According to S&P Global Mobility, the average age of vehicles on the road in the U.S. rose to a record 12.2 years in 2022, representing a two percent increase from 2021. Twenty years ago, a car might have changed hands once or twice and lasted 100,000 miles, Today, it is more common for a car to have multiple owners and last for 200,000 miles or more. This extended life cycle of today’s cars creates more value for both owners and dealers – but with one caveat. These high mileage vehicles need high mileage protection to keep the car and its value in tiptop shape.
There are a couple of other issues at play, prompting consumers to keep a vehicle past its ‘prime.’ Thanks to rising new vehicle prices, many consumers are financing their vehicles for upwards of eight years in order to keep the monthly payment in an affordable range. Consumers also factor in long-term reliability when choosing a vehicle, a key criteria in OEM marketing and brand preference.
Today’s older cars also retain their drivability and are in better shape than the days of a heavy metal chassis. Vehicle manufacturers are building cars with a longer lifespan, leveraging improved assembly processes, better materials, and placing an emphasis on vehicle safety guidance from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations. As a result, many of the top 15 longest-lasting cars are likely to reach 200,000 miles or more and also are ranked as the best-selling vehicles, based on automotive research firm iSeeCars.com.