Driving your car till the wheels fall off used to mean you were holding your breath after the odometer clicked 100,000 miles. Not any longer. In this tough economy, the number of people keeping older cars instead of buying new ones is greater than
In 2011, people kept their vehicles for an average of six years up from an average of four years back in 2003. The cars on the road are older than ever; the typical vehicle was 10.8 years old in 2011, up from 8.4 years old in 1995.
None of this should be at all surprising given the economy. It's harder to find the kind of financing you used to be able to get without a problem. If you can't finance then you rely on paying cash at a time when personal savings rates are at an all-time low. Hence, new car sales are down nearly 4 million a year so far and analysts don't expect these sales to start rebounding until 2015 at the earliest.
When your budget doesn't have room for a new vehicle, taking proper car care steps for older vehicles will yield great dividends for you down the road.
This post was published on April 2, 2012 and was updated on August 2, 2022.