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Consumers are holding onto both their new and used vehicles for longer periods of time. The length of time a consumer keeps a new vehicle has risen each quarter since 2008 to an average of 63.9 months in the 2nd quarter of 2010. That is 4.5 months longer than the same quarter last year. For used vehicles, the average length is 46.1 months, up 2.3 months from the 2nd quarter of 2009.

Average Length of Vehicle Ownership by Quarter, 2008 - 2010
Bar graph showing the number of months a new car buyer and a used car buyer hold onto their vehicles before purchasing a replacement. The time period was Q1-Q4 in 2008 and 2009 and Q1 and Q2 in 2010. For more detailed information, see supporting information below.

 

Supporting Information

Average Length of Vehicle Ownership
Quarter 1, 2008 - Quarter 2, 2010

Year Quarter New Buyers
(Months)
Used Buyers
(Months)
2008 Q1 54.6 40.0
2008 Q2 56.7 42.0
2008 Q3 56.3 41.3
2008 Q4 55.8 40.7
2009 Q1 58.6 43.7
2009 Q2 59.4 43.8
2009 Q3 60.6 44.2
2009 Q4 62.4 45.3
2010 Q1 63.2 45.9
2010 Q2 63.9 46.1

Source: R. L. Polk & Company, Latest Trends, "Consumers Continuing to Hold onto Vehicles Longer."

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