Used cars that have covered ‘starship mileages’ of 150,000 or more are no longer off-putting to buyers if the condition and the badge is right, reports car price guide specialist Glass’s Guide. They also believe that a healthy market has developed for prestige cars that would once have been considered almost unsaleable.
Rupert Pontin, head of valuations, said: “A high-level Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi or Jaguar that has covered 100,000-150,000 miles at five to eight years old is probably worth at least 10% less than identical models that have only done an average of 10,000 miles per year.
“However, if it has been properly maintained, the starship car probably looks every bit as good and, thanks to good build quality, is probably not much less reliable or much more expensive to run.
“It’s a cost effective way of getting behind the wheel of a nice car that will impress the neighbours.
“Buyers are waking up to the fact that these vehicles represent something of a bargain and we are seeing an increase in demand. There are also a number of specialist dealers that specifically supply this sector.”
Pontin said the market was catching on to the fact that modern cars were capable of much higher mileages than even just a few years ago.
“Even at the turn of the century, 100,000 miles meant that a car was nearing the end of its useful life. Nowadays, cars at that mileage are just getting into their stride. If properly maintained, most modern models are capable of 250,000 miles and even more.
“This is true of nearly all cars but the advantage that higher level, prestige models have is that the quality of their finish is higher than the mass market.
“This is especially true of interiors. A well-cared-for high mileage Audi A6 or A8 will still be a very nice place in which to sit, for example, with little obvious wear.
“If you make the basic checks on condition and ensure that they have a comprehensive service history, these vehicles can make an excellent buy. They are potentially no more than half way through their lives.”
Pontin added that what tended to eventually kill older cars of this type was not the fact that they were no longer viable vehicles but that the repairs needed to keep them on the road were no longer economically sustainable.
“Big prestige cars like Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series can keep going almost forever if properly maintained,” he said.
“However, they reach a point after a decade or so where they are worth just a couple of thousand or few hundred pounds and something breaks that is small but essential and expensive to repair.”