Knowing Key Vehicle Milestones

When purchasing inventory, you need to take steps to minimize your risk. One of the easiest and most important things you can do is to check and evaluate the mileage of the vehicles before your purchase.

Generally speaking, there are several key mileage milestones that will usually require heavy servicing. When you purchase vehicles that hover around these milestones, you will need to determine if the car has been serviced or not, and factor that into your purchasing process. According to Edmunds, there are three key milestones that you should be aware of.

Milestone 1: 35,000 miles


After the first 35,000 miles, most vehicles will require some sort of major servicing. This can include a break change, fuel filter change, etc. The fixes found at this milestone will generally cost a couple hundred dollars. If the car you are looking to purchase has not been serviced fully, you can use that as leverage to try to secure a lower price.

Milestone 2: 70,000 miles


On average after another 35,000 miles, a major maintenance check is required. Fixes at the second milestone are usually more expensive than the first. Required maintenance could include replacing belts, spark plugs, valves/hoses, etc. Fixes that fall in this milestone are essential, and avoiding something like replacing the timing belt, can cause larger issues for the entire engine.

Be wary of vehicles in this mileage range when looking for inventory as there could be underlying issues that were not previously taken care of properly.

Milestone 3: 100,000 miles and beyond


At 100,000 miles, vehicle pricing generally drops significantly. Although most cars today can run well over 100,000 with great maintenance, there is a lower perceived value when vehicles hit this milestone. Heavy maintenance is most likely required again at this point. This could include motor mounts, an axel fix, etc.

Vehicles generally need servicing every 30,000 to 40,000 miles, and you can use this knowledge to your advantage when purchasing and selling vehicles. Being aware of these milestones and types of fixes can help your dealership grow in the long run as you can strategically position your inventory based on this knowledge.

December 1, 2016 | Paul Kan