Is Buying a Car with 200k Miles Bad? The Facts

Europe has an average age of the vehicles at 11.5 years, and the US has an average age of a vehicle at around 12 years. A car is driven 12,000 to 15,000 miles on average every year. This means that used cars will have mileage between 150,000 to 200,000.

In this article, we’ll see that is buying a car with 200k miles bad? What are its risks and potential upsides?

Is Buying a Car with 200k Miles Bad?

Buying a car with 200k miles can never be a great decision. It’s either bad or not too bad. It is bad to buy a car with 200k miles if its average life expectancy is 150,000 miles. But if a car has an average life span of 300k miles or above, then it might not be such a bad decision.

The first and foremost factor to consider before buying a car with 200k miles is its manufacturer. Japanese and some American brands are known to make lasting cars with mileages even going beyond 500k miles. So, if you buy such a car, then you might get another 200k or 300k miles out of it.

Another important factor is the physical condition of the car. Some cars are maintained well as opposed to others. Let alone 200k miles, you should not buy a car with 50k miles if it isn’t maintained well. But it becomes more important while buying a 200k miles car.

Also read: 10 Cars Under $20K that Look Like They’re for $50K+

What are the Risks of Buying a Car with 200k Miles?

There are a lot of risks associated with buying a car with 200k miles, some of these risks are listed below:

  • Wear and Tear of the Machinery:

This happens to any machinery on the earth. When its life progresses, the wear and tear on the parts increase. You would have to replace these parts one after another. Following are some of the most common parts that you’ll have to replace not too late after buying a car with 200k miles along with their replacement cost.

  1. Timing Belt – $500
  2. Clutch Plates – $400
  3. Alternator – $900
  4. Spark Plugs – $150
  5. Fuel Pump – $750
  6. Brake Pads – $300
  7. Suspension – $3,500
  8. Water Pump – $550
  9. Starter Motor – $1,110
  10. Engine Seals – $1,800
  11. Transmission – $2,800
  • Engine Overheating:

Most of the old cars run into the problem of overheating. It is mainly due to clogged radiators and faulty water pumps. Overheating is serious trouble, as it can lead to a seized engine as well. It will cost you between $1,500 and $2,000 to get rid of this issue.

  • Poor Fuel Economy:

There isn’t much you can do about this except mixing additives into your fuel or upgrade your intake and exhaust system. Old cars have slightly lower fuel mileage, and you will have to live with this fact.

  • Safety Features:

Since older cars are based on older tech, so chances are they might not have the latest safety features installed. Or may have other issues like problematic brakes or opened airbags. Do consider such risks before buying a car with 200k miles.

Why Buying a Car With 200k Miles Might be a Good Idea?

Although it isn’t a great thought to buy a car with 200k miles, for some reasons it might be a good idea for you:

  • Less Initial Cost:

A comparison between the initial cost of cars driven 50k, 100k, and 200k miles was made. The results showed an immense decrease in the value of cars that were driven 200k miles. So, if you are low on budget then there is nothing to worry about, you can easily buy a car with 200k miles.

Trending Video: How to Easily Bring Back to Life any Old Car Battery and Save Tons of Money (click to watch)

  • Low Insurance Cost:

Older cars have low insurance rates in comparison to newer models. Especially with a 200k miles driven car, you would find a significant decrease in insurance rates. The insurance cost of a car with 200k miles is approximately 25-30% less compared to new ones.

  • Slow Depreciation:

The curve of depreciation starts becoming flat as the years go by. A car with 200k miles has been around for 10-15 years. In these starting years, it has already lost the prime of its value. Now if you purchase such a car then there isn’t much to lose in terms of depreciation.

Also read: Is it Worth Buying a Nissan with over 100K Miles?

The Cost of Owning a Car with 200k Miles vs a Car with under 100k Miles

Cost of ownership is the combination of four things which include the maintenance, insurance, fuel, and depreciation cost. Two out of these four costs show a positive trend for older cars and two show a negative trend.

The maintenance and fuel costs of a car usually increase as time passes. Especially after 200k miles, the problem frequency of a car increase too much and it has to spend a lot of time in the workshop. Similarly, the engine gets weaker, deposits compromise its performance and efficiency. As a result, its fuel costs are increased.

On the other hand, the insurance rates and depreciation costs are decreased. Depreciation is not a direct cost, rather it is a cost of investment. Or the time value of money your investment has lost over the course of time. Older cars have very slow depreciation.

The following illustration shows a comparison between the cost of ownership for a car with 200k miles against a car with 100k miles:

How to Buy a Car with 200k Miles that Won’t Have Problems in the Future?

