Choosing a used car with a high mileage can mean big savings if you’re car shopping on a budget.
If you choose carefully and ensure the vehicle has a full-service history, you could drive out of the garage with a real deal on your hands. As Auto Express says, dismissing a vehicle based on its odometer alone could mean you're missing out on a bargain.
According to Consumer Reports, big improvements in powertrain technology, rust prevention, lubricants, and more have improved reliability and durability meaning that most cars can make it to a whopping 200,000 miles now.
Of course, there is a risk that by buying a higher-mileage car that you’ll end up with big bills further down the line.
So watch out for relatively new cars with a high mileage, as it could mean they’ve been driven hard. And go for a brand with a track-record for being reliable and durable.
The most durable and reliable cars
In 2019, What Car? published the results of a study into more than 18,000 cars to find the 10 most reliable vehicles that have covered more than 60,000 miles. Here are its findings:
1. Ford Fiesta petrol 2008-2017
It’s no surprise the Ford Fiesta is the most popular in Britain. According to What Car?, just under one in five (20%) petrol Fiestas had a fault, but the most common problem areas were minor: bodywork and non-engine electrics.
2. Honda Civic diesel 2006-2012
Honda Civic diesels performed better than their petrol counterparts (see number 7). What Car? found only 15% of diesel-engined Civics suffered a problem in the previous year, according to owners. The battery topped the list of issues, followed by the air conditioning system.
3. Ford Focus diesel 2011-2018
What Car? said: According to owners, 18% of diesel Focus models had a problem, with the most frequently reported area of concern being the battery, followed by the engine, fuel system and gearbox.
4. Toyota Avensis 2003-2009
Toyotas have a reputation for reliability, and those released between 2003 and 2009 rank higher than those that followed in subsequent years (see number nine).
Just 14% of 2003-2009 Avensis models had a problem, according to What Car?, but the areas concerned were fairly serious, including the engine, engine electrics, fuel system and suspension.
5. BMW 3 Series 2012-2018
Although 17% of 3 Series had a fault, the most commonly reported area identified in the What Car? research was non-engine electrics, including the air conditioning system.
6. Skoda Octavia diesel 2004-2013
What Car? said: Although a quarter (25%) of diesel Octavias had a problem, the most common area of concern was the bodywork, followed by the engine and suspension.
7. Honda Civic petrol 2006-2012
Petrol Civics fared worse than the diesels, with one in four (24%) suffering a fault, according to What Car?. Again, the battery was the most commonly cited issue, but this time followed by suspension.
8. Kia Cee'd 2007-2012
What Car? said: Just over 22% of Cee'd owners reported a fault with their car, with the gearbox/clutch the biggest cause of concern.
9. Toyota Avensis 2009-2015
Although a fifth (19%) of 2009-2015 Avensis owners reported a fault on their car, the most common were evenly split between bodywork and gearbox issues, according to What Car?.
10. Toyota RAV4 2006-2013
What Car? said: Just under a third (29%) of RAV4 owners reported a fault, with the brakes and suspension the most common areas of concern.
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