How Many Miles Can a Car Last? Find Out!

How Many Miles Can a Car Last? Find Out!

Let’s look at some of the factors that determine how many miles can a car last and find out how you can get the most mileage and life out of your new or used vehicle.

The typical assumption regarding a car’s annual mileage is that it ranges between 12,000 and 15,000. Therefore, you can anticipate a 5-year-old car to have 60,000–70,000 miles on the odometer. Keep reading.

How Many Miles Does a Car Last?

The Bureau of Transportation indicates that the average age across the board for vehicles still on the road is just over 11 years according to Autotrader, and the average age may be close to 12 years. Modern standard vehicles should last up to 200,000 miles, while electric vehicles should last up to 300,000 miles.

Keeping a car that long has a lot of benefits, including the fact that it could save you a great deal of money. Some estimate that the cost savings for driving a car that long could be as much as $30,000 or even higher. In the end, however, it comes down to you, your driving habits, and what you want out of the vehicle you drive.

The vehicle has some bearing on it. There are some makes and models that are renowned for their durability and dependability, while there are others that are renowned for their issues. Naturally, doing your research and choosing a better-built car will likely result in you owning one that lasts for more miles. The harder you drive the car, the less mileage it will withstand, but your driving habits also have a significant impact.

How Many Miles Can a Car Last? Find Out!
How Many Miles Can a Car Last? Find Out!

Understanding High-Mileage Vehicles

In the past, any car with 100,000 miles was considered a high-mileage vehicle, but that’s simply not true anymore. 150,000 miles is a reasonable estimate, even though it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when a car crosses this threshold. Even though a modern car with 150,000 miles on the odometer is thought to have a high mileage, it can still deliver years of dependable service.

How Many Miles Should a Car Have Per Year?

There’s an old maxim that applies to assessing a used car that goes: “Mileage matters more than the number of years.” More accurately predicting wear and tear than a car’s age is how many miles it has been driven. A 4-year-old car with 25,000 miles on it might have a longer expected lifespan than a 2-year-old car with 50,000 miles on it. The average driver puts roughly 12,000 miles a year on a car. The vehicle’s age in years multiplied by 12,000 is a good benchmark for expected mileage, but keep in mind that a variance of 30% more or less is considered normal.

Age Of The Vehicle In YearsAverage Mileage

How Many Miles on a Car is Too Many?

How many miles on a car is bad? Typically, most cars start to seriously deteriorate at around 150,000 miles. If a car travels 200,000 miles on the road, it is thought to have exceptional longevity and is rare. However, the odometer reading is only one factor in determining good versus bad mileage on a used car. Additional factors that can affect the life of a car include the make and model (some cars have better track records for longevity), maintenance history (a well-maintained vehicle can last twice as long as one that has been neglected), and how the car was driven (highway miles are far easier on the vehicle than city or off-road miles). Many used car dealers will designate their vehicles as “Certified Pre-Owned (CPO),” meaning they have given the car a thorough mechanic’s assessment and declare the vehicle to be sound. If the car has the CPO designation, you can be sure it is worth the price you are paying.

How Many Miles Can a Car Last? Find Out!
How Many Miles Can a Car Last? Find Out!

How to Get the Most Miles Out of Your Car?

Once you’ve bought a used car, a lot will depend on how well you take care of it as to whether or not you reach that 200,000-mile mark and maximize your investment for a number of years. Every 5,000 – 10,000 miles (or when the manual advises), you should tackle the following routine maintenance tasks:

  • Change your oil and lubricants: The mechanical systems in your car can function smoothly thanks to motor oil and other lubricants, but they can run out or assemble grime over time. Changing your lubricants regularly keeps your car operating as efficiently as possible.
  • Check the tires:While tires are expensive to replace, it can be disastrous if they fail while you’re driving. When the tread has worn out or the tires have been driven 50,000 miles, check the air pressure, rotate the tires, and replace them. Find someone you trust to assess tire wear. A tire dealer’s main goal is to get you to buy new tires.
  • Proactively replace worn parts: Another aspect of getting the most out of your car is timely part replacement. Every essential part of your car has a lifespan, which a good mechanic will be familiar with. This could be a sizable dealership that sells your specific make and model, but there are also lots of small, independent mechanics who are top-notch. If you can develop a relationship with a good local mechanic and build trust over several years, this can be good for you and your community.
  • Switch to synthetic oil: Because of short trips that result in condensation building up inside the engine or longer trips that keep the engine too hot for extended periods of time, many cars are susceptible to sludge buildup. You can eliminate the risk of sludge buildup by using synthetic oil that has a broader effective operating range. In fact, the engines of many of the newest models require synthetic oil. Be aware that changing your oil with synthetic oil can cost $100 or more, which is up to three times as much as changing your oil with conventional oil.

What Causes a Car’s Life Expectancy to Decrease?

Several factors can lead to a lifespan that is below average, just as there are numerous reasons why cars today last longer than they did in the past.

General Build Quality:
Not all vehicles are made the same. While some are renowned for using premium materials, others are renowned for doing so. The use of inexpensive materials may not always be a bad thing because it keeps costs down, but they tend to wear out more quickly than better materials.

A shorter average lifespan is another effect of overcomplication. Overengineered is a well-known characteristic of German luxury vehicles. Although they may be opulent, they have so many moving parts that if one should malfunction, fixing them may require more work, specialized parts, and therefore more money.

This increases the chance that someone will not want to fix an issue or that a relatively minor issue will mechanically total a vehicle prematurely as the fix costs more than the vehicle is worth.

