Car owners keeping vehicles longer

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The average age of a vehicle on America’s roads is now 11.4 years. That's an all-time high, according to Polk, a market research firm.

Polk says the average vehicle age has been getting steadily older since the recession,

In 2002, the average age was 9.6 years. In 1995, it was just 8.4 years.

But since the recession, more and more Americans have been hanging on to their old cars for as long as possible. And it seems the cars are proving to be remarkably durable.

The trend toward longer-lasting vehicles is great news for auto parts retailers and repair shops.

Polk says both types of businesses have an opportunity to hold on to customers for a longer period of time, and to grow their base of new customers.

The report estimates that the number of cars that are 12 or more years old will jump another 11 percent by 2018. While cars aged 6 to 11 years will fall 21.9 percent. Cars aged zero-to-five years will jump 41 percent in that time.