Stop Worrying About Mileage And Drive Your Damn Cars

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Photo: ABDUL MAJEED/AFP (Getty Images)

Why did you buy your car? Did you buy it because you needed a daily driver or a family hauler? Did you finally splurge on something fun? Did you compromise on something that fits a new lifestyle change? Or did you buy it just to look at it until you resell it one day for more money?

This weekend, PistonHeads tweeted a screenshot of its forums where someone wrote about their fear of adding too many miles to their cars because they’re concerned about what will happen when, one day in the future, they try to sell said cars and apparently someone has a problem with the mileage.

“I own a Porsche which I absolutely love but am always conscious of its mileage fearing it’ll be worth nothing one day, unable to be sold to anyone for anything decent,” the user lamented in the post.

Now, I know this might be revolutionary, but I just have to say something: Drive your damn cars.

Seriously. Get behind the wheel, start the vehicle, and drive it. Drive it literally anywhere. To the grocery story. On that road trip you’ve been putting off. To work. Hell, just drive aimlessly until you find some cool little town you’ve never heard of before just because you were too afraid to drive your car somewhere without a purpose. I don’t care. Just drive.

I’ll make exceptions for collector’s items. If you just dropped a cool multi-million on a race-used Bugatti driven by René Dreyfus, you’re probably not going to want to drive it. I get it. If you bought something old and finicky, maybe you’ll take it easier behind the wheel than you would if you were driving a Honda Civic.

But the entire concept of holding back on driving your car because of what some future owner might think blows my mind. Maybe it’s just because I grew up fairly lower class, where the cars we bought were legitimate necessities that would quite literally die under our ownership because we bought them and we’re going to use them goddammit, but what kind of rich people bullshit is this concept of taking it easy on your vehicle on behalf of someone else?

If you bought a car that you love driving, why hold back so that one day, some jamoke can buy your car on a whim and never think of it again? Why cling to the hope of one day making money on a low-mileage vehicle if you’re depriving yourself now? If you want to invest your money in something that will pay out dividends in the future, take up the stock market. Then go out and drive your damn car.

When I bought my Mazda2, it was with the intention that I would be driving that thing until it literally gasped its last breath. I’ve made it a personal challenge to see how many miles I can cram onto its odometer before it becomes a detriment to society. And then I’m going to strip it of all its unnecessary bits and turn it into a dune buggy for driving around the yard.

When I bought my Suburban, I immediately took it on a 6,000-mile road trip. I bought it with that explicit intention. I bought it so that, one day, in the near future, I can drive it from Texas to Canada and back to pick up my husband’s Ford Fairmont and tow it home. And when we get the Fairmont here, you know what we’re going to do? We’re going to drive it. Because we love it. Because that’s why my husband bought it in the first place.

The miles you put on your car don’t matter unless you’ve somehow managed to preserve it with a ridiculously small amount of miles on the odometer. If you really want to sell your car later for a profit, take good care of it and keep meticulous service records.

Life is too damn short to worry about how much money you’ll make at some undisclosed point in the future. If you’ve got a car you love, get out there and drive it, and damn everyone in this world who has made you think your car is only valuable if it’s valuable to someone else.

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