I notice my 2015 Volkswagen TDI SportWagen had finally climbed over 40,000 miles this weekend. A momentous occasion, but considering the long life of diesel engines, I’ve barely broken in my little red wagon. Modern cars, in general, are lasting longer and longer, which made me wonder if buying a high-mileage car is really such a big deal anymore.
Our parents would never have dropped coin on a car nearing 100,000 miles, but now that prospect doesn’t seem like such a money drain. Sure, David Tracy’s Golden Eagle (pictured above) is kept on the road through blood, sweat and tears, but even this decades-old vehicle has lots of time left in the right hands. But I’m not talking about just enthusiasts’ cars you’d gladly suffer for. Would you buy a car with >150,000 miles to daily drive? Would you even maybe take out a (very small) loan for one?
For me, I’m still nervous about it, especially in the land of road salt. You’d need to stay on top of maintenance and repairs like, well, like a David Tracy. I’ve seen the Facebook Marketplace listings of amazing gorgeous cars in the sunny parts of the country; cars that were unrusted, well-loved and well-used by their owners. A car that’s been around the block a few hundred thousand times still has some life left in it, I think. What about you? Do you play it safe, or are you like our Mercedes Streeter, who proclaimed “So long as the car’s not clapped out, the more miles, the better!”