In general, is it worth trying to maintain a vehicle that has more than 100,000 miles or are you better off with a newer car?

I am in the market for a used Toyota Camry. Most of them are over 100K miles. I’m undecided if it’s worth maintaining one with over 100K miles or not. I looked at 7 Camry’s so far and ran their carfax report using Chipmunk Fax. Their carfax reports looks clean and well maintained but I’m afraid to pull the trigger. Is it worth buying a Camry over 100K miles?

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Ye it is worth it but depends on the price and condition. Take the car that you like the most to an independent mechanic and for around $100 or so have them check it out. If taken care of the 100K mark is not a deal breaker.


I would say so. I have a 2005 Camry with 160k+ miles on it. My car is still going strong. Don’t forget that all cars that someone like us can buy, will eventually become nearly worthless. So would you rather turn less than $10,000 into nothing, or get a brand new 2020 Toytoa Camry for $25,000 and turn $25,000 into nothing.

The only thing you are buying by getting a newer car with less miles on it, is the “hassle free” and 'worry free" that the car was maintained properly. Buying a newer car may also make you “more happy” and if the cost is worth it to you, then get a newer one with less miles. There’s also the argument that you should “just buy new” if you are going to drive the car to 300,000 miles and beyond because in the end the cost is about the same. But you also have to consider on how many miles you are going to drive. If you drive about 10,000 miles a year for example, your 300,000 mile car will be 30 years old. You could still get more life out of it, but there are probably a lot more safety features in newer cars at that point, so you might get another car just because you “get tired” of putting money into a “old car”.

Don’t forget that it’s “just money” haha. So it’s totally up to you and your financial decision.

There’s also VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE people on here. So if you have to put in new break pads or other general maintenance tasks, it’s no big deal.

Brand new cars require maintenance.
Used cars require maintenance.
Depends on what bothers you, upholstery starts showing wear. AC and electronics may fail, on a new car the warranty covers that.
I got a Pinto as a second car with 100K plus miles. Drove it for four years, the only thing I did to it other than oil/coolant change, a timing belt.


It’s also important to remember that there’s nothing “magical” anymore about 100K miles on a vehicle. From what I understand, maybe 30-40 years ago a car was basically done at that many miles. However, for many made in the last 20-25 years, 100K miles is about half or less of a car’s useful life.

That’s not to say the number of expensive repairs doesn’t increase over time. But the reality is even brand new cars off the lot have problems sometimes. It all depends on your appetite for risk vs. cost to maintain.


Having been through it, for cars through the 1970’s the general wisdom was “Unload at 50,000 miles” but because of today’s vastly improved materials and assembly 100,000 miles simply expected and often exceeded. Much depends on how it was driven and maintained but remember that most cars at that mileage are pushing 10 years old and nothing lasts forever. Parts wear out, plastics degrade, rubber cracks and steel rusts.

For myself I have several cars over 150,000 miles and over 15 years old and running like a top BUT I bought them new, obsessively maintained them and can do most of the repair work myself which keeps the repair costs in line AND I have a much newer car that that I can use when I need complete reliability or when one of the other cars is being repaired.

So you need to do a personal inventory, of your own needs, abilities and finances.

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But, the absolutely most important factor is how well the car has been maintained.
My vehicle has been maintained better than is required by the mfr’s maintenance schedule, and as a result it remains problem-free at 105k miles. Even though I will probably treat myself to a new vehicle within the next year or two, I believe that my current vehicle would be likely to remain reliable–with little need for repairs–for many more years/miles.

break pads ? I would just as soon my pads did not break.

Several studies have shown that in /mi or /yr, older cars are almost never more expensive to drive than newer cars. The first year on a new car is almost always the most expensive year in the car’s life.

That being said, the age of a car you should buy vs the age of a car you should keep are two different calculations. A used car may well have an invisible problem that someone is trying to get rid of. In contrast, I know intimately the condition of my 250k mi daily driver, and I would not part with it.

The right car for you and the right car for your wife or daughter are two different calculations. A newer car is slightly (but only slightly) less likely to suffer an unexpected failure that leaves it stranded on the road at night. Cell phones have reduced that concern, but still, I try to keep my wife in a car with less than 100k miles on it. When her car hit 125k miles, I got her a ‘new’ off-lease car with 22k miles. She was still stranded once (she ran out of gas).

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Get a prepurchase inspection before you buy from a mechanic you trust. CarFax reports can be good, but they can also be misleading. Any dealer work will likely show up on the report, but other work may not. Look at mileage between the records. If oil changes aren’t listed, it could mean they weren’t reported, or it may mean they weren’t done. How do you know?

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+1 to jtsanders’ comments.
Personally, I wouldn’t buy a used car unless I was able to obtain hard copies of its maintenance record, which would be much more definitive than a CarFax report. But, whether those maintenance records are available or not, the OP needs to take the car to a trusted mechanic’s shop (NOT a chain-run operation such as Midas, Meineke, Monro, Sears, Pep Boys, Firestone, or AAMCO) for a pre-purchase inspection.


You are looking at used vehicles so why limit yourself to one brand and model . You could be passing up a vehicle that might be in great shape at a decent price.

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I smell Spam. First time poster with oddball link?


Oh yeah. I remember as a kid in the early 80’s, when the neighbors heard my dad’s Corolla had over 100k on it, they came over to look for themselves. They just couldn’t believe a car would run that long. Now you don’t start impressing people until at least 1/4 million miles. I tell people my '88 Mitsubishi truck has 202k on it, and they don’t even blink hard.

A.friend has over 300,000 miles on her 2007 Camry. I believe she bought it with 60k on it from the local Nissan dealer. Going for another 100,000 miles before getting a new one.

I have always bought 10 year old cars (Toyotas) and kept them for over 10 years. The last car I had was 24 years old when it needed an expensive repair and I decided to break the bank and buy newer.
I bought a 2015 Toyota Yaris (which is just like brand new to me) and my insurance went down. I was surprised. I was told it’s more expensive to insure older cars. Who knew?!

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Who told you that . Our vehicle full coverage reduces a little every year because the vehicle value is less . Also the claim rate and what age group drives a certain vehicle also makes a difference .


100,000 miles used to be a milestone (pun intended) for cars in the 50’s and 60’s. As car got better and better, 200,000 miles is the “new” 100K miles. Most well maintained cars will reach at least 150K without major expenditures. Many more will hit 200K. Really well cared for cars can reach 300 to 400K. Many posters here have reached those lofty miles.

And most experts agree it is cheaper to buy used and drive it until it drops.

If you are promoting Chipmunk Fax, stop posting that junk. If you aren’t, Welcome!


Never heard of it. It’s kinda fun to do a carfax on your own cars just to see what they say or know but I wouldn’t pay the $5 for it.

I think I’ve said in the past all there is to say about new vs. used if this is a real question. So you can do a search. I’ve done/do both and over the long run it doesn’t make any difference. Mostly what matters is if you have to pay someone for everything or not.

Don’t fall for the funny money new car comments though. Depreciation is just a bookkeeping principle and doesn’t cost anything if you don’t sell the car a few weeks later. Same as stock prices. You don’t lose or gain anything until you sell. Otherwise it’s just a score card. Most new cars will be worth about 50% in four years of use. A four year old car that you paid 50% for though will be worth another 50% after 4 years or 25% of new. Take your pick. It’s just math. Pay 100% or buy an 8 year old car for 25%.

I bet there’s a reduction in injury insurance, though, between a 2015 and a 1995. The safety features are so much better today that they’re less likely to be paying for catastrophic injuries.