Choosing a used car with a high mileage can mean big savings if you’re car shopping on a budget.

Of course, there’s also a risk that by buying a higher mileage car you’ll end up with big bills further down the line if the car develops serious problems, so you need to pick wisely. Here’s our guide to the best high mileage cars, to help make picking a used car easier for you.

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You can check the MOT history of a vehicle you know the registration of with the Government’s MOT checker. This will show you the mileage when the car was tested, along with whether any parts failed, had minor defects or advisories were issued.

AT A GLANCE

1. Choosing a reliable car with high mileage could save you money

2. Certain makes and models are more reliable than others with high mileage

3. We share our pick of the ten most reliable high mileage cars on the market today

What is a high mileage for a used car?

The average car covers around 5,300 miles a year, according to figures from the Department for Transport. So any car that has been driven more than that can be considered to have above average mileage[1].

The life expectancy of a car used to be around 100,000 miles. But big improvements in powertrain technology, rust prevention and lubricants have improved reliability and durability. This means that if a car has been well looked after, it can sail past 200,000 miles without too much trouble these days.

If you choose carefully and ensure the vehicle has a full-service history, you could drive out of the garage with a great deal on your hands.

Should I buy a car with high mileage?

Going for a used car with high mileage can be an excellent way to save money or upgrade your model. But you’ll need to take the age, model and type of driving the car has done into consideration.

Newer cars with a high mileage can be a sound buy as they might not have the same issues that an older high mileage car has. A word of warning though – if the previous owner was a taxi driver or courier, the car has likely done a lot of stop-start driving. This isn’t good for its overall health, so is best avoided.

The model is important too. Some cars are better than others at covering long distances without issues. And be sure to go for a brand with a track record for being reliable and durable.

The most reliable high mileage cars

We’ve put together a list of the 10 best high mileage cars to help you find the right one for your budget [2]:

1. Skoda Superb

Superb by name and superb on the roads too. This executive Skoda model has become one of the best high mileage cars thanks to its powerful engine.

The Skoda Superb offers a strong overall performance too, with precision handling and excellent fuel economy. Look for the latest generation model, launched in 2015. 

2. BMW 3 Series

High mileage doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice glamour. The BMW 3 Series is capable of going the distance in style – one of the reasons it’s popular with fleet companies.

3. Renault Clio

This French icon has a reputation for reliability, and this extends to its age and mileage. Most Clios are capable of doing around 50 miles per gallon (mpg), so are relatively economical if you drive a lot. Overall, it’s a small car built for big distances and a smart choice if you’re looking for a low cost, high mileage vehicle.

4. Ford Fiesta

The last Fiesta rolled off the production line in July 2023. But as one of the UK’s all-time bestsellers, there are plenty of excellent used models to be snapped up. Most high mileage Fiestas won’t experience major problems. And even if they do, parts and servicing are relatively cheap.

5. Volvo S90

If you’re looking for a car capable of driving long distances, the S90 saloon car is a fine choice. Manufactured with Swedish reliability, the Volvo S90 is built to last. And even with high mileage, this smart saloon is hard to been for modern comfort, offering spacious interiors and impressive tech.  

 6. Toyota Avensis

Popular with fleet companies, the Avensis never really took off as a family car. But the fact that Toyotas used to come with a warranty for five years or 100,000 miles tells you everything you need to know about the car’s reliability. A well-maintained Avensis should manage 200,000 miles without too much difficulty.

7. Mercedes-Benz E-Class

For refined luxury, look no further than the E-Class. Built with precision German engineering, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is made for covering long distances and copes well even with a few miles on the clock. Nab yourself a great deal with a high-mileage E-Class and travel in serene comfort on the open road.

8. Kia Ceed

This reliable family hatchback offers a comfortable driving experience and has great fuel economy. And Kia’s seven-year warranty should give you confidence that an older Ceed with high mileage will still be dependable.

9. Peugeot 208

If you cover most of your mileage in the city, don’t overlook the stylish Peugeot 208 supermini.

The second generation 208 was given a revamp in 2023, but you can still get excellent used models with a range of engines that are reasonably priced.

10. Volkswagen Tiguan

The Tiguan is known for its a smooth and quiet driving experience, making it an ideal car for high mileage commutes or long journeys. This family SUV isn’t cheap, but you get quality in spades and it’s built to stand the test of time. 

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[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/nts09-vehicle-mileage-and-occupancy

[2] https://www.buyacar.co.uk/cars/economical-cars/1953/best-cars-for-high-mileage

https://www.buyacar.co.uk/cars/used-cars/high-mileage-cars/2103/best-high-mileage-cars

https://heycar.co.uk/guides/best-cars-for-motorway-driving

https://www.theaa.com/cars/advice/best-used-cars/best-used-long-commute-and-journey-cars

Original article written 27th August 2020, updated 6th September 2023