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10 years and 150,000 miles are the new norm

Today's vehicles last longer than ever with fewer problems, reports say

Published: July 31, 2012, 5:00 PM

European spec Focuses on delivery -

Where not that long ago it was normal for Americans to keep their cars a mere two or three years before trading in, nbcnews.com cites two separate surveys that point to big changes in the status quo.

According to a survey by AutoMD.com, almost 80% of owners will hold onto their vehicles a decade or more before trading them in; a Black Book survey says the majority won't trade until their vehicles have at least 125,000 to 150,000 miles (201,000-240,000 km) on the odo.

The AutoMD survey found that 78% of owners planned to keep their cars for a decade or more; 15% planned to trade in at the eight-to-10-year mark; 4% planned to trade in between six and seven years, and a paltry 3% expected to trade in between three and five years into their ownership.

The website claims that 60% of primary vehicles now have more than 100,000 miles (160,000 km) on them.  47% of respondents to the survey said that a weak economy was responsible for their decision to hang onto their cars, while 44% said they'd been more vigilant about proper care and maintenance; 37% said they wanted to save money and 28% said they were doing their own repairs to keep their old heaps running. 19% said that today's cars just last longer.

Today's vehicles last longer than ever with fewer problems, and many makers are throwing in free scheduled  maintenance under warranty, so it seems an industry that perfected the art of planned obsolescence is getting hoist on its own petard.

In January, industry expert Dennis DesRosiers estimated the average age of a car in Canada had hit about eight and a half years in 2011.