Life Expectancy Of A Modern Car In Miles?

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Quoi | 07:30 Sat 18th May 2013 | Cars
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Have you driven a high mileage car - was it [email protected]?

I have been brought up to believe that 100,000 miles is the magic figure for the life expectancy of a car but I have driven a Volvo 740 with 175,000 as a daily runner and had no problems at all with it.


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Too many variable to be able to come up with numbers really, it depends on the history, type of car, petrol or diesel, whether regularly maintained, how it has been driven, size of engine etc.

I have had cars that were [email protected] with less than 100.000 and had cars that were still going strong with 200.000.
I tend to think a lot of cars are sent to an early death simply because you can't sell them on with high mileage even if they run perfectly due to sometimes misguided perception. i'm about to scrap a much loved car that drives like a dream with only 69K simply because no garage can get it through the emissions for MOT.
100,000 represents 10 years average driving, which is really no time at all for most cars. Some higher users could be clocking 100,000 on 04 to 06 plates now and they shouldn't be classed as old bangers. However it does make them harder to sell as the previous generation have created this mythical sell by date.

When grandad was driving he only went from home to work or to the seaside at the weekend. He lived nearer work anyway and had no school or supermarket runs to do, let alone long distance journeys. he was lucky if he clocked up 4,000 miles a year and his car took over 25years to travel 100,000 miles.

Nowadays the cars are built differently and designed for more miles yet we dispose of them much sooner.
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Maydup - I agree - although i think 12-15k per year is normal because people tend to travel further to work and for pleasure - so effectively a car is passed its 100k mark after 7-8 years.
In the BL days it would have rust holes and body falling off by then.
I wonder if the younger generation consider a car valueless after 100k?
Volvo does have a reputation for being more robust, as does any German make. All hold their price. Having said that, my 10-y-o Focus with 75k on the clock is still running well but is virtually worthless. Cars seem to be more affordable now. I notice my local Toyota dealer were offering new Avenses with as little as 1 mile on the clock for £7000 under list price. Reason was some were 2012 registered and the dealer was shown as first owner. You would be the second owner.
I had a Seat Toledo with 180000 on the clock. Drove like a dream. 50mpg. I have driven BMWs and Lexus which have done over 130000 which were great to drive. If they've been serviced regularly a car should do at least 150000, especially diesels.
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Absolutely Johnny - there are makes that are built better but these are the ones that cost more to repair if they go wrong.
Nowadays the death of a car is because of non economical repairs like particulate filters rather than engine or body death or high mileage.
Would you still buy a 200k car even if it was a BMW?
Depends how much they were asking for it, petrol or diesel, service history, annual mileage (I only do about 4k a year).
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Zacs - even if the price was 500 then the danger is that some non economic problem would crop up even if it had 12 months MOT. Thinking ECU or Clutch etc.
My view is the level of luxury for 12 months at 500 pounds is well worth it but lots of people just want new for mainly vanity reasons not reliability reasons as it used to be.
Up to the 1980/90s rust was the big killers of cars. Very few cars had body work that would last much over 10 years. Modern engines are good for at least 150,000 miles and if the bodywork is still good it can be economical to replace the entire engine with a reconditioned one. There are Landrovers for example that are on the 3rd or 4th engine and 250,000 to 500,000 miles.
As to particulate filters, I have a 2012 Zafira 1,7 diesel , if the particulate filter needs cleaning it can be done by removing it and heating it up in a special oven that burns off the residue. There is a warning light that tells you it need doing. Cost is minimal.
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Eddie - Land rovers are a bit of a special case because they are not seen as a 'throw away' car as a focus might be.
There are some cars from a recent era that are just thrown away through style rather than usability or repairability. Thinking if the different models of Mondeo for example - they were mass produced but where are the first model variants - you hardly see them - were they capable of 150k?
Correction to the last post. Under normal circumstances the particulate filter regenerates itself by injecting extra fuel , heating up and burning off the contamination, nothing more needs to be done. If it gets too bad to self regenerate (due to many short stop start journeys for example) it can be replaced at a cost of £250.
Quoi, I'm not sure I agree with your clutch/ filter argument but I 100% agree with you on the level of luxury argument. I drove an 8 year old BMW 535 tiptronic which was ultra comfortable and very quick, likewise a Lexus LS400 which was like sitting in your front room. You could drive 500 miles in a day and not feel the least bit tired. Both cars did around 32mpg, so not bad.
Meant to say, I think both cars were around £6k, which was probably a fifth of their original price.
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Zacs - with the clutch / filter issue I was thinking modern car dual mass clutch could set you back over 500 and with a few other consumables like tyres / exhaust you may be tempted to go buy another £500 car with 12 months MOT and dump the first one.
Agree totally on the Lexus - lovely car.
Quoi, You mention Mondeo's and the like, remember that a lot of these type of cars start life as a rep or hire car, they can easily have 100,000 miles plus within a couple of years.
I agree with what you say. Until last year when my wife qualified for a Motability car ( the Zafira) I always had 'old bangers'
Never paid more than £400 for any car, most a lot less. One of my best buys was a Ford Grenada Scorpio 2,3 litre that I paid £25 for . When I looked inside I found a valid £15 voucher for the local wine shop , that I spent. Then when I filled up the fuel tank I realised that there must have been around £40 worth of petrol in it when I bought it for £25. I drove it with no problems for 6 months until it had an electrical failure in the engine management system. I phoned the scrap yard who came and picked it up and paid me £75 scrap value . That's what I call cheap motoring !
In 2007, I bought a Honda Accord Aerodeck (1996 P reg) with 93K on the clock, for £990. I got £200 part-ex for it a few months ago, with 230K on the clock. I has cost me a total of less than £1000 in maintenance, MOTs, etc. over the last 6 years and the only reason I got rid was because of a fault on the airbag system - warning light = MOT failure and not worthwhile rectifying.
Lovely car to drive.
I bought a 1 owner Mondeo, from someone called Godfrey Davis .
I would have disconnected the warning light nescio !

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