What Is Good Mileage for a Used Truck? Get Value for Money

What is good mileage for a used truck?” is a question that pops up whenever you want to get value for money. After all, you don’t want to spend huge on purchasing a used truck only to realize that it is almost breaking down.

An Article About Ideal Mileage For a Used Truck

However, deciding on the best mileage on a used truck is more nuanced than it is, as it involves a lot of factors. In the next paragraphs, we’ll decide what mileage is best for a used truck and tell you how to get value for money.

What Is Good Mileage for a Used Truck?

A good mileage for a used truck will depend on several factors because of the differences between the various car makes and models. However, you can follow general guidelines such as low, average, and high mileage, as well as maintenance and car condition.


You should also consider what you intend to use the truck for, the price of the truck and the service records to help you make an informed decision. Purchasing used trucks can be costly; thus, you need to make a wise choice to avoid future regrets.

Low Mileage Trucks

As a rule of thumb, low mileage should be the first factor to consider when purchasing a truck. This is because trucks with low mileage means that they have suffered less wear and tear; therefore, they have stronger components. It also means that the driver might have driven for a long time; thus, the vehicle has an extended lifespan. Also, low-mileage trucks don’t require huge maintenance costs as the parts and fluids are relatively new.

Three Trucks Parked By the Road

Purchasing a low-mileage truck helps you to save money in the short term and improve the resale value of the car. You can have better bargaining power when you meet with someone who wants to purchase the truck. Since many buyers are looking for trucks with low mileage, you’re likely to make a better bargain. Also, it grants peace of mind, knowing that you don’t have to worry about aging components, and the vehicle is less likely to experience unexpected breakdowns.

Trucks that are considered low mileage are usually below 12,000 miles per year or 1,000 miles per month. These trucks are usually in good condition, barring cases where their former owners were careless and didn’t maintain them properly. Also, some parts of low-mileage trucks might still be under warranty, which might save you money when they get damaged. However, ensure you check the history of the truck before you purchase it to avoid surprises.

Average Mileage Trucks

If you don’t get low mileage, the next best mileage you should consider is average mileage. Now, the average mileage falls between 12,000 miles and 15,000 miles per year, but this would depend on the make and model of the car. Average mileage trucks are usually in good condition, especially if they were maintained well. They may also have balanced wear and tear because they may not have been used excessively.

If you’re on a budget, then average-mileage trucks may be the right choice because they’re cheaper than lower-mileage vehicles. If you’re lucky, you might even get a reliable and durable vehicle for a good price. Also, average-mileage trucks are more common than lower-mileage ones; thus, you’ll have a wide range of vehicles to choose from. This gives you the fine opportunity to get the specific truck you always wanted.

A Row Of Different Trucks Beside Each Other

Average-mileage trucks also retain their value better over time; thus, you can resell or trade them in later. Their maintenance history can be an advantage as you’ll be familiar with most of the problems the car has had and how the previous owner solved them.

Moreover, average-mileage trucks are very versatile and can be used to commute, tow, or even carry out recreational activities. Note that an average-mileage truck that is well-maintained and driven with care may have more value than a carelessly driven and poorly maintained lower-mileage car.

Higher Mileage Trucks

Higher-mileage trucks are cheaper compared to lower and average-mileage vehicles. The reason is that they might have lost their market value owing to several factors. Sellers will be more willing to sell these trucks for a song. Thus, you’ll save a huge amount of money upfront whenever you purchase them.

However, the downside is that you’ll spend more money to maintain and fix the body parts that frequently get damaged. If you intend to use the truck heavily, then a higher-mileage vehicle might be a better option. You don’t have to worry about adding more mileage because the vehicle is already at or close to the mileage pinnacle. Also, you don’t have to be bothered about maintaining the resale value of the car, as the truck is almost at its life’s end.

A High Mileage Record on Truck_s Odometer

Higher-mileage trucks can be more reliable if the previous owner maintained and frequently fixed the problems that came up. However, you should inspect the vehicle thoroughly before paying for it to detect potential problems. Also, have a budget for repairs, as most higher-mileage trucks have mechanical problems due to wear and tear of components. You can also purchase an extended warranty to help you cover the costs of repairs.

Maintenance and Condition of the Car

As we’ve already mentioned, assessing the maintenance history and current condition of the truck would help you make a fine decision. If the car has a poor maintenance history, purchasing it would bring untold mechanical problems and financial constraints.

Also, the car might end up spending most of the time at the workshop, making you lose value on your investment. We recommend that you go with a trusted mechanic to assess the truck you intend to purchase. The mechanic will perform a thorough inspection to ensure the car won’t be a financial strain when you finally buy it.

