New cars are getting more and more expensive. But they are also more sustainable than before, meaning drivers are more likely to get their money’s worth.
As the average transaction price for new cars reached an estimated $45,872 in November — the highest ever recorded, according to a joint forecast by JD Power and LMC Automotive — the average age of cars on the road also hit an all-time high of 12.2 years. found a separate report from IHS Markit in 2022.
Ten years ago, the average age was just over 11 years old. In 2002 it was 9.6 years.
According to Will Kaufman, news editor at Edmunds, advances in everything from materials to technology have helped “and it can’t hurt that today’s vehicles have better ways to alert owners when there are maintenance issues.”
10 cars with the greatest potential lifespan
Of the models with the longest potential lifespan, Toyota Sequoia topped the list, with an ability to travel nearly 300,000 miles, followed by the Land Cruiser, according to a recent iSeeCars study, which analyzed more than 2 million cars over the past 20 years to see which vehicles last the longest.
Overall, SUVs and trucks are the most common vehicle types in the top 10, while more fuel-efficient passenger cars, including the Prius and Avalon, earned two spots on the list.
“Customers really value reliability, and automakers are definitely sensitive to the big impact that a reputation for reliability — or unreliability — can have on their brand,” said Kaufman.
Six of the top 10 were Toyota SUVs, trucks or cars. Other contenders in the top five include the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon, both three-row SUVs.
Each car and truck on the list can reach nearly a quarter of a million miles or more, the report found.
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As a general rule of thumb, most motorists consider the 200,000 mile mark to be the upper limit of a car’s lifespan, although some models clearly have the potential to travel much further.
A limited supply of new cars and trucks due to the ongoing shortage of chips has prompted consumers to use their existing vehicles for longer, according to IHS Markit, which maintains vehicle registrations in every state.
At the same time, millions of people who previously commuted to work drove fewer miles while working from home, further extending the life of their vehicles.
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