Suspiciously low mileag on a used truck

I was looking on CarMax for used trucks, there was a 2011 Ford Ranger listed with only 13k miles. I thought maybe this was a misprint and called CarMax, they told me that in fact the truck only has 12,800 miles on it.

Could this be a red flag? Does it only have that many miles because it’s been sitting in a barn for 7 years, or maybe on the bottom of a lake? Any reason I should be concerned by such low mileage?

It’s possibly a red flag, but also possibly nothing.

My brother had a Nissan Titan for years, that he had been using to fix up his house, but since he had another car for daily driving, the truck really only ever went to the hardware store and back, so even though he owned it for almost 10 years, it had less than 20k miles on it when he sold it.

You could pull a CarFax report. Don’t those show the mileage any time they take it in to a place the reports those types of things. That’d be a dead giveaway.
I’d say go take a look at it. It could very well be correct and owned by someone that didn’t use it very often. Plenty of people have a pick up truck just for pickup truck stuff, but have a daily driver as well. And, if you’re going to have a spare vehicle, a Ranger is a nice little truck.

The only thing (other than something fraudulent) that would concern me is if those 12000 miles are 12,000 hard miles. That is, if it spent it’s entire life putting on 5 or 10 miles a day, all short drives, all heavily loaded up. For example, moving equipment or materials around in an industrial setting.

Also, if there’s any evidence of it ever being a plow, just walk away. You don’t want a used plow, unless you’re going to put your own blade on it. The miles don’t get much harder than that, plows turn into piles or rust extraordinarily fast.

ETA; it could have also just been parked for a while.

Thanks all. This truck is for our mountain cabin, I’ll use it for carrying stuff to the dump and kayaks to the river 2 miles away. If I buy it, someone will be posting here in 2025 about a 2011 Ranger with only 13,500 miles on it.

got a link? if I get the VIN I can look up at least part of its service history. When I bought my 2011 Ranger 4 years ago, I did the same to verify the mileage was kosher.

I called and put a hold on it, so it’s not on the site anymore. I’ll run the carfax on it when I go look at it. Thanks though.

My FIL has a 99 F-250 sitting in his driveway, it has only 28,000 miles on it and most of that was the first 3 years he owned it. He thinks he is sitting on a gold mine if he needs to sell it but in reality, the value of the truck dropping pretty quick.

Yeah my dad had a 2003 Taurus with ridiculously low miles on it. He bought it just before he retired and drove it 5 miles to work every day. Then he retired and drove it almost every day but mostly to the corner store and back. Any longer trips were taken in my mom’s car.

Like racer’s friend my dad thought he was sitting on a gold mine. But the car still lived in Ohio and still drove winter roads and it was a rust bucket, that reeked of smoke and the heating & cooling didn’t work right. The dealership offered him a generous $800 and he ended up donating it instead.

My 2002 PT Cruiser just hit 40K miles, and that includes a trip to Montreal and another to W. Kentucky. But the bottom’s all rusted, and the AC doesn’t work. Thanks, winter.


This describes some of my parents cars. One is a 2008 that has under 20k miles on it.

The reason is that my dad doesn’t drive much, so it just sits in the garage and he prefers a different car when he does drive.

However who knows what damage a car just sitting there that long can undergo. But it was never at the bottom of a lake or anything.

My first car was a 1973 Plymouth Satellite, that I ‘inherited’ from my dad when he bought a new car. That was in 1985 or 86; it has just over 50K miles on it. For those 12 or 13 years, we took a yearly vacation to Lake Tahoe, and we drove to Disneyland once or twice; other than that he only drove the car back and forth to work (about 3 miles) and shopping on the weekends.

Both my parents cars had ridiculously low miles on them. Sold my moms 2002 Toyota Highlander last year to a Toyota dealer. They had nothing to compare it to since it only had 13,000 miles on it. They gave what we asked.

I’ve a 2004 Ram 1500 that I bought used 3 years ago. It had 99,000 miles on it. I think it now has 101,000. So two thousand miles in 3 years. It happens. It’s my plow truck, and rarely leaves the driveway.

Our extended family had a IH pick-up from the early 60s through the 90s that was “fall back and move stuff that won’t fit in a wagon” that probably only got 1K a year on it. We kept it well and changed the oil every year or so if it needed it or not and actually did pretty good on it when it got sold. Pick-ups sometimes are almost recreational vehicles and just don’t get the miles most cars do.

I have a 2012 Toyota with about 10,000 miles.

There are lots of trucks around here (KY) with low miles. People have them for things like hauling campers/boats and drive something else the rest of the time. A house a few blocks over is like that - they’ve got a camper, boat, and truck in the driveway, none of which seem to ever move. I notice this because they park their Toyota on the front lawn because the driveway is full.

When I got my grandmother’s 1977 Datsun in 1995, it had 8,000 miles on it. I drove it until 2002, adding more than 100,000 miles and then moved overseas.

In the early nineties, I bought a 1976 Chevy K20 pickup with only 13,000 miles. But it had spent its entire life as a work truck in a boatyard, and was well used. It had all the service records from new, showing the transfer case had been replaced, even with such low mileage.

Other low mileage but old vehicles can include fire department and government auctions. It’s not uncommon to see old government vehicles that sit for years with minimal use.