CARSON, Calif. — A new AutoMD.com online survey has found car owners continue to hold onto their vehicles longer and plan to put more miles on them than in previous years.
Among more than 3,000 vehicle owners surveyed during the first quarter, the majority appear to be resistant to changing this attitude, with 58 percent saying a “recovering” economy has not decreased the number of miles they plan to put on their current vehicle, according to AutoMD.com.
Meanwhile, nearly 80 percent plan to put up to or more than 50,000 miles on their current vehicle than they put on their previous vehicle. AutoMD.com said this indicates that extended vehicle ownership is a habit that is taking hold, regardless of any signs of recovery—and especially as economic challenges continue.
The survey also revealed that only 12 percent of respondents plan to buy a vehicle in 2011, with nearly half planning to do so only out of necessity because their vehicle is near the end of its life. Just 6 percent cite a recovering economy as a chief motivator for them purchasing a vehicle.
Of those that plan to purchase, 39 percent said they plan to buy a used vehicle.
The number of survey respondents planning to add over 50,000 miles on their current vehicle vs. the mileage they put on their previous vehicle, increased slightly from last year's AutoMD.com survey—from 60 percent to 68 percent.
The percentage of survey respondents reporting they have more than 100,000 miles on their current vehicle has also increased by 25 percent from 2010. Meanwhile, 68 percent of total respondents report they plan to drive their existing vehicle for over 150,000 miles or “until it dies”—a slight decrease from 2010's 69 percent.
The percentage of people saying that either the economy or cost savings is the most important reason for holding onto their vehicle for more than 100,000 miles has risen more than 20 percent since 2010.
Nearly half of those who intend to purchase a vehicle in 2011 do not intend to purchase a service contract, with approximately 56 percent saying that approach is too expensive, preferring either to go to a local independent repair shop if a problem arises (34 percent) or take their chances on the vehicle (22 percent).
Twenty-six percent of those who do not intend to purchase a service contract say they plan to do most of the repair and maintenance work themselves.