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Average Annual Car Miles UK

For many years, it has been generally accepted that the average mileage for a used car is around 12,000-miles per year.


For many years, it has been generally accepted that the average mileage for a used car is around 12,000-miles per year.

Glass’s Market Intelligence Service has now carried out analysis of over 200,000 used car sales during the first five months of 2004 to see just how accurate this figure is for different types of vehicle.

The results show some big deviations from the perceived average. It is also clear that diesel cars still fit the stereotype of covering more miles each year compared to their petrol counterparts.

Small cars (e.g. Renault Clio, Toyota Yaris, etc) Glass’s found that the average annual mileage for one- to three-year-old cars from this sector was 8,500 miles. Diesel cars from this sector do not clock up the high mileages covered by larger diesel vehicles. Glass’s analysis shows that the overall average annual mileage for diesel variants was 10,100 miles.

Lower-medium cars (e.g. Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, etc) One- to three-year-old cars from this sector covered, on average, 11,200 miles each year. This increased significantly for diesel variants, to 15,300 miles per year.

Upper-medium cars (e.g. Toyota Avensis, Audi A4, etc) One- to three-year-old upper-medium cars averaged 16,400 miles each year – the highest of any car sector in the UK. This is not surprising given that company fleets use this size of car quite extensively for business purposes. The mileage of one-year-old examples was significantly lower, at 11,400 miles. Upper-medium diesel variants cover the highest annual mileage of all sectors, averaging 18,100 miles.

Large cars (e.g. Vauxhall Omega, BMW 5 Series, etc) The average mileage for one- to three-year-old large cars was 15,900 miles. The mileage of one-year-old examples was considerably lower, at 10,900 miles. Diesel mileage is again higher, at 17,100 per annum for one- to three-year-olds, rising to 21,500 for three- to six-year old examples.

Coupés and convertibles (e.g. Mercedes-Benz CLK, Peugeot 307 CC, etc) The average annual mileage for one- to three-year-old petrol and diesel cars from this sector was 11,600 miles.

MPVs (Renault Mégane Scenic, Ford Galaxy, etc) Grouping compact and full-sized MPVs together, the average annual mileage for cars up to three-years-old was 9,700 miles. One-year-old examples covered an even lower average of 8,700 miles, while diesel versions across the whole age range averaged 14,800 miles per annum.

4x4s (e.g. Honda HRV, Range Rover, etc) The average annual mileage for vehicles in the 4x4 segment up to three-years-old was 12,400 miles, rising to 13,600 miles for diesel examples.


New car sales
Year-on-year increases for the first three months of the year have been followed by reductions in both April and May. In May, registrations fell by 2.8 per cent when compared to the same month in 2003, with a total of 194,480 units. In spite of two successive months of decline, year to date, the new market is still 2.7 per cent ahead, and now stands at 1,137,490 units sold.

The pressure on dealers to maintain a high level of new sales is unrelenting and manufacturer incentives are testimony to this.

Used car sales
The situation is little changed from last month with demand easing back in line with seasonal expectations. Dealers have attempted to stimulate demand with special events and these have been met with mixed success. The situation this year is probably marginally worse than this time last year.

Most dealers are expecting ‘more of the same’ as the market drifts gently and quietly through the summer months. Higher fuel prices have, so far, not had any tangible effect on the prices of big engine cars but neither has there been a more positive move towards more fuel-efficient diesels.

However, the trade has indicated that they will be keeping a close eye on this situation in the coming weeks. We also await the impact of another 0.25% rise in interest rates. The betting is that the effect will only be marginally negative in terms of consumer spending.