There are many important factors to consider when buying a car. One key aspect that should not be overlooked is miles per gallon (MPG). Obviously, this is important in terms of the automobile’s fuel efficiency and running costs, but it is also a holistic indicator of the automobile’s overall health, maintenance needs, and long-term value. Here is a guide to understanding MPG so that you can factor this into the decision-making process and make a financially intelligent and environmentally friendly decision.

What is MPG?
First, it is helpful to understand exactly what MPG is. This is a measure of fuel efficiency that indicates how many miles a vehicle can travel on one gallon of fuel. The higher the MPG, the better the fuel efficiency, which means spending less on petrol and fewer stops.

MPG & Ageing
It is important to recognise that a car’s MPG can change as it ages, so you need to be wary of this when shopping in the used car market. This is a result of wear and tear of various components, including the engine, exhaust, and transmission. This does mean that you can mitigate these effects with regular car maintenance, so BMW used cars that have been well looked after may still possess a similarly efficient MPG as they did when they were new.

External Factors
Various external factors can then influence a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Most notably, driving habits can make a difference. Aggressive acceleration and frequent idling are negative habits that will lead to lower MPG. Additionally, extreme temperatures, altitude, terrain, and road conditions can play a role. Understanding the impact of external factors and adopting positive driving habits could help a motorist to maximise fuel efficiency while reducing wear and tear on key components.

Implications for Maintenance Costs
Mileage can be an indicator of potential maintenance costs. If you keep your vehicle well-maintained with regular checks and servicing, it will likely have better fuel efficiency and lower repair costs over time. If you neglect your vehicle, your MPG could suffer, and you will face high maintenance costs and more issues with your car. By understanding the correlation between mileage and maintenance costs, you can make informed decisions in the used car market.

Having a strong understanding of MPG is critical when buying a car. You want to make sure that you choose a vehicle with high MPG to keep your costs down, but you should also make sure that the vehicle is well-maintained and adopt positive habits to maintain this MPG over time.