Neglect is a more frequent factor that shortens a used car’s lifespan. You may have heard a few tales about car owners who neglected to change their oil and never experienced even the slightest engine clunk, but that is not the norm. Every vehicle needs car care, but some are more sensitive to it than others.
Environment and Climate:
The environment and climate are another aspect of life expectancy that are still largely outside of a person’s control. Some of the most difficult places for a vehicle to operate are areas of the United States with four distinct seasons, abrupt season changes, or excessively wet or snowy seasons.

Despite owners’ and manufacturers’ best efforts, rust and corrosion can occasionally overwhelm a car’s built-in or added defenses. The fluids in your car won’t warm up as quickly to the temperature they should be because of the prolonged cold, which is known to kill things like your car battery. Consequently, short commutes can be particularly taxing on your car.

User Error:
User error can contribute to a shorter lifespan for your car and its parts, though it is less frequent than deferred maintenance. A good example is washing your car with dish soap. Compared to specific car wash shampoo, dish soap is more abrasive. Because of this, it might harm your paint and eat away at the clearcoat. (This guide will go over how to wash a car at home and some frequently asked questions about best practices for washing cars in order to assist you in keeping your car clean.)

That might not be detrimental to your vehicle’s function, but things like using the incorrect type of oil, not adding enough transmission fluid back after replacing it yourself, or not correctly installing a timing belt yourself can all cause massive damage to your vehicle if not caught immediately.

How Many Miles Can a Car Last? Find Out!
How Many Miles Can a Car Last? Find Out!

What You Can Do to Keep Your Car Running as Long as Possible?

There are many steps you can take to keep your car running for as long as possible.

Perform Routine Maintenance:
The simplest way to extend the life of your car is to perform the regular maintenance schedule recommended in the owner’s manual. Things like regular oil changes, transmission fluid changes, brake pad replacement, and timing belt replacement, if applicable, will all help.

Find a Good Mechanic:
You’ve probably heard harrowing tales of people who took their cars to the shop, only to return them three times for different issues before the real issue was resolved. You will save time and money by having your car serviced and repaired by a reliable, trustworthy mechanic.

Practice Good Driving Habits:
An often-forgotten factor in vehicle longevity is your own driving habits. Those who drive their vehicle as if they stole it will ultimately be harder on its components than one who does not. Fuel economy suffers and the transmission has to work harder than it would on the highway when driving in cities with frequent starting and stopping.

This cannot always be avoided, but if you can take a highway route to work every day as opposed to blowing through stop signs one by one, it might be worth the extra two minutes of driving.

Take Care of the Minor Problems:
Do not ignore the subtle warnings your car gives you when it is upset. Many have a tendency to ignore the check engine light because it is “just a loose gas cap.” That may be the case, but a bigger problem could be hiding if the check engine light is on. Don’t make assumptions until you get it diagnosed.

Even though the peculiar noise that only appears when you turn completely to the right can occasionally be inconvenient, you must realize that it does not always occur. These kinds of issues may eventually grow to be more serious problems that impact other systems, cost you money in the long run, and shorten the lifespan of your car.

Go the Extra Mile:
You should make any necessary improvements to your car if you have the chance. Your car’s lifespan can be extended by doing things like adding extra undercoating protection, protecting the paint, switching out OEM parts for aftermarket components that are better and more durable, and getting regular tune-ups or valve adjustments.

Get a Warranty:
A warranty won’t increase the lifespan of your car on its own, but it will give you peace of mind in the event that something does break or wear out too soon. If you’re looking for high-mileage cars for your next new car, many dealerships offer extended warranties that might be worth buying.

How Many Miles Can a Car Last? Find Out!

How Important is It to Have My Car Regularly Maintenanced?

Regular preventive maintenance – things like changing your oil and spark plugs, having your tires rotated, checking your brake pads and such – is absolutely essential in guaranteeing that your car lasts for as many miles and years as possible. Yes, sitting around in the waiting area of the mechanic is rarely enjoyable. But if you spend a little time having your car checked out twice a year, you could end up saving several days if it ends up needing a major repair that needs to be done right away. Additionally, maintaining your car’s tune-ups is a surefire way to raise its retail value in the event that you ever decide to sell it.

By paying attention to the small details, you can extend the life of your car as well. If you know how to spot them and pay attention to them, subtle signs like strange smells or strange noises can actually be a big help in terms of extending the life of your car. Do not put off taking a look under the hood of your car until the last minute or, worse, until you are stranded on the side of the road.

On that note, you must also pay close attention to the indicator lights on your car. For a good reason, they are there. If the check engine light has been on for several months, don’t ignore it. Bring the automobile in to have the issue assessed and remedied. This enables you to stop minor problems from escalating into bigger ones.


Is 200000 Miles Okay for a Car?

In general, most modern cars can cross 200,000 miles without any major issues, provided the vehicle is being well-maintained. If a person drives 10,000–20,000 miles annually, that translates to about 15 years of service.

Can a Car Last 500 Thousand Miles?

Depending on how well you treat your car, you could potentially reach over 500,000 miles. The car of one driver actually extended further than that.

Should You Buy a Car With 100k Miles?

It can be somewhat risky to buy a vehicle that has racked up more than 100,000 miles. Such a vehicle is past its prime even if it has 100,000 miles left on the odometer and has been well-maintained. Generally, vehicles are likely to start experiencing problems after the 100,000-mile mark.

Can a Car Go 300 000 Miles?

200,000 miles is the typical lifespan of a regular car. Some well-maintained car models will reach 300,000 or more miles total. Currently, the average age of a passenger car in the US is around 12 years. Your car’s lifespan may be increased if you choose a well-built brand and model.

Summary: How Many Miles Can a Car Last?

A car’s annual mileage is typically estimated to be between 12,000 and 15,000 miles. Accordingly, a car with five years on the odometer should have 60,000–70,000 miles on it.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment. KV Auto tries to give you the best car industry information. Thank you for reading.

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