Automotive data provider Polk made a study which revealed that the average new car buyer is now holding on to his vehicle for almost six years, while used vehicles are being held for over four years.
This change is due to longer warranties, better reliability, and of course, a miserable economy, compared to 2007 when new car buyers changed their cars after about 4 years. Automakers believe that it will take some time until people return to the pre-recession levels, since more and more people learn to live with older cars.
“We drive our cars until the wheels fall off,” said Geoff Moore, a Los Angeles screenwriter. “It seems wasteful to keep flipping cars.”
The study has shown that a typical buyer of a new car chooses to keep the vehicle for 71.4 months, an increase of about 18 months since 2006, due to the leases, but also the improving auto quality. During the past years people sold their cars before reaching 100,000 miles, considered to be the mileage at which drivers believed the vehicles would be worn out.
“You would sell the car at 60,000 miles to get some residual value out of it. But nowadays 100,000 miles is only halfway through the life of the car,” declared David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports’ automotive test center.