Home / Buying a Car / Should I Buy A Car With 200k Miles? [The Truth Revealed]

Should I Buy A Car With 200k Miles? [The Truth Revealed]


The automotive industry has a love affair with numbers that has led to some interesting sales strategies. Car companies often roll out new models and discontinue older ones based on reaching certain numerical milestones.

So, when you’re in the market for a car, you can ask yourself should I buy a car with 200k miles on the odometer? The truth is that purchasing a vehicle with 200,000 miles is a very risky move. On standard cars, the 200k mile range is generally considered to be the point at which significant maintenance problems start to crop up.

Most engines on standard vehicles are only designed to run for about 200,000 miles, and you can expect around 300,000 miles on electric and hybrid cars. Once a car hits these many miles, it’s likely that the engine will need to be rebuilt or replaced entirely.

Should You Buy a Car with 200000 Miles?

Should You Buy An Auto with a 200k Mile Range

Unless you are getting a good deal, it is generally not advisable to purchase a car with 200,000 miles on it. Significant maintenance problems usually crop up around this time.

If you are dead set on buying a car with hundreds of thousands of miles, make sure you get a pre-purchase inspection. Take your trusted mechanic with you to look over the car before making a decision. This will help ensure that you’re not getting a lemon.

Additionally, you should run a CarFax so you can check how many previous owners the car has had. You want to see clean regular maintenance records as this will give you some insight into how the car was treated.

Make sure to ask if the vehicle has regular oil changes are done, as well as transmission fluid replacement. These are two of the most imperative maintenance tasks for longevity.

Transmission problems become more common as cars rack up more mileage. At these many miles, the likelihood of your car needing a new transmission is about 50%.

When Is A Car Considered A High Mileage Car?

The answer to this can vary depending on the model and brand. But in general, cars today are considered high mileage once they hit the 100,000-mile mark.

The timing belt needs to be replaced at around this mileage mark. This is a big job that can cost upwards of $500. You might also start to see issues with the transmission, brake pads, fuel injectors, or other major components.

In the US, 12,000 miles per year is the average. Another thing to evaluate is the difference between city and highway miles. The effects of high mileage cars will depend on the make of your car and driving habits.

You might be able to keep a Honda Civic, Honda Accord, or Toyota Camry running well into the 200k mile mark, but older vehicles or models with similar mileage might not make it that far.

Ultimately, you can probably find cheap 100k-mile vehicles that have followed their maintenance schedule and that the previous owners have taken good care of. With a little work, you can keep these cars on the road for another 100k miles.

Disadvantages Of Buying A Vehicle With 200 Thousand Miles?

You will probably find a great price when you shop for used cars that have high miles. The problem is that you’re more likely to have significant maintenance issues with these vehicles.

Old cars tend to break down more often, and they can be costly to fix. When you tally up the cost of all potential repairs, you might find that it’s cheaper to get a newer car with fewer miles.

The safety features typically found in newer cars are another reason to avoid high mileage vehicles. Technologies like blind-spot warning, forward collision mitigation, and automatic emergency braking are almost always included now when you buy a new vehicle.

If you’re looking for a fuel-efficient vehicle, you’ll probably have better luck with a newer car. If the car has not been well cared for, it might have hidden damage that you can’t see. Transmission damages or any problems with the engine are especially pricey to fix.

When you are shopping for a high mileage car, you will need to check with the previous owner to check the full-service records. If the vehicle got the oil changed every 3,000 miles and has other receipts for regular maintenance, then you’re on the right track.

However, even if the vehicle has been well maintained, the life of the engine once it reaches two hundred thousand miles will be short. This typically translates into a money pit, and it will require you to spend lots of repair costs for the rest of the car’s life.

Are 200k Miles Too Much On A High Mileage Car?

After this mileage, the life of the engine is typically shorter, which means it will require more repair costs. The engine is not the only thing that needs to be repaired or replaced; other parts such as brakes, tires, shocks, and struts also have a limited lifespan.

Some diesel engines like the Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L HEMI V8 can last well into a 300k mile range or more. These types of vehicles tend to last longer, but they are also more costly to maintain.

Overall we experts would always recommend avoiding buying a car with less mileage than 200k, no matter the make or model. You would be better off financially in the long run by buying a newer vehicle.

As long as you can verify that the previous owner has kept up with the maintenance and service, then a 100k-mile automobile might not be a bad choice. You can still drive the vehicle for a long time if you take care of it, but it will require more money for upkeep.

Should I Get A New Car Instead Of A Used Car?

Reliability is one of the advantages of purchasing a new car instead of a high mileage car. You won’t be concerned about significant maintenance issues or expensive repairs with a new car.

However, the prices you pay when shopping for a new car can be significantly higher than a high mileage car. New vehicles also lose a lot of value as soon as you drive them off the lot. They tend to depreciate rapidly during the first few years.

On the flip side, you can often find a used car for a fraction of the price of a new one. And if you’re careful about the vehicle you choose, you can avoid many of the potential problems.

Nothing smells better than modern cars. The sensation and the feeling of being the first owner are incomparable. But unless you’re wealthy, a used car is usually the better financial choice.

Technology has changed the way we shop and how we go about things. Make sure you use it to help you make an informed decision. You can now buy a vehicle and get it delivered to your doorstep.

With apps like Carvana, you can get an auto without ever stepping foot in a dealership. Nowadays, you can even find an app for fighting tickets like Winit and not have to worry about going to court.

Things To Check When Buying A High Mileage Car

High mileage vehicles that have not been properly maintained are more likely to experience significant mechanical problems. These repairs can be expensive to fix and often are not worth the effort.

That is why it is important to do your research before buying an auto with a lot of miles on it. Here are some things you should check:

  • Fuel pump
  • Check Engine Light
  • Entire Engine
  • Sensors
  • Transmission
  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Brake pads
  • Water Pump

Take the vehicle out for a test drive to see how it handles. Does it feel like it is struggling to accelerate? Does the engine sound healthy? Is the transmission shifting smoothly?

Listen for any strange noises that might indicate an issue with a particular component. If something feels off, have a mechanic take a look at the automobile before making a decision.

As a car buyer, you need to make sure all of these parts are in good condition before making a purchase. Get an inspection from a trusted mechanic. This will give you an idea of what kind of repairs might be needed in the near future.


A new vehicle comes with the manufacturer’s warranty to protect you from expensive parts. Sometimes they will even include one year free of the service charges, including oil filters, tire rotation, and other basic services.

A used one will come at a much lower price. However, if you are looking into getting an auto loan, then the interest rates will be higher for a used car than for a new one.

The best advice is to choose what you can afford. Try to stay within your budget when selecting a vehicle. If you can’t afford a new one, then don’t let the salesman talk you into it.

Last Updated on: July 15, 2022

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