Some buyers may consider that to be a high figure, but that is largely dependent on what type of vehicle they are looking for.

Let’s take a look at what selling within different mileage thresholds looks like for you and your vehicle.

Zero To 30,000 Miles

As stated earlier, cars suffer their biggest drop in value when they’re brand new and within their first few years of ownership. New vehicles will lose value rapidly until either their warranty expires or they reach 36,000 miles.

You should only consider replacing a young, low mileage vehicle if your chief goal is to own the latest makes and model and not getting the most value out of an individual car.

Keep in mind that buying a new vehicle every few years will end up costing you significantly more than driving the same car for ten years or more.

30,000 To 60,000 Miles

Now we’re getting into the “well-traveled” numbers. Your car will likely have had its first full service and, possibly, needed some repairs. They’re usually minor issues, the inevitable result of constant road exposure.

While it’s unlikely that you’ll need major repairs at this point, you might encounter an expensive fixer-upper depending on whether or not you went all out with the manufacturer.

While the vehicle’s value will continue to decline, the depreciation amount will decrease to a much slower rate than before.

Once you hit 60,000 miles, it’s as good a time as ever to sell your car. After this point, you’re looking at repairs and replacement of parts at some point in the future.

This is probably when your car is still able to fetch a pretty penny, so go ahead and sell it and put that money towards a nice, new set of wheels.

60,000 To 100,000 Miles

When it comes down to getting value out of your car as a tool and value out of your car as an item to be sold, this might be your sweet spot.

You’ve likely had a couple repairs done in order to keep your car going and need to get it serviced regularly in order to feel like it won’t give out on you.

100,000 And Beyond

After 100,000 miles, your car’s value is likely to take a nosedive. Prospective buyers view cars with over 100K miles as “less desirable,” regardless of whether or not they run just fine.

You may even have a hard time finding prospective buyers, since most in the used car market filter out vehicles with over 100K miles.

Past the 100K mark, repairs get increasingly more expensive. Your car can become a money sink and a risky investment to anyone (including you if you decide to hold onto it).

Most modern vehicles are designed to “call it caput” around 150,000 miles. Should you hold onto your roadster until then, you’ll likely be able to sell it for scrap metal and move on to your next set of wheels.

Some cars, however, can make it to the nearly mystical mileage of 200,000 miles! While that is a feat in and of itself, it is only the halfway mark for some of the more reliable vehicles out there.

man getting a quote from Car Worth

Car-Worth: The Any-Mileage Solution

No matter what mileage your vehicle is sitting at, Car-Worth is always willing to buy it. We specialize in less-than-perfect vehicles nationwide, so any dings, dents, and damage are fine with us.

Our representatives can kick back a quote for your car within 90 seconds and connect you to one of our partners within your area.

You can schedule a retrieval of your vehicle within 24-48 hours and have your quoted amount in hand on the spot.

No hassle. No haggle.

Contact Car-Worth today!

How Long Should I Keep My Car Before Selling It?

You should keep a car for at least a few years after it’s paid off before you decide to sell it or trade it in. This enables you to enjoy the benefits of car ownership for a while before you take on a new vehicle.

How Many Miles Are Too Many On A Used Car?

Mileage limitations on used cars are wholly dependent on your personal needs for the vehicle. Technically, there are no limitations. However, 200,000 miles is often the acceptable limit to put on any vehicle as that is the threshold where most cars will lose the battle against constant wear and tear.

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