By: Gov Auctions | 23 January 2016

How Does Mileage Affect Car Prices at Auction?

Have you ever been in a car sale or a public auction and you have heard someone ask about the mileage? Doesn’t it concern your or even raise your curiosity as to why mileage always figures itself in these situations?

You will find your answer here. But before we proceed with the answer, let’s know something about mileage.

To define mileage, it is the distance covered by the vehicle, measured in miles (hence the name). It is so important for anyone who is buying and selling vehicles because it affects the price. But how?

Mileage tells plenty of stories about a car:

It can give you a pretty good idea of the age of the vehicle – Mileage and age of vehicles are not always parallel, which simply means the car can be old but still has good (or high) mileage. However, based on the consensus of experts, a mileage of around 30,000 is roughly 3 years’ worth of use.

It informs you if the car is still covered with warranty – Not all used cars sold in auctions have warranty. It all depends on the manufacturer. But even if they do, they have caveats or limitations. For example, it is common among manufacturers to limit the warranty up to 3 to 5 years or around 30,000 to 40,000 miles, whichever comes first.

It gives you an idea about the person’s lifestyle – Anyone who is buying a used vehicle should have a pretty good idea about the car owner: it somehow provides you an insight of how the vehicle has been used. For instance, if the owner is an office executive, there is a huge chance that he has been using the vehicle more frequently than those who do business online or at home. This may then translate to a higher mileage.

Meanwhile, this business executive may have the skills of foresight, discipline, and patience. With these, he may be more concerned about the regular maintenance or upkeep of the vehicle.

It lets you know what to inspect in a vehicle – A car that has a low mileage means it has travelled often and/or far. The tires must already be thin or wearing and needing replacing soon. There may already be dents on the side or the floodlights may already have been damaged. The oil may already be leaking or the engine weak. These things are normally present if the owner is not conscious of regular service.

Keeping in mind all these things, then you somehow know how mileage affects the car’s price. If the mileage is low, the value of the vehicle may also be low because the basic assumption is that it is already been used often and has therefore gone through significant depreciation and not in its best condition. Further, it may no longer be covered by a car’s warranty and auto insurance may already be expensive. Keeping it low makes low-mileage vehicles more attractive to buyers.

Nevertheless, a car with low mileage is not something you should shun. It always boils down to the possible value, price-wise or other, in your life.