Buying a Car With Over 200K miles on the Odometer

January 8, 2012

There are more cars than ever before that have reached the 200K mark. Cars are simply getting more reliable.

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Many people are hesitant on buying cars with over 100K miles so a car with 200K miles would be out of the question for most.

Is it worth buying a car that has over 200K miles on the clock?

The good news is that cars with high miles are relatively cheap to buy. People just do not want to deal with high mileage cars no matter how well it’s been maintained. I suppose it’s psychological.

But it’s not the miles that you should be focusing on. It’s the maintenance.

A 50 year old man who eats right and exercises daily will be in better shape than a 30 year old who watches TV all day eating junk food.

It’s no different with cars. It’s not how many times the car has been around the block but how well it’s been maintained.

Cars with high miles can be tempting to buy because they’re cheap. But this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be cheap to maintain.

Once a car reaches the 200K mark it’s the “smaller” things that tend to go. Plastic pieces falling off, headliner pealing off, burned out dashboard lights, power mirrors minus the “power” and automatic windows no longer being automatic.

Though these are minor inconveniences the cost of fixing these components can add up and burn a hole through your wallet.

My 1993 Ford Escort with over 200K miles was reliable in the sense that it took me from point A to B. But it wasn’t without flaw. The driver side window wouldn’t roll up all the way without some manual intervention. The air conditioner and power steering system had a small leak. The engine was particularly noisy.

But these were minor inconveniences that I could live with so I never bothered fixing them. When shopping for your next cheap car be aware that the car isn’t going to be perfect no matter how well it’s been maintained.

So would I buy another car with over 200K miles on the clock? I absolutely would.

Before buying your next used car you should look at the whole car and not just the engine and transmission. Check for the condition of the tires, rubber hoses, battery, alternator, radiator, etc.

Unless you’re a car dealer, you are going to keep your car for a number of years. Make sure it’s not going to nickel and dime your finances.

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