What does delivery mileage mean?

Car transporter delivering cars.

At its most simplified, delivery mileage is defined as the limited number of miles on a new (unregistered) car, clocked up by transportation either from the import location to the dealership, in-between dealerships or from the dealership to the buyer.

This driving helps buyers avoid a ‘transporter fee’ and means you can drive away on the day, usually with a significant discount on costs. And, unlike a pre-registered car, a new car with delivery mileage can be sold with the manufacturer’s warranty and with the buyer as the first registered owner.

So, let’s take a look at how new cars with delivery mileage stack up against other car types to see whether it might be the right option for you.

New car

A new car is any vehicle that does not have a title issued to any party before the buyer who drives it off the lot. This information will be recorded in the manufacturer’s ‘statement of origin’, and on the dashboard, as the odometer should read close to ‘0’. Cars depreciate most between the first and second owners, so while this method will mean taking something of a financial hit on resale, you have the advantage of a mint-condition and comprehensively equipped car.

Used car

A used car is a vehicle that has had one or more previous owners who have driven the car for personal transportation purposes. While purchasing a used car can bring you great savings, the maintenance and servicing history of the car has been in the hands of someone else and should be comprehensively reviewed by a dealership before you buy, and bought directly from a dealership you trust.


Similar to a pre-registered car, an ex-demo (ex-demonstration) car will have one previous registered owner, likely to be a dealership. The dealership will have used the car both for display and test drive purposes, meaning it may well have racked up a fair few miles. However, the car should also have been well maintained and is likely to feature a host of top spec features that the dealer has been showing off to prospective buyers.

Why should I consider a delivery mileage model?

The most significant benefit of buying a car with delivery mileage is clearly price. For the build-up of fewer than 200 miles on the odometer (undertaken by a professional delivery driver), new car buyers could save anywhere from 10% – 40% on MRRP. Depending on your preferred finance method, a car with delivery mileage could shave almost half off your deposit and lower your monthly repayment costs significantly.

Delivery mileage cars also give you plenty of choices whilst also letting you drive off the lot on the same day (unlike buying online or other less reliable methods). Leading dealerships with local branches nationwide will keep a store of delivery mileage cars at any given time. This gives you the chance to either find your preferred spec or pick from a selection of cars that have been chosen by professionals.

What is an acceptable delivery mileage on a new car?

Estimating an allowable delivery mileage is not an exact science, because amounts of use vary between different car dealerships and manufacturers.

A rule of thumb is that anything under 200 miles can be classed as an acceptable delivery mileage for a new car, allowing enough capacity to transport the car from the shipping port or between showrooms. The car is highly unlikely to suffer any technical issues within this radius – in fact, some components (such as certain types of brake disc) actually take 100 miles or more to tune up to optimum levels. Ford is slightly more generous with their estimate, allowing a maximum of 250 miles before delivery mileage can no longer be claimed.

But in reality, many delivery mileage vehicles have covered far less distance, with anywhere between 10 – 50 miles being quite common for this type of purchase. A prospective buyer should bear in mind a whole host of factors when considering what could be called an ‘acceptable’ mileage, including leaving the factory lot, journeying in and out of storage compounds, loading and unloading onto ferries and rolling road inspections.

If you’re on the lookout for more expert advice on purchasing a new car with delivery mileage, why not call on the friendly team at your local Perrys dealership today?