Old cars with over 100,000 miles are worth real money now


That wasn’t really true for decades, but it’s especially untrue now. Used car prices have recently spiked due to a combination of demand from consumers reluctant to take public transit and a major shortage of computer chips needed to make new cars. This overheated market is driving up prices, even for cars and trucks with six-figure mileage.

Historically, even when used car prices have risen overall, prices for cars beyond the 100,000 mile mark haven’t moved as much. But that is certainly not the case this year.

Last summer, the average used vehicle with between 100,000 and 110,000 miles on the odometer was worth about $12,700, according to Edmunds.com. It was just a few dollars more than it had been worth the year before. This year, that same type of vehicle would be worth about $16,500, an increase of about 30% in value.

Today’s cars and SUVs can regularly survive for at least 200,000 miles. So a well-maintained vehicle with just over 100,000 miles should have a long useful life. It may show some wear and given its age it won’t have the latest technology and safety features, but there’s still plenty of time to take someone around town.

“At the time, it was like ‘One hundred thousand miles? You’re stuck,’ whereas today might be ‘My phone won’t connect because it’s too old,'” said Ivan Drury, data analyst at the auto pricing website. Edmunds.com.

Trucks show the largest increases, which is true among used vehicles of all ages and mileages. Average values ​​for Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup trucks with over 100,000 miles have risen nearly 50% to $27,000, while Ford F-150s of the same age are now worth around $26,000, a 43% increase . (This is the retail value of used vehicles – in other words, the price at which a dealer could sell these trucks. An owner selling the vehicle directly to another person or to a dealership should not s expect to get as much.)

This kind of increase is not limited to these high mileage vehicles. Trucks, cars and SUVs of all ages are going up in value, according to data from Edmunds.com. Part of the reason is that prices were only slightly depressed, or at least flat, a year ago at the height of the coronavirus lockdowns. However, this mainly has to do with the increase in the current demand for cars. Average prices for used vehicles, overall, have increased by about 27% since last year.

For cars and trucks that are further than 100,000 miles threshold, the increase in value is less but it is still remarkable. For example, vehicles with just over 150,000 miles have increased by 25% in average value over the past year. Again, this compares to a very small increase in value normally.

Cars that have done 100,000 miles but less than 110,000 are on average 7.5 years old, according to Edmunds.com. That’s still well below the average for all passenger vehicles on US roads, according to research by IHS Markit. According to the latest report from IHS Markit, the average car, light truck or SUV you drive today is just over 12 years old. (The average vehicle age rose slightly last year due to a lack of new vehicle sales during the pandemic, according to the consultancy.)

“No matter your age or your mileage, your vehicle is probably worth more than you thought,” Drury said.

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