How many miles is too many for a used car?(22 Posts)
This might be a "how long is a piece of string" question, but hoping some answers will help me and DH settle a debate on which car to get.
We are looking for an automatic transmission car for me to drive around - will be especially handy because I am going on maternity leave in a couple months. It will be the first car I've ever purchased. We are trying to find a vehicle that fits one booster, a baby seat, a 6'4" husband, me, and a pram in the boot. I am trying to keep it to an £8k (mostly) cash purchase, and trying to avoid getting locked into a bank or dealer loan because I will be on a reduced income after my company's maternity pay runs out in March. I am also trying to keep the tax band on the low side.
I have found a good candidate, I think - it's a 2009 hybrid with 62,000 miles. It has had two owners, according to the ad.
I come a country and family where putting 35,000 miles on a car every year is a fact of life and nothing to really worry about. My DH is a Scottish man and comes from a family where a 2010 model is considered "old" and must be traded in at once. So, he's a bit nervous about the mileage. Should he be? Should I be?
*come from a country. Specifically, the northeastern USA, where hour-long commutes are fairly typical.
62,000 miles isn't a lot on a good modern car. Mechanically a well maintained modern "Japanese" or "German" car should have a life of 200,000 miles or more.
My car has done 128,000 miles and it might look a bit scruffy, but it is still very reliable. The main thing is to research the car. Look it up on Honest John and check that it is a reliable model.
Agree ... 62K is nowt these days. Provided it has been looked after. What make is it?
it was a prius. turned out it was reserved, so that ine is out of the picture. ive spotted another one though, an '08 with 84k miles, which is a fair bit more, but the ad is indicating it's still under warranty. going to have a look at it tomorrow. my dh is being a bit more flexible with miles now.
Honest John seems to like the Prius. My first thought was that failures of the main battery could be expensive, but they seem to be rare.
typical used car prices are based on a typical private mileage of about 12k per year.
Hence, a car that has done 62,000 in 5 years, which is about typical, suggests it should go for an average price, subject to being in average condition.
You will want to see evidence of servicing as well.
Agree that 62,000 miles for a modern, usually reliable brand 5yo car is ok. Also good point from Piglet about the service history. Regular servicing and appropriate maintenance works undertaken in a timely fashion prolong the life of the car. I wouldn't like to buy a car with more than 70,000 on the clock and I would look to trade it in as or before it hits 100,000, because more things will start to go wrong and you can end up spending more on repairs than a fresh vehicle.
I live in Germany (home of Mercedes, Audi, BMW, VW etc etc). People take their cars seriously here. You can buy an annual book with all the recommended used prices of each model in it, according to how much mileage each car has done in that time. We're also members of a motoring organization like the AA or RAC and you can phone them up and give them the details of a car (either yours or one you want to buy) and they'll tell you the recommended selling/purchasing price. Does anything like that exist in the UK?
Generally, Toyotas are indestructible and can manage huge mileages - but a Prius is presumably a whole different ball game because it's simply not really old enough to have ever come to the end of its natural lifespan (so how can you know what it can manage in practice?). But yeah, I would buy a Prius for that price, subject to a checkover and test drive.
"typical used car prices are based on a typical private mileage of about 12k per year." Possibly in the UK, but in Germany the 'typical mileage' varies according to the type of car, so smaller models have lower annual mileage (I remember as low as 9,000 km) and larger engines would assume a much higher average (upwards of 15,000 km).
Oh, one thing we did learn from second-hand car buying - a number of things tend to go wrong/need replacing around the average five-year mark, like brakes etc, so for a car around that age you would always need to ask what recent work has been done and factor that answer into the price.
I bought a 2yr old turbo diesel Golf with 60k on the clock. She's now 10 and has done almost 160k! BUT, I get her regularly serviced and keep on top of everything.
She's never let me down.
I know I shouldn't refer to an inanimate object as "she", I just can't help it
"I know I shouldn't refer to an inanimate object as "she", I just can't help it"
Really don't be ashamed, our Touran has a name and everything . She likes it that way.
A Golf will keep going way beyond 200,000k if looked after - they've got amazing engines.
I recently sold a 1996 petrol Toyota with 188k miles on it. It's had normal servicing.
The new owner is driving round cheerfully. He had to get a new ball joint for his recent MoT. Being made of Zintec it does not rust, as long as you have chips and scratches touched up. DP expects her current Toyota to last as long as she does.
I don't know what you would have to pay for a set of batteries for a hybrid. It might be a lot, and it might be soon. I don't think the Prius is very roomy.
but a Prius is presumably a whole different ball game because it's simply not really old enough to have ever come to the end of its natural lifespan (so how can you know what it can manage in practice?)
