If you’re wondering what is a good car mileage for used cars, then you’re up for a confusing task. You’ll hear a lot of different opinions that will make it hard to understand the exact numbers. But the truth is – mileage is merely one of the factors and you shouldn’t take it as seriously as you think.

But if you still want to know what is good mileage for used cars, you’ll find all the answers in this guide. You’ll see why mileage can be overrated, how people change the odometer reading and what number can help you calculate the optimal mileage for a car.

Is mileage overrated?

Yes, it certainly is. Don’t get me wrong – it’s an important factor that we should keep in mind when we’re buying a used car, but it’s not a determinant feature.

Even though the mileage is usually used to determine the condition of the vehicle and calculate its remaining lifespan, it can’t give us the full information.

A well-maintained car with 150,000 miles on the clock can be in better condition compared to an abused vehicle with 50,000 miles. That’s why I don’t think it’s a good idea to base all your expectations on mileage only.

Whenever we start wondering what is a good mileage for used cars, we should remember that it’s not the most important information in the whole world. It can be a great starting point, but it should never be the only thing you consider when you’re contemplating what to buy.

What makes mileage so unreliable?

Another reason why mileage is so unreliable is the odometer clocking. People still commit fraud and we can’t do much about it.

You already know what I think about the importance of mileage, but consumers don’t always agree with me. Sellers know that perfectly well and instead of selling newer cars with lower mileage, they turn to odometer rollback.

If you firmly believe that this practice is dead, you should look at the numbers. Approximately 2.5 million cars have clocked odometers. That’s a huge number, my friend, and according to research, it has a rising trend.

There are ways to determine whether we’re dealing with odometer fraud or not, but everyone doesn’t know that. Sometimes the sellers are manipulative and sly, so they find ways to convince you that the trip meter shows real numbers.

Plus, there are advanced tools that can be really hard to discover. The mileage blocker, for instance, is untraceable even with diagnostic equipment. Even though it’s not supposed to be used to reduce the mileage, some people still use it on the open road. 

Remember that you should always take small, decent, or even ideal mileage with a grain of salt. I’ll tell you what a good mileage for used cars is, but you should double-check that information whenever you’re buying a pre-owned vehicle.

What is a good car mileage for used cars?

The exact numbers depend on the age of the vehicle, but, generally, you should use 10,000 – 12,000 miles per year as a guide. You should multiply this number by the age of the car and you’ll figure out whether the mileage is good or not.

For example, a 10-year-old car should have around 100,000 – 120,000 miles on the clock. If the mileage is significantly lower, then you should suspect odometer fraud. If it’s higher, then you’re dealing with a vehicle that’s been heavily abused.

What is a good car mileage for used cars? – around 50,000 – 100,000 miles. This range is considered to be perfect as you’ll get years of usage out of the vehicle.

As a rule, the majority of cars can easily withstand 200,000 miles. If you purchase a coupe or an SUV with 60,000 miles, it will drive for 11-12 years at least.

But, once again, mileage can’t give you a definite answer to all of your questions. Individual inspection and careful examination by the professional is the only way to tell if the used car is worth your money or not.

Even the perfect amount of km or mile can’t guarantee durability. This is probably not what you wanted to hear, but let’s face it – cars are complicated. When we commit to buying them, we should be ready to face all the accompanying risks.

It’s better to examine the gas mileage and make your decision accordingly. You’ll get a better vehicle that way – the one that is fuel-efficient and inexpensive to maintain.

What is good mileage for used cars in terms of gas?

It depends on the type of car we’re talking about. For instance, a good gas mileage for a basic sedan isn’t the same as with a sports car. Therefore, the numbers can vary if we consider those factors.

Nevertheless, it’s still possible to determine what is good mileage for used cars in terms of gas. The average mpg (the mileage per gallon) is around 25. Anything more than that is a perfect match. But the majority of fuel-efficient vehicles will deliver around 40-50 mpg on the highway, which is great regardless of the model.

You might think that fuel efficiency is the luxury only sedans can afford, but you’d be wrong. Certain SUVs can easily get you 30-40 mpg. Lexus RX 450h AWD Hybrid, for instance, can drive 30 miles per gallon, while Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD gets 40 mpg.

It’s best to determine what type of car you need and research the fuel-efficient models accordingly. You already know what is a good mileage for used cars in terms of gas, so you can use that information as a guide.

What is a good mileage for used cars? Age VS Mileage

Even though mileage and age are closely related to one another, people usually argue which one is more important while deciding on the purchase.

Age, unlike mileage, doesn’t determine the value of a vehicle. Older cars are often more expensive compared to the newer models, which is why we can’t use age to talk about prices.

Moreover, only certain parts deteriorate with age, mainly the ones that are made from rubber. Since these are inexpensive to repair, it’s not that big of a problem. That’s why it doesn’t define the price of a vehicle.

Mileage, on the other hand, can sometimes indicate the wear and tear of the vehicle. For instance, you’ll need to change the tires after 50,000 miles, the air filter after 30,000 – 50,000 miles, and brake pads in the 30,000 – 70,000 mile range.

What a good mileage for used cars is typically depends on those parts. However, those numbers are relative. If someone takes really good care of the vehicle, the chances are those parts will last even longer.

Neither mileage, not age are the factors you should use to decide on the vehicle. If you check its functionalities professionally and find that the car is in good condition, don’t let the age or the mileage discourage you from buying.

This rule doesn’t apply when the car has reached 200,0000 – 250,0000 miles (depending on the manufacturer and the model). Even though certain vehicles can live heapily ever after even after that mark, it’s still safer to purchase a car with lower mileage.  


We can discuss what a good mileage for used cars is, however, none of those discussions matter in individual scenarios. It’s better to examine the condition of the vehicle carefully, make sure the mileage we see is correct, and buy the car if it satisfies our requirements.

It’s unreasonable to neglect a perfectly good vehicle just because it has higher mileage. Keep that in mind the next time you’re shopping and you’ll buy a used car more easily. Good luck!