Study: U.S. drivers hanging onto their cars longer than ever

2006 Chevrolet Malibu

According to a new study by research company Polk, Americans are keeping their new cars longer than ever – nearly six years. Citing data put together in Sept. 2011, Polk said U.S. consumers are hanging onto their new cars an average of 71.4 months – up 4.7 months from March.

Both numbers, the length of ownership and the rate of increase set records for the study. Polk first conducted the study in 2001.

Of course, the data shows the increasing reliability of new cars as well as showing that consumers are hesitant to make big purchases during a shaky economy. Another way to look at it is that there is new opportunity for automakers to sell new cars once those vehicles start breaking down.

“Traditionally most older vehicle repairs go to the independent aftermarket but this is an opportunity for manufacturers to get in on that as well,” Mark Seng, global aftermarket practice leader at Polk said.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: AutoNews