Americans Are Driving Their Old Cars Longer These Days

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Photo: Julie Zeveloff/Business Insider

Even though consumers are saving more and finally starting to chip away at credit debt, we’re still not feeling flush enough to upgrade our old wheels.According to market intelligence firm Polk, the average length of car ownership has jumped to nearly six years – 23 per cent longer than before the recession hit in 2008.

You don’t have to look far to figure out why. Securing auto loans isn’t as easy as it used to be, especially as the average American is still nursing $6,000 in credit debt and the job market is only just beginning to show real signs of growth.

According to Polk, many consumers are simply opting for longer-term financing options as they look for more affordable monthly payments.

It also helps that cars are lasting longer these days and come with lengthier warranties, Polk notes. The average age for cars and light trucks has increased to nearly 11 years. 

Hanging on to your wheels is one way to cut costs, but just be sure you’re not skimping on maintenance.  You’ll wind up paying more for heavier repairs down the road if you ignore early warning signs, says YM contributor Alan Henry of Lifehacker.

Now See How To Avoid Getting Scammed By A Used Car Dealer >

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