How Many Kilometres Is Too Many?

Jun 1, 2021 | Car Brisbane News

It is a common belief that the distance a car has travelled should be the main reason for determining its sale price. But what if we were to tell you that this isn’t completely true? Although mileage can be a good indicator of cost, there are so many other factors that need to be considered when determining the value of a car.

So, at what point will your car start to lose value? And what should you look for when purchasing a new car? We cover all that information and more in this article.

In general, buyers often want the car they are buying to have less than 100,000 kilometres on the clock when they purchase it. But the truth is, there is no such thing as a car having been driven for ‘too many kilometres’.

Why is this?

A car that has never been serviced, driven roughly and never had its oil changed might have only done 50,000km, but it will be in bad shape. In comparison, a car that has been regularly serviced, driven sensibly, regularly had its oil changed and never been in an accident, could be in better shape even though it might have 200,000km on the clock.

If a car has been well looked after, it should have crossed off its regular services, and this should all have been tracked in the maintenance logbook.

For example, a car should be serviced every 5,000km, have its timing belt changed every 100,000km, have its oil changed around once every three months and have its tyres replaced every three to four years.

There are or course variables to these milestones, and if a car is well looked after, its owners should be aware of these variables.

For example, tyres should be checked every month and air put into them. When pumping up the tyres, the tread should be inspected to make sure the tyre is not becoming bald, as this could make the car unsafe.

How many kilometres can a car travel?

Volvo 1800 - Credit: Wikipedia

Volvo 1800S | Image credit: Wikipedia / Charles01

The answer to this question will depend on the make of the car and how well it has been maintained. In general, most cars don’t seem to last more than 350,000km unless they’ve been well-looked after. The older the car, the more wear it has normally had, and the closer to the end of its life it will be.

The car with the highest vehicle mileage on world record is a 1966 Volvo 1800S, which has done more than 4.8 million kms!

However, running a car forever and into the ground isn’t advised, and more often than not, the higher the mileage on a car, the less it will be worth.


How to keep kilometres/mileage low on your car

Australia is so vast that we use our cars to get everywhere, meaning the kilometres rack up quickly. If you’re concerned about putting too many KMs on the clock, there are a few simple things you can do:

  • Consider carpooling where possible
  • Use ride-sharing services like Uber or Ola (specifically the UberPool-type services if you want to be eco-friendly about it)
  • Use public transport
  • Walk or cycle wherever suitable

By reducing the distance you drive in your car, you get the added bonus of helping reduce emissions – win-win!


What other factors you should consider when buying a car?

Purchasing a car is a big decision, and before you exchange money for a vehicle, make sure you check its overall condition and service history. If you want more information on car valuations, take a look at our recent post on how dealers value cars


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