Not so long ago a car or pickup nurtured by its owner to run for 200,000 miles or more was an exceptional case. Now there are thousands of cars on the road that top that mileage milestone with some of them even up for resale, according to a new study.
To measure longevity, automotive web site iSeeCars.com -- which aggregates used car listings -- analyzed data to see what specific vehicles for sale had the highest percentage of listings with 200,000 or more miles on the odometer. Topping the list was the Ford F-250 Super Duty with 4.2 percent. That represents about 4,000 pickups out of some 95,000 of that model for sale, according to Phong Ly, co-founder and CEO of iSeeCars.
In fact, the top 10 rankings are all large pickups and SUVs, including second-place Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD. "Clearly some of these vehicles are used for work and they are driven more miles but also perhaps get better maintenance," Ly told CBS MoneyWatch.
Overall, pickups are driven longer, with the
average listing for all models showing 90,000 miles compared to 75,000 for the
average car listing.
Among cars, Honda Accord was at the top, with 1.6 percent of listings showing over 200,000 miles. But that percentage is relatively low, partly because there are so many Accords on the market. Of the 377,000 Accords for sale, about 6,000 have over 200,000 miles.
Others among the top ten (when trucks and SUVS were excluded) included, in order, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Avalon, Honda Odyssey minivan, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Camry, Ford Taurus, Honda Civic, Acura TL and Subaru Outback. While Ford and Chevrolet topped the list of long-running trucks, the Ford Taurus is the only model on the car list from a Detroit-based brand.Increases in manufacturing quality in the last decade have contributed to more vehicles lasting for 200,000 miles or more. "Car makers are making better vehicles, and that is a factor in the increasing longevity," said Phong Ly.
That has resulted in a market even for well-used vehicles. For instance, a 2003 Ford F-150 with 228,000 miles has an asking price of $4,900. A 2001 Honda Accord sporting 250,000 miles is on sale for $3,000. Those prices are 10 to 15 percent of list price for a well-equipped new 2014 version of the same model.
Your car, SUV or pickup may never hit 200,000 miles. But if you want to keep it running as long as possible -- certainly past 100,000 miles -- here are some tips from car care experts:
- Follow the prescribed maintenance schedule. This may seem obvious, but busy car owners may overlook the prescribed intervals for oil changes and other maintenance.
- Find a good mechanic. An independent shop will save you money vs. a dealership, especially once your new-car warranty has expired. Click here to see if there is a AAA-certified mechanic in your area.
- Get in some highway driving. Short trips of stop-and-go driving are hard on a car. If you habitually make only a short commute or brief trip for errands, take the car out and drive at highway speeds every few weeks.
Every year that you can keep your car, pickup or SUV running well is a year you are not making payments on its replacement.