Hooniverse Asks: Did you drive a million miles?

After driving Matt Farah’s #MillionMileLexus yesterday I started thinking, which is never a good thing. I asked myself if I have driven a million miles in my life. I got my driver’s license in 1994 but I’d be lying if I wasn’t driving much earlier than that… in Mexico, of course. Even so, in my 24 years of driving I would need to average over 40,000 miles per year. 
I kept calculating and looking over the past twenty years of my life. For that part of my life I lived in northern New Jersey and downtown Boston. While I always drive, the distances I cover are not great. When I worked in Manhattan and downtown Boston I used to take the train or bike to work. My longest car-commuting distance was a round-trip of about 40 miles and I did that for about two years. I accumulated the most miles, almost a 1000 per week, when I worked in NYC but spent my weekends in Boston. 
Adding it up I think I might be somewhere around a half a million mark in my lifetime of driving. I might, might, be at a million if I add up my lifetime of flights and distance covered as a passenger. And this is what makes the Million Mile Lexus even more remarkable. It started life in 1996 and by 2018 has 981,201 miles on it. That’s an average of 44,600 miles per year. 
Today we are asking – have you driven a million miles?

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23 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: Did you drive a million miles?”

  1. P161911 Avatar

    I’m probably close to half a million miles. 29+ years of driving, average at most 18k/year. I’m sure that my dad has easily surpassed the one million mile mark and possibly surpassed the two million mile mark. For the last 45 years or so he was a sales rep for at least 40 of those years. 99.9% of his traveling was by car, he averaged between 35k to 60k miles/year. While he hasn’t put one million miles on a single car, I can think of 4 or 5 cars that his miles would add up to one million. He put almost 300k on just one poor Dodge Caliber (the company provided that car). He is now semi-retired and only travels 2 or 3 times a month. He works for a small paint and body shop supply wholesaler, his boss also has a used car lot. His current company car is a Lincoln Towncar with 300k+ miles whose former owners include the GM for the old Atlanta Ford plant and Truett Cathy (owner of my dad’s company is friends with them). I suspect that this will be his last work car. My dad is now 72.

  2. neight428 Avatar

    I’ve had my license for four years longer than Farah’s Lexus has been in existence, so no, maybe half that with what would be a relatively long commute for most of those years. Fun with math – if you get 1 million miles out of a car in 22 years, it is as though it rolled off the assembly line at 5.2 mph and never stopped, ever. If you drove at an average of 50 mph, that’s 2.5 hours of driving every single day for 22 years.

  3. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    Not even close. You’ve made me come to the unnecessarily depressing realization that I will likely never drive a million miles. I’ve also been driving for about 24 years, and have driven an estimated 350,000 miles in that time. If I could maintain that average, it’d take me nearly 50 more years, but my average yearly mileage has gone down. At my current annual accrual, I’d have to live to be 105, but even on the off chance that I live that long, I’d probably not be driving anymore by then, anyway.

  4. GTXcellent Avatar

    Are we counting just highway/road miles?
    I’ve had my legal license 26 years and have always had my own vehicle(s). Did a lot of “cruising” as a teen. Went to college about 200 miles away and traveled home a fair amount. The 6 years the MiSSus and I worked in “The Cities” my commute was 100 miles a day and now living the rural life, it’s still 8 miles into town. Add in all the trips to the cabin and other road trips and I’m guessing I’m some around 3/4 of the way there. But, you can tack on another decade of driving snowmobiles, mini-bikes, 4 wheelers and lawn mowers…I don’t think I drove a quarter of a million miles with ‘toys’ but I sure burned up a lot of gas.

    1. Kamil K Avatar

      I’m counting miles, just like an odometer.
      I stated that despite driving often my driving was limited low average speeds because I’ve lived in densely populated areas.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Counting miles? I thought the purpose of an odometer was to permanently record the point at which the speedometer cable broke. Or the drive gear(s) broke. Or the head unit broke. Or the vehicle just plain stopped moving.

  5. Maymar Avatar

    Based on some rough back of napkin math, I’ve driven about 460k kms, which isn’t bad in 16 years I guess. A big chunk of it though is covered by the stretch when I was in college (commuting an hour each way, plus working as a courier part time), followed immediately by a job where I was driving 4-5 hours a day covering an assigned territory.

  6. Owl Avatar

    I have kept a monthly record of all business and private miles since I started my business in September 92. I’ve averaged a bit over 39,000 a year, year in year out across my own cars, rental and loaners. I know the mileage – start and finish – of all the cars I owned from getting my licence in March 77 to September 92. If I make an estimate of how much of that my wife did and how much would have been in other people’s cars I get to 1.425 million. I doubt I’ll ever get to 2m though…

  7. mdharrell Avatar

    I approach quantitative measurement with the precision, the accuracy, and the passion of any geologist, so I’ll say that one million miles, plus or minus 750,000 miles, sounds about right.

    1. Monkey10is Avatar

      But it’s not difficult to get to that kind of total when (as a geologist) the only measures of time you recognise are broken down into periods of 100 million years.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Truth be told my area of alleged expertise is mineral physics, so the most common unit of time in my dissertation is the nanosecond. I’m not convinced I used it correctly, though.

  8. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    After 38 years of driving/riding, I’m probably around half a million miles behind the wheel.

  9. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    I think I’m maybe at 400,000 since it took 15 years to put 120,000 on our Saturn. While I spent a lot of years with a 40 mile round trip commute I used public transportation a lot and we never took long road trips. I’ve been driving since 1981 but most of my long trips were by plane.

