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Old 11-26-2014, 10:17 AM
Location: Mount Laurel
4,146 posts, read 8,465,038 times
Reputation: 3411


For a brand new car purchase, I like to keep it for 10+ years. Based on how I used the vehicle, it put the odometer around 120K+ I find this to be the breaking point of when I begin to put larger amount in maintenance (even as a DIYer, it's a bigger job). There is actually very little maintenance during the first 10 years. I average it out to be about $4K-$5K a year plus maintenance. Some may elect to lease when spending $4K-$5K a year but it would be for a lesser vehicle.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:19 AM
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,193,312 times
Reputation: 2392
Til I can squeeze the last breath of life from it. AKA, until the engine or tranny blows, or the body rusts out from under one or the other.
Then we assess whether it's worth it to get a replacement off ebay to get it running again.

My '03 Focus with 210K miles just blew the head gasket and broke something inside the engine.
Rod, maybe? Something that rattles when it cranks, anyway. Sounds fatal.

We'll probably get a rebuilt motor and hand both over to our 14 year old in a year or two for a project. In the meantime, I'm on the hunt for another.

We put about 20-30K miles on the family car, per year. It's rare that anything lasts longer than 10 years for us, since we always buy used in the 3-5 year old range (and I've crunched the numbers WAY too many times to ever consider buying something newer than the depreciation curve has had a chance to work its magic lol).

Last edited by itsMeFred; 11-26-2014 at 10:31 AM..
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:25 AM
Location: In a daze
214 posts, read 190,486 times
Reputation: 643
Haven't bought a new car (for myself) since 1978. I always buy used - 1 or 2 yrs old. I keep them for 6 yrs or so, depending on mileage and condition, then start the process all over again. I've been lucky, never bought a lemon in nearly 40 years :woodknock.

The cars I buy used, normally have 10 - 15K on the clock. I put under 10K/year on them, so they're around 60-65K when I trade them in. Now that I'm retired, I only put on about 6K/yr.

I figure why take the big depreciation hit on a new vehicle? The used ones normally have a 3-5 year warranty, and if anything major is going to go wrong, it usually occurs within that time frame. As I said, I've been fortunate. YMMV
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:30 AM
Location: East TX
2,085 posts, read 1,842,592 times
Reputation: 3175
I keep them until the repair costs appear to be at/above 50% what a low mileage used vehicle would cost me over the course of a year.

Currently have a 12 year old Suburban and a 3 year old Fusion. Fusion was purchased in March to replace a 13 year old Mitsubishi with 255k that was dying.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:51 AM
Location: FLG/PHX/MKE
7,289 posts, read 12,947,528 times
Reputation: 11529
Usually 2-3 years, sometimes more though. It depends on the car though. I have multiple cars so I'm usually getting one every one or two years, but then have a year off sometimes. Most of it depends on how much I like the car, current resale value, current needs, whatever.
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:27 AM
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
3,491 posts, read 5,322,462 times
Reputation: 3738
We tend to keep vehicles for a very long time.

Right now our garage contains my wife's 1999 Volvo S70 GLT, that we bought new in July of that year. It now has over 200k miles on the odometer. Prior to that she drove a 1982 Volvo that we bought in 1983. When we sold it, there were nearly 300k miles on it.

Sitting next to it is my 1998 Ford Explorer XLT that I bought used (26k miles) in 2000. It now has over 236k miles on the odometer. I traded in a 1990 Isuzu 4WD pickup that I bought new in 1991. At the time of the trade it had over 200k miles on the clock.

Our plan is to keep both of our current vehicles for at least three more years, then possibly cut back to one vehicle.
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:18 PM
Location: Miami, FL
8,088 posts, read 7,371,757 times
Reputation: 6650
Current vehicle,GTO, is 10 years as of this weekend. No end in sight regarding ownership. But it is a garage queen with only 54,000miles. Contemplating upping the engine hp to 500 with the some heads in 2015. Never sell it as I do not like current offerings or probable future ones.(2016 Camaro)
Current DD is 10 years as of August 2014. 110,000 mile Rav4 still has another 200,000 left in her easy. I would be severely disappointed if it does not.
Previous vehicle was a DD and owned it for 13 years but it was indestructible. 180,000+ mile 1991 Mustang 5.0. Little Terror.
Previous vehicle lasted 5 years. Destroyed by a Hurricane. 1985 Olds 442
Previous vehicle lasted 2 years. Sold it after accepting an offer for much more than I paid for it. 1970 Trans Am
Previous vehicle lasted 4 years. Too much hotrodding aged it prematurely. 1979 Trans Am
Previous vehicle lasted 1.5 years. First car. Devoured my soul. Long in the tooth 1968 Cougar.

Last edited by Felix C; 11-26-2014 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:37 PM
812 posts, read 568,018 times
Reputation: 1847
Originally Posted by edwardvanderbosch View Post
3 years then trade for another new vehicle with a warranty.
How can you stand being in car-debt all the time!?
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:38 PM
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
11,163 posts, read 11,573,403 times
Reputation: 17362
Originally Posted by wit-nit View Post
12 years now and 101,000 miles. It still runs and looks like new when bought.. 02 Ford Explorer 6cyl SUV.
'03 Mazda B3000 with 116,000 miles. It's good for at least another 10 years. I don't smoke, shampoo the carpets and upholstery, and it has never gone past an oil change interval. I took it in for a 100,000 mile service and had them do the brakes, flush all the fluids, pack the wheel bearings and give it new plugs and plug wires. I hand apply a clear coat sealer twice a year, and detail the windshield.

Super Clean Your Windshield... Super Fast! - YouTube

Drive it like you own it, maintain it well, and any modern vehicle will serve for many years.
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:45 PM
812 posts, read 568,018 times
Reputation: 1847
Originally Posted by stilldriveem View Post
Forever. When it turns into a pile of rust, I'll sweep it up into a coffee can and put it on the mantle.
I'm right there with you! Have a hard time parting away with my cars/trucks, almost like a separation anxiety
Saves a boat-load of money keeping them that long, even with repairs and maintenance. Don't understand why people want constantly carry a car note, especially leasing cars- beyond me!
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