4 Reasons Why Cars Are The Oldest Ever – Forbes

Posted: Wednesday, August 05, 2015

My Toyota Prius will be seven years old next month. It’s paid for, in great mechanical shape, and since I telecommute, I don’t feel a need to buy or lease a new one in the near future.

But, this is the longest I’ve ever owned a vehicle, and it turns out that I have plenty of company.

The average owner now keeps their vehicle for 6.5 years, as Rian Bosse of BusinessJournalism.org reported earlier this week. The average used car owner keeps their vehicle five years, and that is on top of however old the vehicle is when they buy it.

Overall, the average vehicle on the road is now 11.5 years old, according to consulting firm IHS IHS Automotive. That’s a new record. And, there are some reasons why the number keeps growing.

Quality. We’ve heard for years that cars and trucks are better than they used to be, and better quality means people don’t have to buy as often. If you’re planning to buy and keep a car, that means you should check out long-term quality measurements as well as those for initial vehicle quality.

In my own circle of friends and family, I know people driving cars from 2008, 2002, 1999, 1997 and 1994. I’m sure there are even older models out there still in active use.

My mom’s Lexus, the 2002, seems to be in especially hot demand. Every so often, her dealer asks if she wants to sell it. And people have stopped her in parking lots, wanting to know if it’s available. (The owner of the 1997 is first in line, by the way.)

Chevrolets sit on the sales lot at F.H. Dailey Chevrolet in San Leandro, California.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


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