Psychological benefits to selling under a certain mileage?

We’re thinking of selling our 95 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It has really low miles (88.5k) for its age. Is there validity to selling it now, before it hits 90k, in hopes of getting more for it, either through private sale or trade-in? Basically the same reason stores mark things $1.99 vs $2.00?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

1500 miles won’t make any difference in the value of this 15-year-old vehicle.

The mileage on the car isn’t that big a deal, the fact it is 15 years old is the main factor. Nothing magic happens at 90K, perhaps over 100K would have some psychological impact.

It is low miles and that adds a few hundred dollars to the book value over average cars. What kind of shape is the body? Interior? Can you provide a complete maintenance history with receipts? These factors can have as much and more impact than miles on the odometer.

If you are ready to sell it for something else, now is a good time. Dealers are dealing and if you live in a cold winter climate the end of Feb. is going to find dealers eager to make sales. When spring hits showrooms get busy and the deals get worse.

Go to and look up the TMV “true market value” for your car. 15 year old cars are always taken by dealers to car auctions. Don’t expect a big trade in value from a dealer. You’ll be better off selling it yourself.

Sorry if I was unclear. I understand it won’t add actual value - I meant more perceived value, from a buyer’s perspective. Again, much like $1.99 is really NOT substantially less than $2.00, it SEEMS like less.

So my question is less, can I get more money for it, and more, would it sell faster and/or generate more interest with less than 90k miles?


Trade in is irrelevant, value is indifferent due to miles.

I would not use this(psych) as any factor in an incentive to sell the vehicle quicker. Sell it when you need to.

Your major blockade is the vehicle is 15 years old not mileage.

To a dealer, for a trade-in; no psychological impact. Dealers are business people who deal in numbers. They are looking at profit. They will offer you about $1,000 because they are pretty sure it will sell for around that at auction.

To an average Joe in a private sale; yes your car will get some consideration over other Jeep Grand Cheerokees. Not much, but some. Other aspects of the car will get or lose the sale. Low mileage will get a few more lookers.

We all “overvalue” our cars. I do it with my own cars. The market for cars is brutally honest. If you expect more than $2,000 for your low mileage Jeep GC SUV perhaps you are the one psychologically impacted by the low miles, not prospective buyers. The market for full size, low mpg, SUV’s isn’t strong now.

For a private sale only, I’d guess the 100,000-mile mark, but not the 90,000-mile mark, may have a bit of this effect, but not enough to justify selling the car early if you’re not otherwise ready to sell it.

Car value depreciation works a little like maintenance. It is based on mileage or age, whichever comes first. At this age, your vehicle’s depreciation is more heavily influenced by age than mileage. Excessive mileage can reduce value of your vehicle faster than a comparable vehicle without excessive mileage, but it doesn’t work the other way around. Lower than average mileage doesn’t add any value to the vehicle, despite what the salesman might tell you.

So, no, you should not base your decision on when to let go of this vehicle based on some arbitrary amount of mileage. You should base this decision on the vehicle’s overall condition and your needs.

Wont’ make one bit of difference.

I have a friend who “flips” used cars and according to him 100,000 miles is a cutoff point for a lot of people. It’s when a car officially is old in people’s minds. In addition, many banks wont finance a used car with more than 100,000 miles, so they can be tougher to sell.

The Jeep is old enough that you won’t get a lot for it anyway. The mileage premium is a bit over $600.