What is the Best Mileage at Which to Sell Your Car?

If you are looking to sell your second-hand car but are not sure when, then mileage is of course one of the things you will want to keep an eye on. Vehicles are assets that depreciate, and this is a process normally associated with the age of a car. Combined with mileage, these are the two most important factors in determining just how a car decreases in value over time. Yet whereas a car’s value depreciates with age according to a curve (for example, decreasing very sharply at first and then less so as time goes on), with mileage it is all about milestones (no pun intended). Basically, certain mileage figures at which a car normally takes a sudden drop in value.

Of course, if you sell through a reputable dealership such as Cash for Cars in San Diego, then it is perfect possible to fetch the best price for your car regardless of whether it’s a year-old or a junked model with 150,000 miles on the clock. A reputable dealership with nationwide market access can always find a buyer, and with resources enough for easy restoration, the car can be sold for the maximum price. This is a profit that can ultimately be passed on to you. 

Nevertheless, there’s no denying that a car will fetch more if it has fewer miles on the clock. Indeed, it’s generally accepted that a high mileage can put a buyer off even if the car is in perfect running order. An awareness of just how mileage affects a car’s value will help you make the best decision regarding when to upgrade your wheels. And if you’re selling your car in San Diego or Southern California, then a reputable car dealership can guarantee the very best price for the mileage of the car you bring in. 

Here follows a list of mileage numbers to keep in mind. It is typically at these numbers that you can expect a drop in value. By anticipating when your car will depreciate, you can get the most use out of it and then sell it before that depreciation occurs. 


The threshold for mileage depreciation – and the point at which some people first think about selling their car – is around 10,000 miles. Before this, it is the age which will depreciate a car far more than the mileage. Up to 30,000 miles, however, people only really think about selling their car if owning the latest models is a constant priority.


The reason this mileage bracket is important is that it is at this point that you can expect a car to begin to run into some issues that require maintenance or otherwise fixing. Cars are normally serviced for the first time when then mileage is at this level, and there is a significant drop in value as a result. 


At this point, you will have got a great deal of use out of your car, but you won’t need to worry about a total breakdown if you service it regularly. This is probably the best time to sell if value for money is what you have prioritized from the start. The car can still fetch a decent price and be in working order, and it will have seen a great deal of use too. 


Over 100,000 miles is the last point at which your car will see a significant drop in value. Beyond this threshold, the car will be considered old and near the end of its life. If selling was your plan all along, 100,000 is certainly a little too late.


As a mechanical engineer turned blogger, Charlie provides readers with a technical, yet accessible look into the world of automotive engineering and design. His insightful posts make complex car technologies understandable.