Commentary by Eric Peters
People are hanging onto to their cars for longer than ever before. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
That’s the age of the average car in daily use – and a new record.
Several things can be gleaned from this number. The first is that cars made that long ago were – are – probably among the best cars ever made, if by that one means durable and reliable. Because it’s not really feasible to drive one that isn’t every day for as long as this.
It’s testimony to how good we’ve had it, as well.
And for a long time – now ending.
Cars were durable – and affordable. Almost anyone could afford to buy one – new – and after it was paid for, you could keep on driving it for a decade (or longer) after it was paid for. This meant not having to make payments for a decade or longer – which meant having money to pay for other things, including fuel and insurance, the two major peripheral costs associated with owning a car. But these were small costs relative to the monthly payment and once the latter was done with easy enough to pay for.
Maintenance costs were also low – as most cars made since the late ’90s generally didn’t require much in the way of that, beyond the usual oil, filter and fluid changes. Even these were infrequent, relative to what was once obligatory. Annual tune-ups became a thing of the past decades ago and so long as you did change the oil and filter and fluids per the schedule, there was – and is – a good chance you won’t have to do (or pay for) much else other than occasionally, for tires and brake pads. Even clutches – in cars (and trucks) with manual transmissions routinely last for 15 years and 150,000 miles or longer.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Citizens Journal
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