Used car ads mileage question

Looking at used car ads on craigslist, I often see the mileage listed as 104*** instead of the actual miles. Is there any reason for not listing the last 3 digits? Is it so the car will not be excluded in searches?

WAG: If I drive the car to the grocery store today, and someone comes by to look at the car tomorrow, the potential customer doesn’t look at the odometer and say “Hey, you said this car had 104,631 miles on it, and this shows 104,642 miles! You lied! False advertising! I want a discount! I’m gonna report you to the attorney general’s office!”

Most of us have a little sense, but a surprisingly vocal minority of the general public really is that stupid…

The car could still be being driven. If they list it as 104,231 miles and it has 104,309 miles on it when you get there, you could bitch at them for lying about the miles. Giving an approximate number avoids any hassles like this.

ETA: Or, in other words, what Lacunae Matata said (damn slow fingers)

I guess that makes sense, but I agree that most people don’t care if the mileage is a little off when they see the car.


I once had (at that time) a 40-year old truck that I decided to sell. People would call and ask what the mileage on it was (seriously???) I would tell them (correctly) that it had 200,000 miles on it. I can remember several people absolutely freaking out on the phone, and bitching at me that I was some kind of crook for trying to sell it… Such high mileage… What, do they think in 40 years it should only be maybe 25k? It’s a 40-year old pickup fer chrissakes.



I saw a car yesterday that was a 94 and had 200k miles on it. Guy was asking about 80% too much for it too.

And they don’t care whether it’s 104,298 or 104,682. 104K is close enough.

And as you’ve now experienced, writing 200K is easier and less fussy than putting in a precise-to-the-mile figure.

It comes down to, there’s no need to list the exact mileage, so why bother?

Funny thing is I don’t see as many people as I expected who write 104k. They seem to use the exact number or use 104***.

[quote=“Gary_T, post:7, topic:553059”]

Many states require used car ads to show at least approximate mileage in all copy.

I used to work for a used car advertising publication. I drove around to dealerships, photographed the car for the ad, and took down all the details (Power windows, locks doors, a/c am-fm, cd, mileage. etc.)

I’d usually pad the odometer by 25-30 miles every time. Some guys would have me pad it by 150 miles or more, because buyers always seemed happier to see fewer miles than advertised.

I noticed a decent number of craigslist ads do not list the mileage. And in most cases I found those cars have high mileage.

No mileage posted = I don’t consider that vehicle for purchase.

[quote=“postcards, post:9, topic:553059”]

My state requires a mileage statement on the title, but offers the option of saying “unknown.”
PS. I don’t hold high mileage against a vehicle automatically as some vehicles survive better than others. When a seller says the engine was just rebuilt a few thousand miles ago, that really scares me away.

I actually had to replace my speedometer/odometer on a car and they wrote the mileage at the time of the repair on the bill.

Here in NC when you sell a car you can also say that the mileage on the car is not correct so that way you can’t be sued for fraud.