man walks to Volvo SUV 

Mileage is one of the most important factors to consider in a used vehicle, but if you're not sure what number to look for, you could end up getting burned or missing a great deal. Experts used to tell drivers that one should never buy a used vehicle with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer. However, if the vehicle has been properly maintained, the cutoff point for good mileage on a used car may actually be much higher! Keep reading to find out what factors like condition, usage, and location mean in relation to used car mileage, so you can make the right decision when it's time to trade up.

Determining Good Mileage for a Used Car

Even if a vehicle has more than 100,000 miles on the odometer, it still may be a smart purchase! Here, we've identified a few related factors to consider when you're making a decision on a used car:

  • Maintenance: A vehicle that's been properly maintained can last for 200,000 miles or more, but one that's missed all of its service checkups may start to wear out much, much sooner. Be sure to get the full maintenance history from the seller.
  • Usage: If a vehicle has been used primarily for highway driving, there's a good chance that it hasn't suffered much wear and tear. Conversely, a vehicle that's accrued most of its miles in stop and go traffic may not be a smart investment.
  • Location: Few drivers consider the local climate when they're searching for a used car, but more would be wise to do so! Vehicles that have been driven in especially cold, humid, rainy, or hot conditions won't last as long as otherwise-comparable models.

The bottom line: When it comes time to choose a used car, the number on the odometer is just one of the things that you should be considering. Even if a vehicle has more than 100,000 miles, it can be a great choice if it passes all of the tests listed above.

Volvo SUV on road

Mileage vs. Age: What's More Important?

Some drivers may not realize that vehicles can suffer serious wear, even when they're not being driven! You may be tempted to choose an older vehicle that's spent a lot of time sitting around, but a newer vehicle may be a better choice--even if it has more miles on it. Here are some of the variables you'll want to consider:

  • A car that's been idle for a long time may have developed serious drivetrain issues, or it may have damaged belts, hoses, and seals. You could have a lot of repairs to take care of when you drive it home to Schaumburg or Mount Prospect.
  • If someone is selling an older used car that hasn't been driven very much, there's a good chance that it hasn't been properly maintained over the years. A vehicle with a well-documented maintenance history is almost always a better choice than an otherwise-comparable vehicle with fewer miles.
  • Since lower-mileage used cars are often seen as better values, many sellers will add premiums to the vehicle's asking price. If the vehicle is older, it's probably not worth the higher price you'll be paying.

If you really want to be sure that you're making a smart decision, take the used vehicle into a local Chicagoland service center before you sign any paperwork. An expert technician can identify any problems. If you're searching for an affordable, reliable vehicle that's already passed a thorough inspection, check out the certified pre-owned models at Patrick Volvo.

Find Your Next Used Vehicle with Patrick Volvo

Drivers from as far out as Lombard and Mount Prospect come to Patrick Volvo when they're on the hunt for a great value, but our team is here to help even if you end up going elsewhere. Now that you know how to identify good mileage on a used car, you can demystify the car purchasing process by comparing buying vs. leasing and bank vs. dealership financing. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to our team!