There are almost 250 million cars on U.S. roads. As luck would have it, yesterday about 240 million of them were piled up waiting to get out of my local downtown area.
For some perspective, there are about 313 million people alive in the United States right now. That means nearly every person in this country has a car.
Part of the reason we have so many vehicles is that people are holding on to their cars longer than ever, with the average age of vehicles on the road now at 10.9 years, according to Experian.
At last week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas, Experian took the study a little further and revealed which vehicle brands people keep the longest. The top 5, somewhat surprisingly, are Buick, Volvo, Mitsubishi, Chrysler and Dodge.
Okay, well, maybe that’s not too surprising, considering many of those brands happen to be the last car people ever buy, if you catch my drift. Traditionally speaking, Buick buyers tend to be older and hold onto their cars until they are passed down to an heir.
Mitsubishi, Chrysler and Dodge vehicles, historically, have depreciated in value quickly, which could explain why owners hold on to them longer. If the value is less than what’s owed on a car loan, it makes sense to keep the car.
Conjecture aside, the Experian study measured the number of months car owners kept their vehicles since buying them new. Buick was the easy winner at 98 months, while Volvo came in at 92 months and Mitsubishi at 91. The average length of ownership for Chrysler vehicles was 87 months and for Dodge it was 85. The 5 brands with the shortest length of ownership were Subaru at 76 months, Mazda at 75 months, Jaguar and Lexus tied at 72 months and GMC at 71 months.
Even 71 months seems like an eternity from my perspective. I guess some might say I have commitment issues, but cars in my ownership generally stick around for less than 36 months.
How long have you had your car, and what kind of car is it? Will you replace it anytime soon?