My husband has a 2008 Honda Civic and has over 160,000 miles. Over the years theres been things here and there that he's had to fix. I am wondering when is it a good time to get a new car. I want to be proactive and make sure that the car is not ready for its final days. I understand that each cars are different and depends on how the owner takes care of the car, but my thought it that certain cars normally break down around the same time/mileage.

Is there a certain amount of miles where the car is bound to hit its mileage limits? We have an infant now and my worry is that the car breaks down on the road.

  • My 2002 Honda CR-V hit 200,000 miles before I sold it. Still going strong some 4 years later (I know the people I sold it to). Anecdote, not data, so not an answer...
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 28, 2022 at 17:51
  • For the first part: when the annual repair bills become greater than the depreciation of a replacement car. The second part: a responsible parent will have breakdown/recovery insurance no matter what condition the car is in. Oct 28, 2022 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


There is no "magic" number of miles after which a car breaks. A well maintained car can go on indefinitely and if certain parts wear out or break they can be replaced. But it's somewhat of a game of chance as you get higher and higher in the mileage range.

160K miles is in the high-mileage range for sure and many vehicles are no longer roadworthy well before this time. But others are still going at 200K or even more.

Should you replace it? My general rule of thumb is that when the average monthly cost for repairs exceeds the monthly price of a replacement (even if you buy it outright) then it's time to upgrade. For example if you are spending $500/month on repairs vs. a $500/month replacement (figure that as $500/month times 60 months = $30K) then it's time to replace.

But your situation may be different and so much depends on how well you have cared for this car during its 160K miles, the style of your driving, and the kinds of driving you do (short trip vs. longer trips).

  • A good answer, but I think a monthly reckoning is too short a time span. One expensive repair might give another year of life, and still be cheaper than replacement. It's always a difficult decision though, and in some ways it can be just knowing "the time has come", or, the right time in one's finances. Oct 28, 2022 at 18:12
  • I agree with WeatherVane that the exact measurement is very subjective, but jwh20 has the right idea.
    – Rory Alsop
    Oct 28, 2022 at 18:15
  • Keyword is "average". We almost always think of cars in terms of their monthly cost, so it makes sense, to me at least, to take the annual repair cost, divide it by 12, and use that figure to compare to the replacement cost. But regardless of the comparison term, the same principle applies.
    – jwh20
    Oct 28, 2022 at 19:02

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