Informer: Actual miles exact distance a vehicle has

Published 3:21 am Saturday, February 25, 2023

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I see vehicles for sale with things like this: 50,000 actual miles. What are actual miles? Are there any other kinds? 


A vehicle’s odometer reading is one of the key factors in determining what that vehicle is worth because it indicates the number of miles a vehicle has traveled.  Actual miles is the exact distance the vehicle has traveled (accrued mileage) as displayed on the odometer.

In addition to actual miles, there are two other types of odometer readings — not actual and exceeds the mechanical limits.

Not actual mean the exact distance the vehicle has traveled is unknown because the reading that displays on the odometer does not reflect the actual mileage and should not be relied on.

The title issued in the new customer’s name will show an odometer brand of “NOT ACTUAL”. This brand is permanent and cannot be changed. Recording a “NOT ACTUAL” odometer brand on a vehicle lowers the value of that vehicle.

An exceeds the mechanical limits label means the odometer has reached the highest odometer reading mechanically available and has started numbering back. This refers to vehicles equipped with a five-digit odometer that only display a reading up to 99,999. The mileage displayed on the odometer is recorded on the vehicle record with an indication that the reading exceeds the odometer’s mechanical limits. As an example, the odometer displays 12,000; however, the cumulative mileage is 112,000. In this case, the odometer reading on the new title will display 12,000, and the odometer brand will be “EXCEEDS.”   •


Informer is written by Crystal Stevenson, American Press executive editor. To ask a question, call 494-4098 and leave voice mail, or email