It is a very difficult decision to buy a car with 200k miles on it. Still, if you are short on money or you like a car so much that you have to buy it, then you must keep following things in your mind before purchasing it:

  1. The Newer the Better

The average mileage of yearly driving is 12,000 miles. But some cars are driven way more than that. Drivers that work for delivery agencies or carpool services drive 40,000 or 50,000 miles each year. They reach the 200k miles mark very soon. So, look for a car that is fairly newer, even if it is driven 200k miles.

  1. Look for Well-Maintained Cars

Whenever buying a used car asked for full-service history. Prefer those cars which are maintained through authorized dealerships. Well-maintained cars tend to pose a lesser number of problems and have a longer lifespan.

  1. Known Faults Resolved

Every car has some known defects which arise after 5-6 years. When you are going to purchase a car older than that, make sure you have read about its known defects. Look for cars in which those known faults have been resolved already.

Also read: 10 Best Mercedes Cars Under $10k (Good Condition)

What are the Most Reliable Cars with 200k Miles?

Following are the most reliable cars with 200k miles.


  1. Honda Accord
  • One of the most reliable sedans of all time.
  • It scored 4.5 out of 5 for reliability.
  • Last up to 300k miles.
  • 2% cars reaching over 200k miles.
  1. Toyota Camry
  • 1.5% cars reaching over 200k miles.
  • The average annual repair cost is $388.
  • Comfortable ride, quiet cabin, and great fuel economy.
  • Legacy of 40 years continued.
  1. Toyota Prius
  • 1.5% cars reaching over 200k miles.
  • Only 6.8% of owners reported a problem in the first year of operation.
  • Hybrid powertrain and smooth drive.
  • Ample cargo space and standard safety features.


  1. Toyota Sequoia
  • 6.6% cars reaching over 200k miles and 0.6% reaching over 300k miles.
  • Toyota Sequoia has a predicted reliability score of 81 out of 100.
  • The average annual repair cost is $642.
  • Excellent resale value.
  1. Ford Expedition
  • 5.4% cars reaching over 200k miles.
  • Ford Expedition has a predicted reliability score of 75 out of 100.
  • High-performing and reliable engine.
  1. Toyota 4Runner
  • 4.2% cars reaching over 200k miles and 0.3% reaching over 300k miles.
  • Toyota 4Runner has a predicted reliability score of 81 out of 100.
  • It scored 4.0 out of 5 for reliability.
  • The most reliable Toyota 4Runner model year from the fourth generation is 2008.

Pickup Trucks

  1. Toyota Tundra
  • 2.2% cars reaching over 200k miles.
  • Toyota Tundra is one of the most reliable trucks on the market
  • The 2022 Toyota Tundra has a predicted reliability score of 86 out of 100.
  • The best years for the Toyota Tundra are 2013, 2014 and 2015
  1. Honda Ridgeline
  • 2.2% cars reaching over 200k miles.
  • Honda Ridgeline has a predicted reliability score of 78 out of 100.
  • You can expect between 250,000-300,000 miles from your Honda Ridgeline truck.
  1. Toyota Tacoma
  • 2.6% cars reaching over 200k miles.
  • Tacoma has a predicted reliability score of 81 out of 100.
  • Toyota Tacoma earns a score of 3.5 out of 5.0 for its reliability.

What are the Least Reliable Cars with 200k Miles?

Following are the least reliable cars with 200k miles:


  1. Mercedes A-Class
  • Reliability rating: 84.8%.
  • 31% of cars reported a major problem.
  1. Alfa Romeo Giulia
  • Reliability rating: 83.1%.
  • 45% of problems took more than a week to repair, and 28% caused total breakdowns.
  1. Audi Q5
  • Reliability rating: 76.7%
  • Owners spent as much as $1,800 for remedial work.


  1. Range Rover
  • Reliability rating: 81.5%.
  • 31% of Range Rovers reported a problem with engine, bodywork, and interior trim.
  1. Peugeot 2008
  • Reliability rating: 81.8%.
  • 63% couldn’t be driven because of any problems
  1. Subaru Ascent
  • Consumer Reports gave it a predicted reliability rating of 18 out of 100.
  • It had gear shifting problems.

Pickup Trucks

  1. Chevy Silverado
  • It ranks at a 3.5 out of 5.
  • The 2015 year model is one of the worst ones you can buy.
  1. Ram 2500HD
  • The Dodge Ram 2500 Reliability Rating is 2.5 out of 5.0.
  • It has a very high maintenance cost of $1,075.
  1. Nissan Frontier
  • It has been ranked 19th in overall reliability out of 26 Nissan models.
  • It has serious transmission and engine concerns.