Should I Buy a Used Car With Over 100K Miles?

Posted Tuesday, Aug 17, 2021

Shopping for a new-to-you car on a shoestring budget? You might be looking at some eyebrow-raising mileage. You might be a little leery about buying a used car with over 100k miles, but don’t worry. While you are probably not getting a vehicle in excellent condition, it doesn’t mean you’re buying a lemon.

It’s normal to be cautious when buying a high-mileage car. That usually means it’s had its share of engine services, a ding or two, and even some mechanical repairs. Especially if it hasn’t been properly maintained.

Should I Buy a Used Car With Over 100K Miles?

In the “old” days, a vehicle with 100,000 miles or more would be pretty much toast. But nowadays, that number doesn’t necessarily mean a death sentence. According to car history blogs, vehicles in the 50s, 60s, and 70s lasted about 100,000 miles.

Nowadays, cars are running about twice what they were just a few decades ago. Of course, this all depends on the car's manufacturing, maintenance, and care. But it’s worth taking a look at if you can get 7-10 more years out of a cheaper vehicle when car shopping.

When looking at pre-owned vehicles with higher mileage, you’ve got to remember how a car works. Like our own bodies, we need our hearts to pump blood throughout our veins and all kinds of other body parts to stay alive. A car needs fuel and oil to flow through its various parts to stay alive as well.

When we move our bodies, we tend to burn calories and may even sweat to stay healthy. Whereas when we drive a car, the use helps burn carbon buildup and the oil lubricates the engine - keeping it healthy.

So, with that stretched similarity, keep this in mind: A newer car with higher mileage usually means highway driving – less frequent trips with longer distances often can mean it’s in better shape since it is in use for longer periods.

Is 100K Miles a Lot for a Car?

On the flip side, an older car with less mileage might be that sweet cliché of the little old lady that only drove her car to church on Sundays. But fewer trips mean less lubrication and thus less opportunity to burn off carbon buildup.

Without regular use, some of the car parts will deteriorate over time. Much like our muscles – if they’re not in use, the deterioration creeps up and suddenly that bag of dog food is much heavier than we remember…

Despite all this, there are some definite pros and cons to owning a used car with 100k miles. Typically the manufacturer’s warranty has run out and if you’re buying a vehicle privately there’s not much you can count on by way of a guarantee.

And of course, you always face the possibility of buying a vehicle that is due for a new transmission at any moment. But there are some major benefits to buying a high-mileage vehicle as well.

Benefits of Buying a Used Car with over 100K Miles

Lower Sale Price – Older used vehicles are typically cheaper than newer vehicles. This is true even with 10-year old cars.

Cheaper Insurance Rate – A lot of agencies give discounts for vehicles with higher mileage.

Cheaper Registration Fee – Many transportation departments will discount registration fees based on age and mileage. This isn’t the case in every state, but worth checking out.

Slower Depreciation – While new cars start depreciating as soon as they’re driven off the lot (and 20-30% in the first year) a used car will depreciate much slower and often can be resold perhaps even netting a slight profit.

Still, a lot of miles often means a lot of wear and tear. That’s why it’s always a good idea to:

-         Hire an independent mechanic to check out the vehicle first. If that’s not feasible, be sure to ask a LOT of questions and check that it is a certified pre-owned car. And, if nothing else, take the car for test drives.

-         Check out the Vehicle Identification Number. Car dealerships should give you this number and there are a lot of websites that will give you this information.

-         Try to snag a copy of the vehicle’s history and service report. This will tell you a lot about the maintenance and reliability of the vehicle.

But The Best Advice? Buy the Best Used Cars Over 100K miles from a Trustworthy Dealership!

City Wide Motors has a bumper-to-bumper inspection that all our used car inventory go through - not just those with over 100,000 miles. They also provide a warranty for all financed vehicles for 12 months backed by a 12,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Not only that, but you also get free oil changes for the life of the lease! Keeping your engine healthier and your car lasting longer. City Wide stands behind all their vehicles so you can trust any of our best used cars with over 100,000k miles.

Like our 2014 Chevrolet Equinox or our 2012 Dodge Journey. These makes and models have seen great performance to 200,000 miles and over!

Or our 2013 Hyundai Elantra and our 2012 Chevrolet Malibu – these have stood the test of time with 250,000 miles!

But there is one in our lot that stands above all the rest. The 2010 Jeep Compass. These amazing machines, and more specifically the 2010 model, have seen mileage of up to 300,000!

We can’t guarantee you will see these kinds of six-figure numbers in these vehicles. That all depends on a lot of different factors. But we can guarantee that our cars have been thoroughly inspected. And we can guarantee you will be given all the information you need to make the decision that is right for you.

Plus, we have unbeatable buy here pay here program geared to help you get into the vehicle you want with terms you can afford. Our mission is simple. We want to help you Drive Your Dream so you can Accelerate Your Future.