Owners Keeping Vehicles Longer, Aftermarket Serves To Benefit

November 5, 2010
1979 Lincoln Town Car, Missoula, Montana

1979 Lincoln Town Car, Missoula, Montana

It seems the days of buying a brand-new car every two to three years are fading into history, as most buyers are keeping their new cars for much longer. Among families who buy their cars new, six, eight, even ten years isn't uncommon.

According to Polk, car ownership continues to get longer; as of the second quarter of this year, consumers are now holding onto a new vehicle, on average, for 63.9 months.

That's up 4.5 months from the same period last year.

Vehicle ownership length has been on the rise since late 2008. Prior to then, vehicle ownership length had been rising an average of 3.7 percent annually. But since that time, when more people started to feel the economic turmoil, it's been rising by more than 14 percent annually.

Even for used models, ownership length is at record-high levels and now approaches four years, on average.

Polk says that these numbers serves to emphasize the opportunities available to the aftermarket—for service, parts, mods, or repairs.

It's not a good sign for the automakers, however, who already know that consumers are keeping their cars longer and hope that, sometime soon, they're lure more owners back for a trade-in.

[RL Polk]

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