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Study: Auto Owners Keep Cars For More Than 10 Years, 125,000 Miles

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On: Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 10:28AM | By: Chris Weiss

Study: Auto Owners Keep Cars For More Than 10 Years, 125,000 Miles

It used to be that 100,000 miles was the dreaded odometer reading that got you thinking about a new car. Today, that number is more like a half-life for many owners. New research shows more evidence that auto consumers are keeping their vehicles for longer than ever.

Several months ago, market analytical firm Polk reported that duration of vehicle ownership had reached record levels, citing an average of around six years. Its numbers were pretty modest if we're to believe a new study by AutoMD.com. According to the study, as cited by The Detroit Bureau, 78 percent of vehicle owners plan to keep their models for 10 or more years. Only 4 percent report that they expect to trade in between six and seven years, and only 3 percent in three to five years.

AutoMD finds that the behavior isn't simply a reaction to the poor economy and has become embedded among vehicle owners.

A survey done by Black Book puts a mileage figure to the phenomenon, finding that the majority of owners wait until the car has 125,000 to 150,000 miles on the odometer before looking to get rid of it. Many vehicle owners don't budge until 200,000 miles or more.

The findings are both good and bad news for automakers. On the one hand, the fact that vehicle owners are using their vehicles longer means that automakers are offering higher quality vehicles, a notion supported by reliability studies. On the other, it may mean a declining market for new cars.


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