What Are the Factors Affecting the Mileage of a Used Truck?

The factors affecting the mileage of a used truck include the engine size and type, make and model, transmission, drive type, maintenance and driving habits. Other factors are tire size and type, truck weight and load, and aerodynamics. You can also contact the EPA  for the vehicle’s expected fuel efficiency.

Engine Size and Type

The type of engine and its size affect the mileage of a used truck. For example, diesel engines are more fuel-efficient than gasoline engines; thus, they have better mileage. Due to their fuel-efficiency characteristics, diesel engines may have higher upfront costs than their gasoline counterparts. However, all this boils down to demand, as more people prefer fuel-efficient engines to cut down costs.

Side View Of Truck_s Engine

Also, smaller engines usually have better mileage than bigger ones because the bigger ones consume more fuel. Bigger engines have better horsepower, run faster and generally perform more functions than smaller ones. Hence, they require more fuel to work efficiently compared to small ones, even if they belong to the same brand.

Vehicle Make and Model

Some makes and models of the same vehicle have better mileage than others, even though they’re manufactured by the same company. These models have better aerodynamics and other characteristics that make them consume less fuel.

Also, bigger and heavier models may have lower mileage than smaller ones. The engine design of a particular model may differ from other models, making it consume more or less fuel.

Transmission and Drive Type

You should also consider the type of transmission when purchasing a used truck because it can affect its mileage. Generally, manual transmissions are considered more fuel-efficient because the driver has control over the gears.

Thus, they can select the most fuel-efficient in any driving condition, such as cruising on the highway. Though automatic transmissions are efficient, they may not select the most fuel-efficient gear as a skilled manual driver would.

Truck_s Gear Box And Engine_s Deatail

Also, manual transmissions have less internal friction, which helps them consume less fuel. This is because manual transmissions don’t have as many internal components as their automatic counterparts. Moreover, the build and design of manual transmissions are simpler compared to automatic transmissions.

Also, the drive type of the truck impacts its fuel efficiency and mileage, thus, the average truck mileage per year differs based on the drive type. A two-wheel drive(2WD) is more fuel efficient than a four-wheel drive (4WD) due to several factors; thus, it has better average truck mileage per gallon.

Maintenance and Driving Habits

The maintenance of the truck and the driving habits of the owner also impact the mileage. Well-maintained trucks have better mileage because all their engine parts are working perfectly, putting little stress on the engine.

For example, the average pickup truck mileage life is around 200,000 miles, but a well-maintained truck could go up to 350,000 miles. Poorly maintained trucks have poor mileage because the several components of the engine may not be functioning optimally.

Technician Checking Maintenance of A Truck

Driving a vehicle aggressively can contribute to poor fuel consumption. Quick acceleration and instant deceleration, coupled with constant braking and gear changes, can affect the mileage. Though this is very difficult to assess when purchasing a used truck, you can ask the owner a few questions to judge their driving skills. However, if you’re buying a truck from a dealership, then use the other factors mentioned in this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Trucks With 100,000 Miles Worth Buying for Work?

Some trucks with 100,000 miles may be worth buying as they’d give you value for money, while others would just be a waste of resources. The answer is yes and no, depending on several factors such as maintenance history, driver habits, and the type and size of the engine.

Why Are High Mileage Trucks So Expensive?

High mileage trucks are so expensive because they are believed to have better maintenance records, hence the high mileage. It means that the owner took care of the vehicle well and drove it carefully to ensure it lasted. This is why they are very pricey.


So far, we’ve answered the question, “What’s a good mileage for a used car?” and listed the factors you should consider in purchasing a used truck.

Here’s a recap of all that we’ve discussed:

  • The good mileage for a used truck would depend on several factors such as maintenance, driving habits, size and type of engine, make and model, and type of drive.
  • Bigger engines consume more fuel than smaller ones because they have many components and have to overcome a lot of internal friction to get the vehicle going.
  • Also, gasoline engines are generally less fuel efficient than diesel engines and, therefore, have better mileage, making them more expensive.
  • To purchase a used truck, consider the mileage on it: less than 10,000 miles per year is good, between 12,000 – 14,000 is average, but anything more than 14,000 is high.
  • Also, consider the truck’s maintenance history because a properly maintained vehicle will have fewer mechanical problems and better mileage than a poorly maintained truck.

Always make sure you inspect your vehicle with a trusted mechanic to help you decide which used truck will best fit your needs and pocket.

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