Car Mileage & What You Need To Know

DoneDeal's new mileage feature provides a comparison tool to see if a car's mileage is above or below average for its make, model, year, transmission, and fuel type, empowering users to make informed decisions by offering context for mileage data.

We gather this information based on the make, model, year, transmission and fuel type looking at many examples for sale at a particular time. 

The average annual mileage for a car in Ireland can vary depending on factors such as individual driving habits, vehicle usage patterns, and geographic location. However, according to various sources and studies, the typical annual mileage figure ranges from 15,000 to 18,000 kilometres per year. 

Several factors contribute to this average mileage range such as urban vs. rural driving. Cars used primarily for urban commuting tend to have lower annual mileage compared to those used for longer rural journeys. The distance and frequency of commuting to work play a significant role in determining the vehicle's annual mileage. Some drivers enjoy a lot of leisure travel. Weekend trips, holidays and other leisure activities can also contribute to the overall mileage of a vehicle. Areas with better public transportation infrastructure may see lower annual mileage as people rely less on personal vehicles for their daily commute.

High mileage and low mileage vehicles trigger many different questions, including wear and tear, maintenance requirements, reliability, resale value and legitimacy. Let's look at these key questions. 


Why should we consider wear and tear? 

High mileage cars have typically been driven extensively, resulting in more wear and tear on various components such as the engine, transmission, suspension, and brakes. Low mileage cars, on the other hand, have experienced less usage and generally should have fewer signs of wear and tear.


What maintenance requirements should we expect? 

High mileage cars may require more frequent maintenance and repairs compared to low mileage examples. Components such as belts, hoses, gaskets, and seals may need replacement due to age and usage. However, if properly maintained according to the manufacturer guidelines, high mileage cars can still be reliable.


How does mileage impact reliability? 

Low mileage cars are often perceived as more reliable since they have undergone less hardship. This leads us to believe they may have a lower likelihood of experiencing major mechanical issues in the near future. High mileage cars, while they may have more wear, can still be reliable if they have received proper care throughout their lifespan. Our advice is to find a car within the average and expected mileage range. But it is important to note that cars with high or low mileage should also be considered when they have a good service history & a clean history check.


What impacts resale value most? 

Generally, low mileage cars command higher resale values compared to their high mileage counterparts. This is because they are perceived as having more life left in them and are less likely to require immediate repairs or replacements. However, the actual resale value also depends on factors such as the make and model of the car, its overall condition, and market demand. High mileage cars often come with lower purchase prices compared to low mileage examples. This is because buyers perceive them as having higher risk due to potential maintenance issues. However, as explained prior, a well-documented service history with a valid NCT and the vehicle in question, can still offer good value for buyers seeking a more affordable option.


What is clocking and is it a factor in Ireland? 

Car mileage clocking, also known as odometer fraud or odometer tampering, is the illegal practice of altering or resetting a vehicle's odometer to make it show a lower mileage than the actual distance the vehicle has travelled. This can be done through various methods, such as physically altering the odometer mechanism, reprogramming digital odometers, or using aftermarket devices to manipulate mileage data. This unethical practice is done with the intention of deceiving potential buyers into believing that the vehicle has been driven less than it actually has, thereby inflating its resale value. It is a factor in every car market, so be aware. 


How can you protect yourself from mileage fraud? 

You can obtain a comprehensive Greenlight vehicle history report via DoneDeal. This can reveal inconsistencies in reported mileage, previous ownership records, and other important information about the vehicle's past. Thoroughly inspect the car for signs of wear and tear that are inconsistent with the reported mileage. Look at the pedals, seats, steering wheels, and other high-contact areas for excessive signs of wear. Check the NCT and service documentation to cross reference the mileage stated. Where possible, use one of the many trusted dealerships on DoneDeal with a proven track record of honesty and transparency for further peace of mind.

Across the average cars for sale on DoneDeal, we discovered the following:

Typical Annual Mileages Based On Fuel Type

Diesel - 17,500km

Hybrid - 14,500km

Electric - 11,500km

Petrol - 11,500km


Mileage Based On Body Type

Saloon - 18,500km

Estate - 18,500km

SUV - 16,000km

Hatchback - 14,500km

MPV - 13,000km


It is important to note that these figures are averages obtained using DoneDeal data and individual mileage can vary significantly based on personal circumstances and lifestyle choices.