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Cars are Lasting Longer. Here’s What That Means.

Lone car on a back roads high way, illuminated by a warm sunset

Yet another trend made more apparent by the COVID-19 pandemic is the average age of cars on the road. That is, for a lot of car owners, their cars are running for longer and delaying the need for newer vehicles. Except not quite. Keep reading why you should keep an eye on the impact of older cars on the car-buying market.

What it means for car owners

Generally, how long your car lasts depends on how well you maintain it. If you choose a reliable car make and model, follow the recommended maintenance schedule with a trusted mechanic, then the longevity of your vehicle increases exponentially.

However, if you’re more like the average car owner, then you can likely expect a gas car to last you around 12 years or about 200,000 miles. That’s up from the common 10 year milestone most car owners work with. Also, in addition to being kinder to the environment, more advanced cars like electric vehicles can last you up to 300,000 miles.

All of that is something to keep in mind if you’re nearing the end of that range. If you think you'll be purchasing a new car in the future, then this trend of longer lasting cars affects you, too.

What it means for car buyers

More people are keeping their cars for longer, and it’s the ones having to buy a new car that feel the effects. While cars staying on the road longer may seem like the need for new cars would go down, the opposite is actually true. Todd Campau, IHS Markit’s associate director of aftermarket solutions, has said, “The older the vehicles are, the more opportunity there is that they are reaching the end of life, which feeds new vehicle buying.” Meaning the group of buyers looking to replace their dying vehicles is getting bigger. Even used cars can’t escape. Used-car costs grew 30% in May from a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So, what’s the bottom line of all this? Advances in technology are allowing car manufacturers to produce better-made vehicles, capable of operating past previous milestones. Because of this, the opportunity for cars to reach their end of life has expanded to a larger group of car owners. This, plus a global shortage of new car parts, has caused a shake up in the car-buying industry, leaving car-owners worried about the future.

You don't need to worry, though, because the certified auto technicians Metro Motor are here to help. Whether you want to know how to best care for your car to keep it running, or an expert opinion on if it’s really time to sell your current vehicle,trust the auto techs at Metro Motor to help.

Vehicle care information made available by Metro Motor is presented as helpful advice for general maintenance and should not be construed as instructions for at-home vehicle service. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual and a licensed, professional mechanic for diagnostics and repair.

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