  10. PaulE Avatar

    I’m getting close. I’ve been a Realtor since the early 1990s (and driving since the early 1980s), and actually enjoy driving most days, preferring the driver’s seat to a plane ticket, wherever possible. In that same time period as Farrah’s Lexus (’96-present), I calculated something like 913,000 miles, over 16 different cars. My highest miles in a car and longest owned? My ’01 Saab 9-5 Aero. Bought new in ’01, sold 11 years later with 325k miles on it. I may have a chance to buy that one back(!). Second and fourth place goes to two Lexus LS400s (150k and 80k, respectively). There’s a few Saab 9000s in there, a couple beater Chevy S-10s, a BMW 1100RT, plus some Audis and VWs as well. Length of ownership varies, too–the first 9-5 I owned 11 years, I’ve owned the same 9000T for 12 years, and have had one Lexus or another for 11 years straight. The rest of them I either had for a year or two as toys, and some of them were flippers, but still mine for some length of time.

  11. Batshitbox Avatar

    Nobody told me there’d be a quiz.

  12. Fuhrman16 Avatar

    Short answer is no, I haven’t.
    Thinking about it, I have put 51 thousand miles on my Mazda since I purchased it two and a quarter years ago. That’s over 22,500 a year on average, which is really quite a lot. And that’s with two other cars that I also owned over that period. Not to mention the thousands of miles I’ve put on borrowed/rented cars.
    So if you times that average for the 15 years I’ve had a license, that would put my driven miles at about a third of a million miles. At this pace I should hit a million miles when I turn 60.

  13. ptschett Avatar

    I’m a little over half a million miles in 23 years, just counting the 3 cars / 2 pickups / 1 motorcycle I’ve owned and the ’73 Cougar belonging to my family that I drove through most of high school.
    In addition to that I would guess maybe 15,000 miles in heavy farm trucks ranging from Ford F-600 equivalent up through semis, 10,000 in family cars I borrowed briefly or only drove occasionally, 10,000 miles slowly accumulated in full-size tractors on the family farm, and maybe 2,000 miles of lawn & garden/compact tractor operation mowing my parents’ and my grandparents’ lawns.

  14. Scoutdude Avatar

    I’ve certainly done a million miles by now after about 40 years of driving. There were years where I worked as a “merchandiser” and then as a sales rep. There was one year in particular I put over 40K on my company vehicle and most years it was over 30k on the company vehicle. Then I put another 5-10 per year on personal vehicles. I then did a number of years where I ran a mobile auto repair business and put 12-15K per year on the company vehicle and another 10K on personal vehicles. In the last year I’ve put 12k on my Crown Victoria, 6K on my F250, 3K on my E150 and probably at least 40% of the 30k put on the car that is my wife’s daily driver.

  15. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    I started early, legal licence to drive was 15 in NZ, back then, so 42 years so at 24,000 miles per year, I’ve done 1,008,000 miles. But I’ve driven way more than that. A year when I was injured with a fractured pelvis took it down, but I was at Uni for my first degree, and travelling to my home town every fortnight so that was still over 20,000 miles in my P6 Rover. Later when I was a courier on a motor bike in London, Manchester, and back in Auckland NZ, I was travelling 50 – 60,000 miles a year for six years, then another six years in the Corolla diesel wagons at 80,000 miles/year. Add in travelling on holiday through Europe, Australia, the USA and that I prefer to drive, and that I still prefer driving on travel around the country here, I calculate that I must be at around the 1,500,000 mark. I’ve not regretted one mile of it.

  16. Damian Solorzano Avatar
    Damian Solorzano

    Well, yes. Driving has been a profession as well as a hobby. When I was a courier, I racked up close to 500k in four years, darting around California…Then came the Over-The Road trucking, followed by P&D driving, then instructing drivers behind the wheel…

  17. rovingardener Avatar

    My first years of driving I drove family vehicles and I would be surprised that between the ages of 14 and 20 I drove more than 10000 miles. Stationed at Hill AFB, the first vehicle I owned a 1986 Honda Helix and put 8600 miles but was occasionally was the DD in other peoples cars, so about another 10000 miles perhaps. Then I got a delivery driver job, and things blew up. When I first started working as a delivery driver I didn’t know the SLC area at all, not having lived here previously. From October 1994 until December 2009 I was a full timer averaging 55000 miles a year at work. During this time I was also commuting 26 miles each work day plus another 12000 miles a year because I could. So I achieved one million miles about September 2007 is my guesstimation. Since then I went to part time in January 2010 and those were weird years where I wasn’t wearing cars out, driving about 30000 miles a year between work and personal until August 2013. Since then I stopped keeping anything like a record. Between bus driving and personal, probably 30000 miles total a year. So yeah, a lot.

  18. salguod Avatar

    Personally? No. But my fleet has.
    I’ve been keeping electronic records for my cars for many years now and aCar says that my cumulative total is 803,089.5 miles. There are at least 4 cars with no electronic records, so I’m sure that I’m over a million. But, many of those miles were my wife and some were my 3 daughters. I’m guessing I’m at around half a million.

    1. Troggy Avatar

      I’ve done over 100,000 on both personal cars and about 50,000 on each motorbike so that’s… 300,000 in personal vehicles (the ones that I tracked the mileage on). Work cars. Working out west, most days would be about a 2 hour minimum drive to the worksite, sometimes up to 8 hours. Best effort was the rental car that we returned with over 30,000km on – but the car was only 4 months old. AVIS was definitely unhappy with us for that – it hadn’t even had it’s run-in service. We had used it for RF survey, the engine had only ever been turned off for refuelling. It was run all night by myself, and all day by the day shift.
      I’d say I’m close to or over 1 million kilometres total – but not miles.