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How much is 20k mileage worth...?

I’m looking at two cars: a 2009 Honda Fit Sport with 35k miles for $16,500 OTD, and a 2007 Fit Base with 52k miles for $13,200 OTD. I’d prefer to go for the cheaper option, but I don’t want to be cutting corners I’ll regret later. So, question is: is the 20k miles less on the 09 worth $3,300 more or not? I know it’s an upgraded model with extra features, but those don’t matter to me. I won’t be doing more than 10k per year myself; is this one of the times when mileage makes a big difference in reliability, or is that extra not a big concern?


Give me a car with 20K more mileage with proper maintenance over a car with minimal or little maintenance any day!

Maintenance is the big factor not mileage. Too bad it is not as easy to measure maintenance, but that is why you should have any car you are considering buying checked out by YOUR mechanic.

The model year is worth more than the mileage difference in market price. And this many miles will not make much difference in reliability. Just be aware that the '07 will require maintenance sooner than the '09 due to age and mileage. Again, I agree with Joseph, and would opt for the car with documented maintenance, although neither should have very much at this point. Oil and filter changes should be the list so far.

I’m not sure about the timing belt interval on the Fit, but if it is 100K miles or 8 years whichever comes first; you are 1/2 way there with the '07 on miles and 1/2 way there on time too at 8 year intervals. You may need tires sooner on the '07. Also, the '07 is close to needing brake work, and the brake fluid should have been changed at about the 3 year old mark and many folks skip this service. Expect to pay more for maintenance on the '07 just due to the extra years and miles.

I’d negotiate the price of the '09 and see if you can get some reduction. If not, the '07 still has a lot of life in it. See if you can document via service receipts the service history of the two cars. Look for oil changes every 5 to 7K miles and transmission fluid changes in particular. The car with the most complete record of proper service has the advantage.

I went to for appraisal values. If the '09 Fit had 57K miles (instead of 35K) it would reduce the value about $850.

The Sport model in '09 was valued at $1,200 over the base model.

Combine the higher level model, lower miles, 2 years newer, and updated model the price difference seems reasonable.

According to the '09 with 35K miles has a high mileage adjustment of -$860. That puts the dealer price at about $14,500 in my area. I think the asking price of $16,5K is too high. It would have to be an “outstanding” condition car and the mileage puts it a “clean” in my opinion.

$13,2K for a base model '07 with 52K miles is too high as well. A dealer price should be about $10,8K and if it a Honda Certified Used car with warranty, $11,500.

I find Edmunds values to be very close to reality. NADA blue book prices are generally much higher which is why dealers use them when they attempt to justify their high prices. Arm yourself with printed copies of the Edmunds values as you negotiate a better price.

Mute point on timing belts.

Honda got a clue and uses Timing Chains on all 4 cylinders 2005+ and even some models in prior years.

Take both on a long test drive before you make your decision. The 2009 is going to have slightly more horsepower than the 07, and the Sport has slightly better handling than the base model. Look at the Consumer Reports road test highlights for both models to see what I’m talking about. Then, you have to consider resale value, as well, unless you’re certain that you’re going to run this car into the ground.


Thanks for the replies. They’re both certified models, and the pricing is including all taxes and fees. The 07 carfax is registering 3 owners, and was actually bought August 06, so although the pricing is better, I’m leaning away from it. The 09 is a 1-owner car, at least.