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Many people say that next to buying a home, buying a vehicle can be one of the biggest investments that the average person makes. This why when many consumers go and pick out a car, they are looking for a car that is dependable and reliable. After all, nobody wants to spend a large amount of money on something only to have to turn around a few years later and have it replaced.

Luckily, thanks to the ever-changing world of technology and automotive advancements, a study has found that light vehicles now have a longer life expectancy than ever before. So, just how long does the average car last and what makes it able to stay on the road longer? Here is what we know about why people are able to keep their cars longer.

What is the average of life vehicles on the road today?

The IHS Markit has been keeping close tabs on the average lifespans of various light vehicles. Recently, they had conducted a study that had proven that today, the average car on the road is about 11.8 years old.

When the IHS Markit first started to keep track of the age of vehicles on the road in 2002, they found that the average age was around 9.6 years old. Since then, the average age of a car has been steadily increasing over the years and has increased by 12.2% from 2008 to 2013.

In the last five years, however, the average age of a light vehicle had only increased by 4%, which up until 2008, had been a pretty common rate.

Why are more people starting to keep their cars longer?

According to Global Automotive Aftermarket Director at IHS Markit, Mark Seng, people are keeping their cars because manufacturers are starting to make cars with higher standards that are able to last longer.

Also, because many people are starting to finance their cars for a longer period of time, they are starting to take better care of their car and ensuring that they perform regular maintenance on the vehicle in order to make sure that it will last throughout their financing period.

Is geography a contributing factor?

According to the IHS Markit, geography does play a part in deciding how long a person is able to keep their car on the road. For example, in the Western part of the United States, some people were still driving the same car after owning it for over 12 years. Montana has the highest average in the country where the study has shown that some people were keeping their cars for over 16 years. 

It is suggested that the reason why some parts of the country have a higher average than others is that some areas have harsher climates and more stop-and-go traffic which can add to extra wear and tear on a car.

The fact that people are keeping their cars for a longer period of time is good news for some industries

 The fact that cars are now being built to last longer is good news for anyone who is thinking about selling their old car or for dealerships that specialize in selling used cars. Mark Seng also says that the auto mechanic industry will start to see a boost in revenue as people are now trying to keep their cars for as long as possible.

“There are many more vehicles on the road than there was in 2002, which means there is going to be all different kinds of repairs – oil changes, brake jobs, and new wiper blades – that’s going to be done to that vehicle cycle. That’s more revenue opportunities for the aftermarket repair people,” Seng had said.

For the last few decades, the number of people that have decided to keep their old cars has steadily continued to drive and the IHS Markit doesn’t think that the growing trend will slow down anytime soon. In fact, they actually expect the number of cars on the road that are over 16 years old to increase dramatically by the year 2023.