How Long Do Most Americans Keep Their Cars?

My own experience with keeping cars for an extended period

Over the years, I have owned several cars and have learned the importance of keeping them for an extended period. For me, owning a car is not just about the convenience of transportation, but it’s a financial investment. I believe in keeping my car for as long as possible and have personally owned cars for over 10 years.

My first car was a Toyota Camry, which I owned for 12 years. I experienced some minor issues with the car, but it held up well and was reliable. I later owned a Honda Civic for 13 years and a Nissan Altima for 10 years. By taking care of these cars and performing routine maintenance, I was able to save money and avoid the costs of a new car.

The average age of American cars on the road today

According to a report by IHS Markit, the average age of cars on the road in the United States today is 12.1 years. This number has been steadily increasing over the years due to improved technology, better-quality manufacturing, and the rising cost of new vehicles.

The report also found that cars are being driven more than ever before, with the average annual mileage increasing to 11,154 miles. This trend is likely due to more Americans relying on their cars for daily transportation and commuting to work.

Factors that influence how long owners keep their cars

Several factors influence how long owners keep their cars. One of the most significant factors is the cost of a new car. As the cost of new vehicles continues to rise, many Americans are choosing to keep their cars for an extended period. Other factors that influence car ownership include:

  • Maintenance costs
  • Cultural and societal attitudes towards car ownership
  • Technological advancements and improvements in car quality and reliability
  • Environmental concerns and the push towards greener vehicles

Top 10 cars that Americans keep the longest

According to a study by, the following are the top 10 cars that Americans keep the longest:

  1. Toyota Land Cruiser, 11.4 years
  2. Chevrolet Corvette, 10.5 years
  3. Toyota Sequoia, 10.4 years
  4. Ford Expedition, 10.4 years
  5. Chevrolet Suburban, 10.2 years
  6. Toyota 4Runner, 10.1 years
  7. GMC Yukon XL, 10.1 years
  8. Cadillac Escalade ESV, 10.1 years
  9. Audi TT, 10 years
  10. Acura MDX, 9.9 years

When it comes to longevity, some car brands have a stronger reputation than others. According to a study by Consumer Reports, Toyota and Lexus are the two most reliable car brands in the United States, followed closely by Mazda and Subaru.

Other car brands that are known for their longevity include Honda, Nissan, and Ford. These brands often have a reputation for producing cars with long-lasting engines and transmissions that can withstand years of use.

Maintaining and servicing your car for extended use

Maintaining and servicing your car properly is essential if you want to keep it for an extended period. Regular oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine maintenance are essential for keeping your car running smoothly.

In addition to routine maintenance, it’s also essential to pay attention to any warning signs or issues that may arise. Ignoring minor issues can lead to more significant problems down the road, so it’s essential to address them promptly.

Tip: Keep a record of all maintenance and repair work done on your car. This will help you keep track of what has been done and what still needs to be addressed.

Benefits and drawbacks of owning a car for a long time

Owning a car for an extended period can have both benefits and drawbacks. Some benefits of keeping your car for a long time include:

  • Saving money on the cost of a new car
  • Building equity in your vehicle
  • Familiarity with how your car handles and operates
  • Lower insurance rates for older cars

However, there are also some drawbacks to owning a car for a long time, including:

  • Increased maintenance and repair costs as the car ages
  • Less efficient fuel economy compared to newer models
  • Outdated technology and safety features

Note: It’s important to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of keeping your car for an extended period before making any decisions.

As technology continues to improve, and the demand for more environmentally friendly vehicles grows, it’s likely that we will see a shift towards newer, more efficient cars. However, it’s also likely that many Americans will continue to keep their cars for an extended period, especially if the cost of new cars continues to rise.

Additionally, ride-sharing services and autonomous vehicles could change the way Americans view car ownership altogether. In the future, we may see fewer people owning cars and instead opting to use these services for daily transportation.

Overall, the decision to keep your car for an extended period is a personal one. It’s essential to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks and weigh them against your own needs and priorities. By taking good care of your car and staying on top of routine maintenance, you can extend the life of your vehicle and save money in the long run.

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