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2nd Hand Cars in Thailand

Feb 11

What is a good km/pricing for a second-hand car?

When buying 2hand cars in Thailand, one of the important factors to consider is the price. However, if you are not familiar with used car prices it can be difficult to tell if the vehicle you are looking at is affordable or not.

Used car pricing greatly varies depending on many factors such as the model of the car and its overall condition. And even among the same models of car with almost the same condition, their price may also differ because of the mileage. For this reason, it's a good idea to know what is a good kilometer pricing for a second-hand car.

The Importance of Car Mileage in Your Buying Decision

Before we go ahead and discuss the ideal kilometer pricing for a second-hand car, let's check first how important the car mileage is when making a decision.

Mileage is one indicator of a vehicle's condition. There is even a common perception that mileage is the best measure of reliability. That is why mileage has also become a major factor that influences a used car's going price. The lower the kilometer registered in the odometer, the more a car retains its value. 

In the past, 100,000 miles was already considered a long life for a car. Today, the same distance is already considered mid-life. Some models of vehicles can even run up to 300,000 miles or about 482,000 kilometers. Of course, cars can only go as far if it is designed for it and is properly maintained. 

Moreover, generally, high mileage is associated with some common car issues. For example, vehicles that already run over 100,00 kilometers are more likely to experience transmission failure. On the other hand, cars that have already traveled more than 60,000 kilometers are more prone to water pump failure. This is when you will notice your car leaking coolant which then may result in overheating. With the same kilometer usage, you may also have to replace your timing belt as recommended by many mechanics.

That said, mileage is important because it gives you a quick assessment if you are getting a great deal or not. 


Checking Car's Mileage

Now, checking a car's mileage is usually as easy as checking the odometer of the car. It will tell you directly the mileage reading. 

However, it's important to be aware of the fact that some unscrupulous second hand car sellers tamper with odometers just to demand a higher price for the vehicle they are selling. In the US, this practice is called busting miles and in the UK, it is known as clocking. 

To avoid becoming a victim of a car mileage scheme, you may bring an experienced appraiser with you during the physical checking of the vehicle. Experienced appraisers are able to tell if the odometer reading is busted or not.

Of course, if you find the odometer busted, it's a red flag of the dishonesty of the seller. You wouldn't know what other information about the car is hidden from you. You may consider skipping that particular seller.


Is it Bad for a Car to Have High Kilometer Reading?

Typically, racking up to 20,000 kilometers on your odometer per year is considered average. A car that registered more than this distance is considered high mileage.

With proper and regular maintenance, cars can generally have a life expectancy of about 200,000 miles or about 320,000 kilometers. But whether you reach that in two years or 3 years, it doesn’t mean the end of your vehicle’s life. With better technology and standards in the automotive industry, more and more drivers feel confident about driving their vehicles longer. 

So on whether it is bad to buy a car with a high kilometer reading, the reality is, it depends. A car with high kilometer reading and low maintenance but is priced like cars with average kilometer reading is definitely not a good deal.

To answer the above question, it's important to always associate it with maintenance and price. If the vehicle is fairly priced and is properly maintained, even if it has run thousands of kilometers, it is still a good buy.


Rule of Thumb for Kilometer Pricing for a Second-hand Car

We have mentioned earlier that the average mileage is about 20,000 kilometers per year. You can use this standard when buying a car.

For example, if you are buying a 5-year-old model, the odometer should register from 100,000 kilometers to 110,000 kilometers, given some allowance. If the vehicle displays more, you can negotiate to deduct a certain amount or percentage in the price due to high mileage. 

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to kilometer pricing. But if you see that the car has run more than the average kilometers per year, you can use your negotiating power to reduce the price of the vehicle. 

Don't hesitate to ask because most if not all sellers also know the market price of their vehicle, given the model, mileage and other factors. Typically, sellers initially jack up the price to give an allowance if you will negotiate. So use that opportunity to get a lower price.

The number of kilometers run is an important factor to check and consider before buying a used car. However, it's important to look not just at the odometer reading but also at the maintenance history and the price of the vehicle. That's the only time you can tell that you are getting a good kilometer pricing.