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HomeDriver's ResourcesBuying a High Mileage Car

When a person is going to buy a used car, there are many concerns that they need to deal with. One of the most common ones and for many, the most important is the mileage that has been put on the vehicle. Others are not so concerned about the high mileage but focus more on the status of the vehicle at the time it is going to be purchased.

Average Kilometres Per Year for a Car


There is no hard and fast rule that pertains to how much mileage is put on a vehicle in a year. The consensus is that in Canada the average driver will put about 20,000 km on their vehicle each year. This is what most vehicle warranties are based on.

This is a metric that can be used to your advantage when you are determining the effect of the mileage on the car you may be considering.

For example, you may be thinking about buying a used vehicle, but the mileage registered on the vehicle is 100,000. Km. This seems like a high amount. But, now consider the age of the car. If it is five years old, then you can assume it has averaged the 20,000 per year, which would put this car in the average mileage range that is expected for most drivers in Canada.

How Many KM is Too High for a Used Car?

There is no one specific answer to this question. Buyers of used cars that are concerned about the mileage have to do further investigation into the vehicle and ask the right questions. This is because there are many other factors that are tied to the mileage concerns.

What Was the Primary Purpose of the Car?

An interested buyer should know what the vehicle was primarily used for. For example,

Both of these circumstances can play an important role in how the mileage was put on the vehicle.

Was the Car Used Mostly for City Driving or Highway Driving?

Most mechanical professionals feel that highway driving creates less stress on a vehicle. City driving requires a lot of stopping and starting which puts more stress on some of the other components of the vehicle. Whereas highway driving does not.

If the answer is highway driving, then even a high mileage would not be as consequential as it would be will fewer miles created by city driving.

How Has the Car Been Maintained?

Regular maintenance is needed for every vehicle. Most experts have determined this is needed after a specific number of miles. If the car owner has been dedicated to this maintenance then even for a high mileage car it poses fewer risks. If the car owner has been neglectful in maintenance there is a risk that the high mileage may have done some damage that may not yet be evident.

Paying Attention to the UVIP


The UVIP is the used vehicle information report that the seller of the used vehicle must provide to a buyer. It contains a lot of information that can be pertinent to the mileage of the vehicle. While you are asking questions of the present owner, they may not have been the only owner of that vehicle.

You want to know how many miles the present owner racked up on the vehicle as this helps to verify the accuracy of their answers to your questions. If the vehicle has 150,000 km. On it but the present owner only put 50,000 of those on the vehicle then you can put their answers into proper perspective. You know the information they are giving you does not pertain to the other 100,000 km.

The UVIP report gives the vehicle registration history and previous owners along with the odometer readings.

Relying on the Odometer Reading

Most likely the owner is going to rely on the odometer reading when quoting the km. Put on a vehicle. In the past, there were concerns about how accurate this was. It should be noted that the rolling back of odometers is considered a criminal offense.

How Many KM Can a Car Last?

Car Speedometer

Again, this is a question where the answer is going to depend on different variables. Every brand of car is different. This can mean that 100,000km on one of the brands of the vehicle would have more serious consequences compared to another. There are many steps that a car owner can take to extend the longevity of their vehicle no matter what the mileage is. Some examples are;

  • Buying a vehicle that has utilized advances in powertrain technology.
  • Car owners that have taken extra steps for rust preventions
  • Make sure that the car has maintained proper maintenance which includes the use of lubricants and oil changes
  • Implementing proper driving habits. There are some driving habits that can be hard on a vehicle. Even those that have low mileage.

Top 10 Best High Mileage Cars to Buy


With each vehicle manufacturer focusing on different aspects of the building of their products one that is always a priority is the performance and longevity of the vehicles. There are some that have been more successful at this than others.

Experts are now indicating that the average age for a reliable vehicle can be up to eleven years old. Some brands have already provided extensive proof that they can still perform efficiently even with high mileage.

The following ten fit into this category while there are several others that could also be added to the list.

  1. Honda Civic
  2. Subaru Legacy/Outback
  3. Toyota Tacoma
  4. Ford Escape Hybrid
  5. Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  6. Honda Odyssey
  7. Toyota Corolla
  8. Ford F-150
  9. Honda Accord
  10. Toyota Highlander


The best way to decide between buying a used car with high mileage is first to do your homework. A good starting point is a list above that has good high mileage track records. Then by asking the right questions and checking out whatever data about the vehicle is available to you. Finally, having your mechanic inspect the vehicle will most likely be the final deciding factor as to whether to buy the car or not.

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