Before the national recession, it was quite common for vehicle owners to trade in their cars every two or three years for a brand new ride. But the tight economy has dramatically altered this trend, and as of the first quarter of this year, the average age of cars in the U.S. was 11 years old. According to a new survey by AutoMD.com, long-term vehicle ownership is becoming more acceptable among buyers today, and the trend is unlikely to change anytime soon – even if the economy improves.
Three in four people surveyed by AutoMD.com agreed that buying a vehicle every two years is a thing of the past. A whopping 78 percent of respondents said that owning a car for 10+ years (or until it dies) is the best option. Interestingly, over half of the survey respondents said that the long-term vehicle ownership trend is here to stay, even if the economy improves.
Only 3 percent of those surveyed said they plan on keeping their vehicles for less than five years. While the economy is a major reason that consumers are bucking the trend, another reason has to do with the better quality cars of today compared to years ago. Consumers are also increasingly focused on scheduling vehicle repairs on-time, and getting these services for less.
Many of today’s vehicle owners are choosing to have their vehicle serviced at an independent repair shop in order to save money. Of consumers who choose to get their car repaired by an expert, 76 percent prefer to visit independent shops. Still, 28 percent of car owners prefer to fix their cars themselves, perhaps saving even more money.
Not only does the average age of cars in the U.S. stand at 11 years old, but consumers are also trying to squeeze out more and more miles from their cars than ever before. A large 60 percent of respondents said that their primary vehicle has logged over 100,000 miles.
Only 10 percent of those surveyed said their main vehicle had less than 40,000 miles.
According to the results of the 4,000 car owners surveyed by AutoMD.com, it is obvious that the tide is shifting when it comes to the role of cars in the lives of consumers. Overall, consumers are valuing practicality over style, making sure they get the most of their vehicle. Car buyers are considering their vehicle purchase as a long-term commitment, allowing them to save money and hassle throughout the years.
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