Car Mileage: How To Understand And Calculate It Based On Year Of Car.


Over the years of selling and advising clients on cars to buy, one statement we've always heard has been "I want a car with low mileage not more than 60,000miles" or you hear a client checking out a 2002 car with a mileage of about 90,000 miles and screaming "The mileage is too high I cant buy it"; these statements comes even when the client is searching for a a car over 15 years old from current year.
Today, we would like to briefly give understanding to our fans on how car mileages should read depending on the age of the car.

       In as much as we all love to see low mileages in pre-owned cars(either from the Americas, Europe or Used in Nigeria) when we are about to purchase them, its also great to understand that no one will buy a car brand new and then keep it un-driven for years waiting for you to come buy it. Meaning it will surely be driven by the first, second or/and even third owner depending on how many previous owners the vehicle has had before you came along. The trick here is understanding what the fair mileage should be depending on the age of the car.     
       So firstly, how do you know the age of a car? This is simple, most cars write their year of manufacture beside the drivers door either at the base or on the edge of the door panel itself on a white/black square laminated paper surface on this paper surface(See attached pictures), take note of where you have inscriptions like "07/10" meaning it was manufactured 7th month of  2010 or "02/04" meaning 2nd month(february) of 2004. You can also know the exact year by counting the to the 10th digit/alphabet from your right of the chasis number. From 2000 model cars to 2009 cars, the 10th digit reads the numbers 0 (2000 models) to 9 (2009 models); for instance, a 2004 model car will have the digit "4" as the 10th digit.
As for cars from 2010 upwards, they start with the Alphabet "Ä" for 2010 cars, "b"for 2011, "c" for 2012 and "D" for 2013 and so on. That said, you can simply ascertain the age of a car by counting its year of manufacture to the current year you are in e.g a 2002 car to current year would be regarded as an 11year old car(2013-2002=11) etc
Its important to state that this year of manufacture numbering pattern works mostly with cars from the USA, canadian and some european countries.

       According to popular statistics and the United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration; the average Annual(yearly) car drivers mileage in the USA/canadian region is about 13,000miles/annum( http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/bar8.htm ). Going strictly by this average mileage rating it means a car's mileage would be Cars-age multiplied by 13000miles. With this knowledge you now can understand why that 2003 car has a mileage of about 130,000 plus.
Now, you might be thinking or saying: "I've seen a 2001 car with a far lower mileages than what this pattern of mileage calculation should give me(156,000)". Obviously, this mileage rating doesn't cut across board as everyone won't use their cars the same way and the same amount of time. Hence, some cars will have lower mileages while others will have higher mileages. In light of this, we at ViperAutos will tell you to calculate and use a -+26000miles on whatever you see on the cars odometer to have a fair idea of the range the mileage should be at.
For instance, you want to buy a 2009 model car which is 3years old, hence should be at 39000miles with a strict calculation. Now, putting into consideration the possibility of its low or high usage depending on its former owner, we apply the +-26000miles rule to determine the mileage range our 2009 car should be sitting at will be between 13,000 - 65,000(-+39000).

So next time you are in search of a new car, go with this knowledge. Enjoy the road.  8)

NOTE: After the facts stated above, its important to state that a cars mileage is high doesn't mean the car is bad or dead; from experience its safe to say a good car is mostly determined by how well maintained(sound state) the engine and gears are and [b]not just[/b] how low or high the mileage is


- Viperman