16 years? Some people have managed to kill cars in less time than that.
a number of things tend to go wrong/need replacing around the average five-year mark, like brakes etc
Brakes are a service item, you'd be crazy to leave them five years/wait until they break! They should be checked (and replaced if required) at suitable intervals, which I don't class 5 years as.
Specifically, the northeastern USA, where hour-long commutes are fairly typical.
American car culture is very different to the UK and Europe - large, low-powered engines are very understressed and can go for hundreds of thousands of miles without much in the way of servicing.
European (and Japanese) cars tend more towards smaller engines but with higher specific outputs, which puts more stress on them. They can still be as reliable, but usually need more attention than a 5.7 litre small block Chevy.
Ooh Nullius we're looking at getting a Touran for our next family car. Do you recommend?
Hi Slinky, yes generally I do recommend the Touran as a family car if you have two DC of your own. It's the perfect size for a family of four, with three extra seats for carting other kids around. If I had three or more DC I might go for a Galaxy/Sharan instead.
We did a test drive on several cars in that class (eg Zafira, whatever the Toyoto one is called and the S-Max) and it just felt more solid and well made with a lovely engine and smooth gear changes. We love the fact that each of the three middle seats can be taken out/put down individually and that the two back seats fold down flat and have full 3-point seat belts.
Biggest problem is bizarrely that the rear seats have no loudspeakers as standard (costs big wonga to install extra) so you can't turn the DC's horrible kids' CD down low at the front. Perhaps your DC have better musical taste than mine, though.
The rear two seats are not big enough for adults or for long journeys - they're ideal for those times when you need to take a group of kids home safely from sports training etc.
You will always get people on Touran/Zafira threads complaining about the crumple zone for the rear two seats but it doesn't bother me overly much. Firstly we use those seats fairly rarely for human transport, secondly we drive carefully and defensively, thirdly you can only reduce risk a certain amount and after that you just need to get on and live instead of constantly worrying. Would these people also not sit in the back row of a minibus?
"Brakes are a service item, you'd be crazy to leave them five years/wait until they break! They should be checked (and replaced if required) at suitable intervals, which I don't class 5 years as."
Err, I think you rather understood what I wrote . The idea is not that you leave the brakes without being checked for five years and then think, oh we have to get them replaced after this time. It's more that you get them checked as part of the regular service/MOT and our experience has been that they happen to need replacing at around the five-year mark. If your brakes always need replacing significantly before that perhaps your driving style is relying on sudden accelerating and braking too much.
It's more that you get them checked as part of the regular service/MOT and our experience has been that they happen to need replacing at around the five-year mark. If your brakes always need replacing significantly before that perhaps your driving style is relying on sudden accelerating and braking too much.
Why would "sudden accelerating" [sic] cause brakes to wear prematurely?
If one of my cars does 4,000 miles a year, would its brakes still wear out at the 5-year mark?
If another of my cars does 35,000 miles a year, would its brakes still wear out at the 5-year mark?
If I do 20,000 miles a year in a car weighing over 2.5 tonnes, towing a trailer weighing 2 tonnes, will the brakes last the same amount of time as a bike-engined kit car weighing 470kg doing 2,000 miles a year?
If I use high performance sintered brake pads, do they wear out at the same rate as low quality organic pads? What happens if the sintered pads are used with cross drilled/grooved/drilled and grooved brake discs, compared to the cheap pads used with plain discs? And vice versa? What about carbon ceramic brake setups?
What if my car has drum brakes on the rear axle and discs and calipers on the front? Will the front pads wear at the same rate as a car with discs on all four corners?
Your experience has no relation to my experience.
Hey, just wanted to update and thank everyone for their advice. DH and I test drove the other Prius we found last Saturday and it was dog. I was really shocked the dealer let us climb into it - the brakes were making funny grinding noises and a bunch of warning lights came on and stayed on while we were test driving. Eesh!
DH and I sat down again, had another think about what our priorities were for a car, and settled on a 2006 Rav4 with 49,000 miles on it instead. Which is the total opposite of a Prius, and I will weep when the road tax bill comes in, but the price is in our budget, the vehicle fits everybody and everything we need to fit, and it felt great to drive.
Oh yes, the Rav4 had proof of service history ready to go too. And the price we got it for seems to have been competitive having looked at a few valuations, including Parker's and Honest John.
My Peugeot 406 has 200,000 on it and still runs and drives fine, modern cars are much better made now so will; easily do the mileage
Many people don't want a car with over 100,000 on it so you can get them much cheaper to be honest we have had a few high mileage cars over the years and never had any issues
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.