Million-Mile Club – We Broke Down Highest Mileage Seen On A Car

Have you ever wondered whether your vehicle can reach 1 million miles? Just what is the highest mileage on a car?

Well, the answer is yes, your car can hit this high mileage. In fact, the highest mileage car was a 1966 Volvo P1800S that reached more than 3 million miles. In fact, this vehicle’s first clutch lasted a staggering 450,000 miles. 

That said, not every vehicle belongs to the million-mile club. So what does it take to attain these world records? More on this below:

What mileage is too high for a car?

Nowadays, 100,000 miles is considered the threshold for used cars. Individuals who stretch their vehicles too far beyond this mileage find that they have to do frequent, costly repairs.

That said, automotive technology has come a long way. As a result, modern-day cars continue performing well even after hitting the 100,000-mile mark. 

A car’s longevity usually comes down to the owner’s driving habits, whether they perform regular maintenance and the road conditions in which the vehicle is driven

That said, there have been several cars that have achieved really high mileage records. 

Here are 5 top-ranking vehicles that hold the world record in terms of mileage:

1. 1966 Volvo P1800

Irv Gordon holds the Guinness World Record for achieving the highest car mileage. 

Interestingly, the 1966 Volvo P1800 was his personal car. This goes to show that even the average Joe, who owns just one vehicle, can achieve high mileage.

But how did Irv Gordon do it? Turns out that he would drive the car for more than 100,000 miles each year visiting car shows. 

He also performed routine maintenance, which further enhanced the car’s durability.

More specifically, he performed oil changes every 3,000 to 3,500 miles and transmission fluid changes every 25,000 miles. 

When the retired science teacher hit the million-mile mark, Volvo awarded him a brand-new car. 

2. 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD

This particular vehicle was owned by Hugh Pennington. 

After Pennington retired as an automaker, he and his wife started a business of delivering camping trailers using their Chevrolet Silverado truck. 

When he first bought it, the car had a reading of 41,000 miles on the odometer. 

In the 6 years that followed, it racked up over 1 million miles. 

Every year, the pair would drive the truck for at least 150,000 miles delivering trailers in different areas within the U.S. 

Interestingly, this vehicle was still using its original engine and transmission up to the last minute. 

According to the Penningtons, one thing that helped the car last for the long haul was changing the oil frequently (every 5,000 miles or so).

3. 1990 Honda Accord

The 1990 Honda Accord belonged to one Joe LoCicero, a professional mechanic with a background in inspecting vehicles. 

So when he acquired this particular car, he knew exactly what to do to increase its lifespan. 

The first thing he did was rebuild the engine. He then continued to do regular maintenance, which involved recording every fuel stop. 

In the end, the car racked up more than a million miles. 

4. 1989 Saab 900 SPG

Peter Gilbert owned his 1998 Saab 900 SPG for a whopping 17 years before deciding to donate it to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in 2006.

At the time of donation, the car still had its original engine with one transmission. However, three-cylinder heads had failed and he’d changed the tires a total of 88 times. 

According to Gilbert, one thing that really boosted the car’s lifespan was the use of synthetic oil.

5. 1963 Volkswagen Beetle

Being an economical car, no one expected this VW Beetle to last as long as it did. It lasted for 24 years under the ownership of Albert Klein. 

Unfortunately, he was forced to replace the engine at least 7 times and perform major maintenance tasks. 

By the time it was reaching the 1 million mile mark, Klein had spent well over $38,000 in maintenance. 

Can my car last 500,000 miles?

Yes, it can.  As seen from the examples above, it’s possible for a car to clock 500,000 miles and more. 

Nowadays though, these have become very rare cases. 

The average lifespan of modern-day vehicles is about 12 years or 200,000 miles. But with proper maintenance, some vehicles cover up to 300,000 miles. 

Can a car go up to 400,000 miles?

Yes, it can but this is also rare. The most miles achieved by modern vehicles is 300,000. If you want your car to reach a higher mileage than others, there are a couple of things you should do, namely:

Start with a high-mileage car

To ensure it lasts long, consider buying a high-mileage vehicle from the get-go. Look for a car brand revered for the longevity of its vehicles. 

According to a recent study, the most dependable car brands are Lexus, Genesis, Kia, Buick, Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, and Toyota

On the other hand, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, and Lincoln are some of the brands that were found to be the least dependable. 

Mercedes Benz has a particularly bad reputation when it comes to longevity. 

It’s complex and contains way too many electronic components that can be difficult to repair or replace. 

Routine maintenance

Another secret to keeping your car in pristine condition is doing regular maintenance. Change the filters and oil frequently and rotate the tires as required. 

Similarly, don’t forget major service tasks like changing the timing belt or replacing the original clutch if it’s too worn.

Pay attention to your driving style

Want your car to hit 100,000 miles and more? Then be mindful of your driving habits. 

Slamming hard on the brakes, accelerating fast, and going over bumps at full speed all subject your car to premature wear and tear

If you want to boost its longevity, adopt better habits like accelerating and slowing down gradually. 

Make fewer short-distance trips 

Did you know that driving short distances frequently has a negative impact on your car’s engine? That’s right. 

When you only go for short trips, the engine doesn’t get enough time to reach the optimal operating temperatures. In return, this makes it less efficient and shortens its lifespan. 

If you want your vehicle to last longer without experiencing costly repairs, make an effort to drive it long-distance occasionally. 

Is 200,000 miles on a car too much?

No, it’s not. Thanks to advancements in the automotive industry, modern cars can be driven for up to 200,000 miles without experiencing major problems. 

Most people cover about 13,500 miles every year. Going by this average, it means your car can last for about 15 years as long as it is maintained properly. 


According to the Guinness Book of Records, a 1966 Volvo P1800 is ranked as the longest-running vehicle. 

It was owned by Irv Gordon who drove it for more than 3 million miles throughout its entire life. Gordon credited its longevity to routine and quality maintenance checks. 

While your car may not hit the 1 million mark, there are a few things you can do to improve its mileage. 

This entails buying a high-mileage car, keeping up with maintenance, and occasionally driving it for long distances. 

More importantly, adhere to good driving habits like braking slowly, and accelerating at a gradual pace. 


Dean Alvarez, TireForge Head Author

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