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How does mileage affect your car’s value?

October 28, 2021 by

How does mileage affect the value of my car?

An easy way to calculate depreciation is to group the mileage of your car into 20,000 mile bands, and every time your car goes through one of these bands it loses around 20% of its value.

As a rough example, let’s say you bought a new car for £30,000. After it’s covered 20,000 miles it will be worth £24,000, after 40,000 miles it’ll be worth £19,200 and so on.

It’s important to note this isn’t an exact science. There are other things that will affect your car’s depreciation such as condition, service history and the make and model.

Why does mileage affect a car’s value?

The mileage of a car is exactly what you’d probably expect, it’s the number of miles it’s driven since the day it left the factory. It serves as an indicator of the wear on components such as the engine and gearbox.

Cars with an above average mileage will typically be worth less than an equivalent model with lower miles because it is more likely to incur mechanical failures in the near future.

The interior can also be more worn down on higher mileage cars, with parts such as the seats (particularly leather) and steering wheel suffering as a result of more time behind the wheel.

A caveat to this would be that service history also has a big impact on your car’s value. A car with 50,000 miles and no service history will be less desirable than one with 80,000 miles and a fully stamped service book.

What is ‘normal’ mileage for a car?

It’s difficult to say what constitutes a ‘normal’ mileage for a car. Data from the Department for Transport suggests that, as a nation, we cover between 5,000 and 7,000 miles per year.

In reality however, 10,000 miles per year is fairly common, and this is what we’d consider as a ‘normal mileage’.

Working off this figure, if you multiply the age of the car by 10,000 you’ll get the average mileage. So if you’re looking at a car that’s 3 years old, 30,000 miles is about right.

What mileage can a car reach before it ‘dies’?

The lifespan of a car depends on how well you look after it. If you maintain your car and service it regularly, it’s not uncommon to reach 200,000 miles.

The only thing to note is that the maintenance is likely to get more expensive as the miles go up. Components such as the clutch and brake discs are likely to need replacing on higher mileage cars.

If you don’t keep to your manufacturer’s service schedule, your car is more likely to suffer drastic mechanical failure at high mileage, with things like the engine and gearbox at risk of terminal damage.

If your car gets to this point, you can pay to have it fixed, although this can often cost considerably more than your car is worth. If you don’t fancy paying out for it, you can either scrap it or sell it to a dismantler for parts.

Can I sell a car with high mileage?

Yes you can, however it can be a headache. Cars with mega miles are not as desirable on the second hand market because buyers tend to be looking for something less worn in.

This means you’re unlikely to get as much for your car as an equivalent model with lower miles. If you price it right however, it’s perfectly possible to draw the punters in.

There are factors other than mileage which can have an impact on the value of your car. The condition of the bodywork and interior will also determine how much you can sell it for.

Sell your car with carwow

Are you looking to sell your car the hassle free way? Well now you can do just that through carwow, even if it does have a high mileage.

All you need to do is provide some details on your car, take a selection of pictures and wait for the offers to roll in from a network of trusted dealers.

Once you have an offer you’re happy with, just accept it and the dealer buying will take care of the rest. All you need to do is hand the keys over. Tap the button below to find out more.