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Polk: Drivers hanging onto their vehicles for longer

1/17/2012

The average age of vehicles currently on the road has hit an all-time high, according to research firm Polk.

After the economic downturn, many drivers did not have the funds to purchase a new vehicle. This has lead to more drivers investing in auto maintenance, as this helps them keep their vehicle on the road for longer. In addition, cars today naturally have longer lifespans than vehicles of yesteryear, which typically needed replacing after around 100,000 miles.

The average age of all cars on the road increased to 10.8 years in 2011, according to Polk. Passenger cars last slightly longer than light trucks, at 11.1 years compared to 10.4.

While this has been bad for new car sales, it's been a boon for those in the auto maintenance business, as car repair shops around the country have seen an increase in the number of people who want to keep their car running in top condition.

"The increasing age of the vehicle fleet, together with the increasing length of ownership, offers significant business growth opportunity for the automotive aftermarket," said Mark Seng, global aftermarket practice leader at Polk. "Dealer service departments and independent repair facilities, as well as aftermarket parts suppliers, will see increased business opportunity with customers in need of vehicle service."

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