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.
Take a Ford Fiesta, the UK’s best-selling car last year: a 2015 1.25 petrol model with 15,000 miles on the clock costs an average of £6,500, according to What Car?, whereas the price drops to £5,500 for those that have done 60,000 miles.
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 February, 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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