There are many factors that impact the cost of a used vehicle. With mileage amongst the most important, we question how much a used car is worth with low mileage.
There’s no exact science to determine the worth of a used car’s low mileage. That said, Motorway UK use the guiding principle that low mileage vehicles tend to sell for anywhere from 20 – 30% more than the same vehicle with higher mileage.
If you’re shopping around for a used vehicle, you’ll want to factor mileage into your calculations. However, it’s also worth being aware that mileage is not necessarily the final word in a used car’s retail value.
What is car mileage and why does it matter?
A car’s mileage refers to the total number of miles that the car has been driven. It helps you to gauge how well used the car is. Furthermore, it is also an indicator of how likely the vehicle is to break down in the future.
The higher the mileage, the more wear and tear the vehicle will have endured. That’s why you could have two identical vehicles of the same make, model, and age in one marketplace, but the car with the lowest mileage will be higher priced.
In 2021, the average car mileage in the UK was 7,400 miles a year, but anywhere between 9,000 and 12,000 miles would be considered a normal annual mileage.
How does mileage impact a car’s selling price?
A used car with low mileage is likely to be worth more than one with high mileage. There are different factors that will impact the price at which a used car will retail. These include its condition and service history, the popularity of the model, the number of previous owners, its engine type and emissions, its age, and its mileage.
As a side note, it’s always worth checking the brake pads, tyres, brake discs, and clutch of any used vehicle you’re interested in. Be aware, too, that diesel cars will typically have a higher average mileage than petrol. In addition, cars predominantly driven around urban environments will likely be in better condition than their rural counterparts.
As a general rule, cars are grouped into mileage bands. If a vehicle travels over 20,000 miles, it will lose around 20% of its value. If it then exceeds 40,000 miles, it will lose a further 20% of that value.
So, for example, if a car was worth £40,000 new at purchase, but is resold with less than 20,000 miles on its mileage, it will have lost £8,000 in value, making it worth £32,000. If it is then resold with a mileage of over 20,000 and under 40,000, it will have lost £6,400 in value, making it £25,600.
Be aware that this is just a guiding rule, however, and any of the above factors in combination with its mileage will also impact the used car’s overall worth.
Are there any downsides to a low mileage vehicle?
There can actually be disadvantages to buying a vehicle with low mileage.
Car clocking occurs when a car’s odometer (the tool that measures mileage) is tampered with. Unfortunately, clocking is a frequent occurrence, so if you find a vehicle with mileage that seems very low, it’s worth investigating whether it’s too good to be true.
- Lack of use
If a car is underused, it’s actually more likely to need future work, as parts like the battery, engine or brakes won’t be used to running regularly. Neglected cars, even if they have low mileage, may actually end up costing you more in the long run than a well-run, but well cared for, vehicle.
- Your planned usage
Ask yourself how often you intend to use this vehicle. If you’re planning long, frequent journeys, then it doesn’t necessarily make sense to pay more for a car with low mileage, as you won’t make this money back if you plan to resell it at a later point. Far better to opt for a model that’s perhaps a tad more expensive, but similar in make, and with a decent, well maintained service history.
Financing your car
If you’ve found the right low mileage used car, the next step is financing your purchase. That’s where My Car Credit can help. We compare deals from a large and trusted network of lenders to find car finance that fits your need. Get a car loan quote today or contact our team of specialists to find out more.
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