Consumer Comeback Blog

Economy Prompts Car Owners to Hold Onto Current Vehicles

The days of buying a new car and trading it in every three years may be in the past. More car owners are willing to drive their cars all the way to the junkyard just to save money. The economy is said to be making a gradual recovery, but as economic conditions remain uncertain, consumers are still reluctant to make the investment in a new car, a recent survey by says. surveyed 3,000 car owners about their auto purchasing intentions in 2011, and found that nearly 80% of participants plan to drive their cars for at least 50,000 more miles. More than half of the participants are influenced by the uncertain economy to hold on to their current vehicle.

More survey respondents reported owning cars with more than 100,000 miles in 2011 than in 2010. Not swayed by the possibility of trade-in value on a new car, the 69% respondents report that they plan to drive their existing vehicle for over 150K miles or ‘until it dies’.

Buying a car during hard financial times can be a risky venture, especially if your credit score is not where you want it to be. Consumers with low credit scores can have a harder time getting good interest rates if they choose to finance their purchase. Read more about why your credit score matters when you buy a car.

“With better built vehicles able to sustain longer lives on the road, and new access to robust online repair information, we are not surprised that car owners continue to hold onto their current vehicles for miles longer than before, and that many of those who plan to buy a vehicle are opting out of purchasing a service contract and plan to either do their own repairs or visit their local repair shop instead,” said Brian Hafer, VP of Marketing for said in a press release.

It’s hard to know when to continue investing in prolonging the life of your car and when to cut your losses, but if buying new or even used is not in your financial picture, repairs may be your best option. Since this study was published, recent reports have revealed that consumers confidence is growing and more people are applying for auto loans.