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What Are High Kilometers-Mileage for a Used Car?

What is high mileage for a car?
Over 1 million kilometers. Is this high mileage for a car?

The image above, where this US/CAN vehicle is in Miles vs. KMs, is a great example of how a seasoned car dealer can help their clients spot key details!

The Easy Answer for Mileage Questions

Some people say, ‘The lower the better!’, but there are different types of miles (city/highway), different owners with varying demands, vehicle history, etc..

There really is no easy way tell someone what to look for in terms of mileage; Other than a high mileage car is harder to resell, you can’t say higher mileage is always worse.

What is Mileage?

Automotive owners are lucky! We have an odometer reading, which is the number of kilometers the transmission has driven. Sure we could probe the ECU for engine runtime hours but that data could be reset at any time. We could also get vehicle ownership records, accident records, and perhaps some maintenance records to ponder, but really it’s just a single number.

Do we have any aircraft mechanics in the audience? Determining service intervals on aircraft requires the number of hours combined with the number of take offs and landings just to get a rough idea.

Can you picture if your car recorded every hard stop or enthusiastic start? Used car shopping would be a sport for people good with spreadsheets, but even then, an experienced car dealer will still be able to find you the best deals.

Highway Mileage vs. City Mileage

Cars wear down relative to the number of hours they’re run and the type of work they’re made to perform. If a car has spent most of its life on highways, the mechanical components will likely be in better condition than a car that has spent its life in the city. That’s because highway driven cars don’t do a lot of breaking, gearing or other mechanical actions when compared to city cars.

What are high kilometers for a car? That depends on how the car has been driven.

Even if a car has spent all its life in the city, that doesn’t mean it’s in worse shape than a highway driven car. If a car is well maintained, if it goes to the service station regularly and if worn down parts are replaced, the car’s life can be extended nearly indefinitely. A well maintained car with 200,000 km can out-perform a poorly maintained car with only 100,000 km.

Automotive Maintenance History Matters!

What are high kilometers for a car? That depends on how well the car has been maintained.

But what about the number itself? What about the kilometers?  Because it’s been on the road longer, a car with high mileage has had more opportunities to wear down. It’s more likely to have been in an accident. It may have rusted. There might be a part that acts up in that particular model after a period of time. But despite popular belief, the kilometers on a car can’t tell you anything about the car’s actual condition.

What is high mileage for a car?
A Model T Ford; high mileage and still going strong.

You still see old Volkswagen bugs on the road. Visit a classic car club and you’ll find Model T Fords, vintage Mustangs and old war era Buicks. These cars have been lovingly driven for generations. Some are so old they don’t even have odometers. But that doesn’t matter, because the kilometers aren’t what’s important; it’s how the car is maintained that counts.

If you’re looking to purchase a used car and you aren’t sure about its maintenance history, you may want to first consider the brand. Some car brands are more reliable than others when it comes to mileage. Forbes released a list of cars that can reliably run over 200,000 miles.

Some of the recommended car brands include:

Inspect Prior To Purchasing

When you inspect a used car with high kilometers, first take a look around for wear and tear. Check the bumpers. Look around the leading edge for rust. Check the seat for collapsed cushions or worn bolsters. If you see any red flags, make a note and ask.

If nothing jumps out at you, next make sure it has been properly documented for maintenance. The car should have been inspected by a licensed mechanic. If it hasn’t, you might want to pass on the vehicle. If it has passed a vigorous inspection, it is probably going to run just fine.

Used White 2014 VW Tiguan for sale in Victoria
Galaxy Motors only sells proven, well documented vehicles

At Galaxy Motors, we don’t sell any vehicles without performing a complete 155 point inspection and a CarProof inspection first. If a used car doesn’t pass an inspection at our licensed service station, it is sent to the wholesaler. By screening all used cars before we sell them, we ensure our stock is always of the highest quality.

Shop for Used Vehicles with confidence!

With our volume of vehicles we cannot afford to be buying or selling vehicles that aren’t a great value. We wouldn’t be going strong after 25 years of business in BC if we didn’t respect the confidence our clients place in our team. View our entire selection of used cars & trucks.

UPDATED STATS: Nov. 2016 Average Used Car Mileage

With a big thanks to, our automotive feed provider, we’ve been able to compile a rather in-depth view of vehicle mileage statistics from all the local brands dating back over 32 years!

That said, no data is perfect, and we’re pretty sure some of the dealers weren’t hiring salespeople who were sticklers for details, especially given some of the million+ kilometer vehicles we had to disqualify.

Too much used vehicle mileage data!

We were a littlelot surprised by how much data there was after getting the averages! We wanted to get it ALL in here but it would have been over 13 pages!

When you get lemons, make lemonade! Here’s the data, but we built it into a little tool so you can quickly just look at the vehicles you’re shopping for/selling!



Average Mileage for Island Owned Used Vehicles in 2016

What if we could get the average mileage difference between 2015 and 2016 vehicles that were handled in the last year? Wouldn’t that be a handy number to know?

In 2016 the average used vehicle mileage for 1 year was just over 15,000 kms.

We’ve pulled the average mileage trends for 2015-1984 and put them in the following table:


Keep in mind the data above is very specific to Victoria/Vancouver Island used cars & trucks, so if you’re shopping locally for used vehicles, this is the information you need.

Highest Mileage Used Cars/Trucks

We didn’t stop at making little widgets to save you some time hunting, we also realized some folks would want to know what the highest mileage vehicles on Vancouver Island are!

2016Chrysler300 Touring178,897
2010DodgeRam 3500483,397
2009HyundaiSanta Fe786,123
2006DodgeRam 3500382,000
2004FordF-250 SD402,420
2003GMCSierra 2500HD856,004
2002DodgeRam 1500452,593
2001FordF-250 SD591,487
2000GMCSierra 2500595,660
1995International4700 T444e417,046
1994ChevroletSilverado 1500495,000
1985DodgeGrand Caravan217,874

We’re hoping to get more data like this for our readers. Stay tuned, follow us on social media, signup for our newsletter, and/or check back often!

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