The economy is still limping along, and although car sales are picking up, a lot of folks are hanging onto their vehicles longer…a lot longer.
The collection of vehicles here might seem less than stellar. In fact, some of them might fall into the hunk of junk category.
But they all have one singular virtue that shines through all that rust and faded paint…they are paid for.
A new survey by the folks at Jiffy Lube reveals what we all knew instinctively. People are hanging onto their rides longer.
“I have seen trade-ins with over 100,000 miles in the last 6 months or so,” says James Bragg of Mike Pile BMW.
I confess, I am a prime example. I love Jeeps, i own an older model and am well into 6 figures on the odometer. But barring a looming major repair, I just can’t justify selling the darned thing.
“Get the oil changed, keep it maintained,” Bragg says. “Drive it as long as you can and save as much money as you can.”
And the list of vehicles on the Jiffy Lube Facebook group runs the gamut from nice sports cars to, well, essentially a box of compressed rust on four wheels. And even, a love affair with a 1964 Mercury Comet and Rachel Madgvich.
“I bought my beloved Chariot in 1964,” Rachel said. “Actually, my husband handled it all…did the negotiation…chose the color. I never saw it until he drove up in the front with the car.”
And the quality of modern vehicles means that the old benchmark of 100,000 miles before things start going wrong, is now only middle age.
“That’s exactly right,” Bragg told us. “If you keep the car well maintained, keep the service up on the vehicle, keep it clean which matters a lot, 200,000 miles is nothing on any of the new cars that’s out there now.”
Dealers are seeing this trend as well. “We get customers in here all the time looking for that 3-5000 dollar everyday commuter car. The market’s difficult enough for folks as it is right now. They’re just trying to save money where they can.”
So, given the economy right now, the old new car itch is easier to scratch.
Of course, there is that new car smell.