Some interesting stats from this weekend’s New York Times article about the fact that American car owners are holding on to their cars more during this economic recession.

  • The median age of cars on the road hit a record 9.4 years in 2008, up from 9.2 in 2006 and 2007
  • The percentage of cars taken off the road decreased to 5.1 percent, from 5.5 percent in 2007
  • In 2008, new car dealers known as Franchise dealers, obtained more used cars from auctions than any other channel such as trade-ins
  • A R.L. Polk survey of car owners found that 64% of them were “very likely” or “extremely likely” to hold on to their car and 81% were going to take better care of their cars rather than buy another one
  • JD Power & Associates survey of 10,000 dealerships found that reliable, fuel efficient cars such as 2004 Hyundai Elantra, 2003 Toyota Corolla and 2007 Honda Fit spent an average of less than 30 days on the used car lots before they were bought compared with an industry average of 57 days
  • With declining gasoline prices, consumers have been eyeing bigger cars which have come down in prices much more than compact fuel efficient cars.  In the beginning of 2009, the 2006 Honda Pilot, 2006 BMW X5 and the 2006 Toyota 4Runner used or pre-owned cars were getting picked up the quickest

In this market, it seems consumers can get a good deal whether they’re looking for a used or new car.

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