Buy a car with 126,000 miles on it ...

Found 24th Oct 2007

Need some help and thought. Looking to buy a Seat Leon, preferably 03/04 plate. 1.8, 20V, SE.

Have been to see one, which I love the look of (slighly modified) but haven't taken that further due to the paintwork being in less than good condition. Have found another, which is cheap considering other cars in the bracket but it has 126,000 miles on it. 1 owner, lease/company car, full SEAT service history.

What would you do? Would 126,000 miles put you off a car, it is cheap enough (3k less than the "book" price with average miles). Just after some advice, or tips, or suggestions...
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High mileage does not put me off a car,especially if it has a FSH which company cars tend to have.

Things like the timing belt have to be changed every 6years or 60k miles,so check that this has been done.

If the price is right I would say it is worth a look.

Hopefully some petrol heads on here could give you further advice.:)
Yeah, I know Diesels last longer but I want the 1.8 petrol model
i tend to be a bit warey of high mileage cars as you tend to find it diffcult to sell on. i had a corsa ages abo with 126,000 on the clock and couldnt give it away!
These days condition can be more important than mileage, a car with high miles that has been well cared for can be a better buy than a car with low miles that has had hard life. As an extreme example as a summer job I did pizza delivery using Fiesta vans - their mileage wasn't that high but they were in poor condition as they spent eight hours a day being thrashed around town.

My last car was a Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI (basically the same underneath as the Leon) which was a 99 plate and just passing the 100,000 mark when I sold it - for it, the mileage wasn't really the problem, any issues I had with the car were simply due to age.

So I wouldn't immediately be put off by the high mileage if the car has been well cared for although I'm not so sure about the VAG petrol engines and their longevity. Its diesels I've always looked into (currently have a Seat Toledo) and they have no trouble with the high miles at all, should also be easier to sell on as well for that reason.

think these days milage tends to be better for cars but i still see a high mile car as ready for the junk heap. The resale price certainly reflects that and i would go out of my way to avoid one if possible
As long as the price you are paying reflects the high mileage then it's not a problem as long as it has been serviced regularly.
Cars these days are designed to do an average of 250,000 miles for the whole life of the car. If well maintained there is no reason why a car cannot do this. the bodywork tends to go before the engine reaches its limits. However that said I would want to see a lot less miles than 126,000 on a 4 yr old car. Also keep in mind if its a company car, with that sort of mileage on it, it will have been hammered down the motorway, for most of its life!!

Had a few Leons in the past and I was sold on them as a great 'VW house' car but, far cheaper than a Golf and much more fun.

Things to look out for with these vehicles and especially high mileage ones is not the engine but the following:

1. Check the full dealer history with a SEAT dealership. They should be able to tell you everything thats been replaced/repaired on the car.

2. When was clutch last changed? If it hasnt you should budget for that.

3. When were shocks and springs last changed. If it was more than 80000 miles ago budget for at least the shocks going.

4. When was the timing belt last changed? More than 60,000 miles ago and it will need doing again.

5. Exhausts will probably last 80,000 miles or a little more if you're lucky. Check when it was last replaced.

6. Catalytic convertor will last around 100,000 miles. If it hasnt been replaced budget for that.

7. This engine is notorious for coil pack failure. Again check when they were last replaced. Two of my Leons had this problem within the 3 year warranty.

8.When were the brake discs last replaced? These typically last 80,000 miles or in motorway driving conditions possibly up to 100,000.

9. Check last MOT and in particular the emmissions test. If it hasnt had one - get one as the MAF sensors can sometimes fail and need replacing.

None of the above parts are cheap as you can imagine so I would tread with caution and either get a full AA inspection or buy from a reputable dealer with at least a 12 month comprehensive warranty which covers some if not all of the above.
Just my opinion, but a 3/4 year old car with 126,000 raises concern. Combine that with the fact that it is an ex fleet car, would send me running for the hills. Pluves1 has given a far more in depth account of potential expenses, but imho, it could turn out to be a huge money pit:-(
126k on a 4 year old car. Engine wise with FSH not that much of a biggie imho as it would indicate motorway miles so less stress overall from stop/start journeys. Bear in mind that in general a 5 mile journey will do a LOT more damage to an engine than a 200 mile one. (My cars 15 years old and only has 105k though:whistling: ).

Right. Having said that, it's not just the engine to consider but the overall condition/wear and tear. If you're happy to pay the moeny then go for it but bear in mind that it may need a few new parts in the near future:thumbsup:

Just my opinion, but a 3/4 year old car with 126,000 raises concern. … Just my opinion, but a 3/4 year old car with 126,000 raises concern. Combine that with the fact that it is an ex fleet car, would send me running for the hills. Pluves1 has given a far more in depth account of potential expenses, but imho, it could turn out to be a huge money pit:-(

That high a mileage and a short time is usually motorway mileage which is actually not bad for the car, in many cases a car which has done substantially less miles but mainly around town could be in a much worse condition. When I was looking to replace my Octavia I came across a couple of Seats, one at 50,000 and one at 70,000 miles and they honestly felt like they'd done more miles than my 100,000 Octavia. My poor little Metro went to the scrap heap with less than 35,000 miles on the clock

Strange to see a Seat that's done such high mileage though, people tend to go with the Skodas if they're going to be clocking up the miles - when searching for a Skoda their average mileage seems to be about four times the normal and I even came across a Superb (their big cruiser) which had done 250,000 miles in under three years. The Seats on the other hand generally have less business use and more normal mileages.

Taxis are often quite a good measure for the long term durability of a car (unless you live in Edinburgh or similar where they are all black cabs) - the local ones here are usually around the 200,000 to 300,000 mark which the German built cars (Mercs, VWs, Skodas) etc. seem to handle no problem. The Vauxhalls and Renaults on the other hand don't really seem to at all, heck Lagunas can rarely seem to manage normal mileage.

Anyway I think pluves has pretty much hit the nail on the head, great specific information there.

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