Mileage is one of the best ways to determine how much wear and tear there is on a vehicle. Therefore, it’s a key consideration when buying a car, and also an area of manipulation for insincere sellers.
In short, mileage is important, so we wanted to know more about it. In this research, we tried to determine how the average mileage differs between different car brands, and how this has fluctuated over the years (looking at 5, 10, and 15-year-old cars).
To find out, we analyzed thousands of carVertical history reports in 13 European countries – Czechia, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Poland, Portugal, and Spain.
- Out of all checked 15-year-old cars, Volvo has the highest average mileage (235,927 km), while Fiat has the lowest (144,705 km).
- Among 10-year-old cars, Škoda owners have traveled the longest distances (186,289 km), while Nissan cars have the lowest mileage in their age group (125,573 km).
- Škoda also leads among 5-year-old cars, with the highest average mileage of 128,638 km. Mazda, on the other hand, has the lowest number of traveled kilometers (53,387 km) out of all checked cars manufactured in 2018.
- 15-year-old Fiat and Peugeot vehicles have the lowest average mileage of all analyzed car makes of the same age; however, 2018 models have already traveled relatively long distances.
- Similarly, while Volvo, Audi, and BMW are the top 3 brands with the highest average mileage among 2008 models, 5-year-old cars built by these manufacturers have relatively low mileage.
Which car brands see the most use in different age groups?
Volvo cars manufactured in 2008 have the highest number of traveled kilometers compared to other brands in the same age group. While these Swedish cars have an average of 235,927 km on their odometers, BMW (225,437 km) and Audi (221,452 km) follow closely behind.
15-year-old Fiat cars, on the other hand, have the lowest average mileage among the cars of the same age (144,705 km), followed by Peugeot (150,053 km) and Mazda (160,138 km).
As for 2013 makes, the top 3 brands with the highest average mileage are Škoda (186,289 km), Volvo (183,118 km), and BMW (181,453 km). Meanwhile, Nissan leads with the least traveled kilometers (125,573 km), once again followed by Fiat (128,518 km) and Peugeot (134,189 km).
Škoda, with an average of 128,638 km, is also the leading brand mileage-wise among cars built in 2018, while Opel and Volkswagen follow with 115,688 km and 108,031 km, respectively. The shortest distance in this age group belongs to Mazda – 53,387 km, which is more than two times lower than the average distance traveled by Škoda owners.
Interesting shifts as newer cars outpace older models in the distance covered
The research has unveiled an interesting pattern. While some older cars have the lowest mileage in their age group (2008), newer vehicles from the same manufacturer have already driven relatively long distances, and vice versa.
To put this in perspective, 15-year-old Fiat vehicles have an average mileage of 144,705 kilometers, which is the lowest among 2008 models. However, the average mileage of Fiat cars manufactured in 2018 – or ten years later – is already 85,707 kilometers.
Similarly, while Peugeot cars made in 2008 have traveled 150,053 kilometers on average, 2018 Peugeot models are among the vehicles with the highest mileage in their age group.
As opposed to this, the average mileage for 15-year-old Volvo vehicles is 235,927 kilometers, representing the highest among 2008 models. Surprisingly (or not), the average mileage for Volvo cars produced in 2018 is lower than that of Fiat cars built in the same year – 82,978 kilometers.
This pattern is also seen among BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz vehicles. For instance, Mercedes-Benz models from 2008 have driven 215,934 kilometers on average, while 2018 makes have an average mileage of 83,132 km. Meanwhile, BMWs, which have the second highest mileage among 2008 makes, are among the brands with the shortest traveled distances in the 5-year-old age group.
Why do some brands have higher average mileage?
To understand an “increasing/decreasing” mileage among specific car makes and why some of them consistently have higher average mileage, it’s important to consider several aspects, including vehicle’s build and reliability, changing driving patterns, advancements in car technology, or financial factors.
For example, premium vehicles are generally much more suitable for extended journeys than compact hatchbacks that are mainly used in urban settings. The latter is not a popular choice among drivers with larger daily commutes, as they often have small gasoline engines, making them less convenient. Meanwhile, even older premium vehicles can make more economic sense and require less effort to cover longer routes, especially when powered by diesel.
Another trend seen among drivers is that newer cars tend to be used more frequently. As they’re generally leased, a new owner often commits not to exceed a particular mileage. For example, you can get a better offer when buying a new VW Golf with a commitment not to exceed the 100,000 km limit during the next three years. Somewhat counterintuitively, drivers who purchase new cars under such conditions tend to drive them more.
As for Škoda or Volkswagen, which both show consistency in higher mileage for all age groups, these cars are suitable for various driving conditions. They’re well-balanced for longer trips and are often used as a “workhorse” in many countries. Because of that, these brands are also a popular choice among companies that use them as fleet vehicles, covering many kilometers daily.
To inform car owners about the average mileage for the most popular vehicle brands, we took data from 13 European countries – Czechia, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Poland, Portugal, and Spain.
We analyzed hundreds of thousands of carVertical vehicle history reports in selected countries. This allowed us to find the latest recorded mileage for every car of a particular brand and calculate the average mileage for specific make by year of manufacture.
Avoid shady deals with carVertical
Mileage is one of the key factors influencing the vehicle’s price. Cars with a bigger mileage are generally more affordable, as they potentially have more wear and tear and a higher risk of breaking down.
Therefore, unscrupulous car sellers tend to manipulate odometer readings, artificially increasing the car’s value and significantly inflating its price. This leads to buyers overpaying for their vehicles without even knowing it.
Getting a vehicle history report is one of the key steps to prevent this from happening. This way, you can get valuable information about the car’s real mileage and rollbacks (if any), learn more about its past (accidents, ownership changes, title information, etc.), and uncover potential weak spots.
If you discover that the mileage of the car you’re about to buy significantly exceeds the average mileage of the same model year, take a step back. Owning such a vehicle can be less predictable, as worn-out components have a higher risk of failure.