My Vehicle Is Approaching 200,000 Miles. Should I Drive It Until It Dies Or Sell It Before It Breaks Down?

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Driving an older vehicle until it no longer runs is cool.

No, really. Among people who excel at saving money and amassing wealth, it’s the No. 1 sacrifice, CNBC reported. Nearly half of all super savers drive older vehicles.

At some point, the miles on your odometer may start to make you anxious. Driving a high-mileage vehicle may start to make you consider a change. Or maybe you have visions of the engine blowing up late at night on a dark, mysterious road.

Whatever the case, you may wonder whether you should drive the car until it dies or pre-empt that event by getting rid of it.

Should I Sell My Old Vehicle That’s Approaching 200,000 Miles?

My vehicle odometer is about to hit 200,000 miles. Is it time to get a newer vehicle or can I keep driving it until the wheels fall off?

That’s what a listener recently asked Clark.

Asked Michael in Georgia: “I own a 2014 Honda CR-V with 186,000 miles. At the current moment the vehicle does not have any issues and is in great shape considering the age and milage.

“Would you recommend driving the vehicle until it dies? Or does it make sense to sell it while it’s still worth some money and purchase another used vehicle with fewer miles?

“I work from home and my wife has a very short commute. We have another vehicle that is newer with low mileage. My thought is it works right now. Why spend the money? But my wife is concerned that with the high mileage, it may leave us stranded one day.”

Clark was more than happy to settle this marital disagreement. To no one’s surprise, he prefers the answer that should save the most money in the long term.

“So your wife is right that at some point the CR-V may leave you stranded one day. But you’re also right that you should just keep driving it,” Clark says.

“The chances that you’ll end up in a situation where it breaks down at night in a dangerous location is so low.

“And 186,000 on a CR-V, I know that sounds like a lot of miles. It’s not really. If you’re doing regular maintenance on that Honda, it’s got lots and lots and lots of good years left.”

Clark also mentioned he recently talked to the owner of a 2004 Honda. That’s 10 years older than Michael’s vehicle.

“Still running great,” Clark says. “It’s not looking so good. But still running great 20 model years out. So I think it’s best to keep driving it.”

How Much Is the 2014 Honda CR-V Worth Right Now?

Vehicle values range drastically based on location, trim level (the options that your particular vehicle does or does not include) and current market conditions.

However, I ran a simple vehicle valuation calculator on Kelley Bluebook for the most basic 2014 Honda CR-V with 186,000 miles in good condition. The trade-in value sat between $5,161 and $6,960.

I modified the mileage to 250,000 instead. The trade-in range fell to $4,312 to $6,111.

Remember, Michael asked if he should sell his vehicle while it still holds some value. But putting significantly more miles on the vehicle isn’t going to make the car’s value depreciate by all that much.

“It’s pretty much fully depreciated out anyway,” Clark says. “So the miles you’re driving now are almost free.”

Final Thoughts

Even the best vehicles break down eventually. But modern cars can surprise you with how long they last. That’s especially true if you stay on top of regular maintenance.

Don’t let a vehicle with high mileage scare you into thinking that you need something new. One of the biggest habits of super savers and those who build real wealth is driving older vehicles.

It’s a fantastic way to save money. And those miles you put on a paid-off car at 200,000 miles or more are much less expensive.

This post was last modified on November 20, 2023 1:05 pm

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