How to Sell a High-Mileage Car

Written by Danny Collins
Last updated: July 6, 2023

Selling a high-mileage car can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be a successful endeavour. In the United Kingdom, a high-mileage car is typically considered to have close to 100,000 miles or more on the odometer. Many potential buyers may be concerned about the impact of mileage on the vehicle’s condition and reliability. However, by following some essential steps and considering important factors, you can increase your chances of selling your high-mileage car at a fair price.

How Can Mileage Affect a Car?

Car dashboard showing MPH and total mileage

Before delving into the process of selling a high-mileage car, it’s important to understand how mileage can impact a vehicle.

Over time, certain components of a car may require replacement or maintenance due to wear and tear caused by extensive use. Here are some key areas affected by mileage:

– Tyres: Tyres generally need to be replaced every 20,000 to 30,000 miles. Potential buyers will take into consideration the condition of the tyres when assessing the overall health of the car.

– Brake pads: Brake pads usually require replacement every 40,000 to 50,000 miles. Worn-out brake pads can affect the car’s stopping power and safety, which may deter potential buyers.

– Brake discs: Brake discs have a longer lifespan than brake pads, typically lasting between 80,000 and 120,000 miles. However, if your car has reached a high mileage, it’s essential to check the condition of the brake discs to ensure they are in good working order.

– Clutch: The clutch is another component that may require replacement, typically around 60,000 to 80,000 miles. A well-functioning clutch is crucial for smooth gear changes, and its condition will be of interest to potential buyers.

Understanding these potential maintenance requirements will help you address any concerns buyers may have and take appropriate action to prepare your car for sale.

Selling a High-Mileage Car

Now that we have discussed the impact of mileage on a car, let’s explore the steps to successfully sell a high-mileage vehicle in the UK:

1. Deep Clean Your Car

Deep cleaning car dashboard

First impressions matter when selling a car, so it’s crucial to present your vehicle in the best possible condition. Start by giving your car a thorough deep clean, both inside and out. Wash and wax the exterior, clean the windows, vacuum the interior, and address any odours. A clean and well-maintained car is more likely to attract potential buyers.

2. Ensure the Car is Fully Serviced

Car servicing

To instil confidence in potential buyers, it’s essential to have your high-mileage car fully serviced. Take your car to a trusted mechanic who can inspect the vehicle, perform necessary maintenance tasks, and address any mechanical issues. Providing potential buyers with a recent service history will give them peace of mind and demonstrate your commitment to maintaining the car’s condition.

3. Keep Your MOTs on Track

MOT testing centre

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) test is a legal requirement for vehicles in the UK to ensure their roadworthiness. Make sure your car has a valid MOT certificate, and stay on top of the renewal dates. A valid and up-to-date MOT certificate enhances your car’s marketability and assures buyers that it meets the necessary safety and environmental standards.

4. Conduct Basic Repairs on the Vehicle

Repairing a car engine

While major repairs may not be economically viable for a high-mileage car, addressing basic issues can significantly improve its appeal. Replace burnt-out bulbs, repair minor dents or scratches, and fix any non-functional features. These relatively inexpensive repairs can make a positive difference in attracting potential buyers.

5. Write Your Own Advert

Writing car advert

When creating your car’s advertisement, provide accurate and detailed information about the vehicle. Highlight its positive aspects, such as fuel efficiency, reliability, or any unique features it may have. Be transparent about the car’s mileage, service history, and any recent maintenance or repairs. Honesty is key in establishing trust with potential buyers.

6. Conduct Market Research for a Realistic Price

Woman on laptop conducting market research for selling car

Determining the right price for your high-mileage car is crucial for a successful sale. Conduct market research to gain insights into the prices of similar vehicles in your area. Consider factors such as the car’s make, model, age, condition, mileage, and any additional features. Pricing your car competitively will attract more interest from potential buyers.

7. Decide on Where to Sell Your Car

Close up of eBay app on smartphone screen, with eBay on desktop in background

When selling a high-mileage car, you have two primary options: selling privately or to a dealer. Private sales typically yield higher returns but require more effort in terms of advertising, arranging viewings, and negotiating with potential buyers. Selling to a dealer offers convenience and a quicker sale but may result in a lower price. Evaluate your priorities and choose the option that aligns with your needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

To address common concerns about high-mileage cars, here are some frequently asked questions:

 

Is high mileage on a vehicle always bad?

No, high mileage isn’t necessarily bad if the car has been well-maintained and serviced regularly. A comprehensive service history and a properly maintained vehicle can still provide reliable transportation.

 

Does the impact of high mileage differ depending on the vehicle?

Yes, the impact of high mileage can vary depending on the make, model, and overall condition of the vehicle. Some cars are known for their durability and can handle higher mileage better than others.

 

How much does mileage usually impact a car’s price?

Mileage does impact a car’s price, but the extent varies depending on other factors such as the car’s age, condition, service history, and demand in the market. Generally, higher mileage will result in a lower sale price, but a well-maintained high-mileage car can still hold value.

Conclusion

Selling a high-mileage car requires attention to detail, thorough preparation, and accurate pricing. By following the steps outlined in this guide and addressing potential concerns, you can increase your chances of successfully selling your high-mileage car in the UK. Remember to present your car in the best possible condition, provide accurate information, and engage with potential buyers in a transparent and honest manner. With the right approach, you can find a buyer who appreciates the value of your well-maintained high-mileage vehicle.