2007 Toyota Tundra
Americans love pickup trucks. While the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado and Dodge Ram are the most popular choices, Detroit’s big three aren’t the only manufacturers playing in this category.
Toyota entered the full-size pickup truck market with the Tundra in 1999. While sales of the Tundra have never quite matched the numbers of its American rivals, it is quite a reliable vehicle.
Victor Sheppard from Louisiana used his 2007 Tundra for long distances to transport heavy loads. He put on an average of 125,000 miles per year on the odometer and by 2016, the truck had surpassed one million miles.
The story caught Toyota’s attention. In 2016, the company gave Sheppard a brand-new model in exchange for his old Tundra, which still had its original engine, transmission, and paint job.
Upon inspection, Toyota found that almost everything on the truck was still functioning except for a sun visor detent and the odometer, which reached its six-digit limit at the 999,999-mile mark.
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1990 Honda Accord
Many believe that the Honda Accord is one of the best family sedans on the market. And the car deserves that reputation — it can run for a long time.
Just ask Maine resident Joe LoCicero, who bought a 1990 Accord when it was six years old and had 74,000 miles. LoCicero took really good care of his car: he changed the oil every 5,000 miles and never let the fuel tank get too close to empty.
His Accord reached the one million-mile mark in 2011.
To be sure, LoCicero did have to replace the car’s fuel pump, cooling fans, and radiator over the years.
Honda gifted LoCicero a brand-new 2012 Accord for the milestone.
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1964 Porsche 356C
Many classic cars live in either heated garages or museums. But Guy Newmark from San Pedro, California was not afraid to put miles on his 1964 Porsche 356C.
To be sure, when Newmark’s dad gave him the 356C when he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in the 1960s, the car was yet to reach classic status. Over the years, Newmark used the 356C for his yacht broker business. He drove it to show boats all over California and sometimes traveled long distances to get signatures on contracts.
The car hit one million miles in 2016.
Newmark said that his 356C did break down once but “it was easily fixed.” He has also repainted the car and rebuilt the engine twice.
Newmark’s 356C even got stolen once. But he quickly had “Porsche fans all over California looking for it” and a woman called to tell him that there was a blue Porsche parked in front of her house. It was indeed his car.
“I paid her a nice reward,” Newmark said.
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Saving money on car ownership
At the end of the day, these stories made headlines because they are rare and not the norm.
The reality is, higher mileage cars generally cost more to repair and maintain than lower mileage ones. The fact that they tend to become money pits is a big reason why many of them end up in the junkyard.
And even if you get a brand-new vehicle, the ownership experience is not free — you need to factor in at least depreciation, gas, and insurance.
So if you want to save money on long-term car ownership, consider getting a model that holds its value well, is fuel efficient and cheap to insure. In fact, even if you don’t plan on getting a new vehicle, you can still save up to $500 a year simply by comparing car insurance.
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