Owners Keep Ford Explorer Longest, Dump Nissan Rogue Early

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The average age of a light-duty vehicle (passenger car, pickup truck, and SUV) currently traveling U.S. roads and highways is 11.6 years, exactly 3 years longer than the average in 1997. Estimates of the total U.S. fleet of light-duty vehicles run to more than 264 million.

The fastest growing segment of the “old car” inventory is vehicles more than 16 years old and some 81 million vehicles of that age are currently being driven on U.S. streets and highways.

Researchers at used car information site iSeeCars.com looked at sales data for 6 million used vehicles sold by their original owners between January 2013 and December 2017 to determine the average length of ownership by drivers who bought the vehicles new. Models owned for less than five years were excluded to eliminate the effect of short-term leases. The overall average length of time a new car owner holds onto the vehicle is 7.4 years, but the average for the top 10 vehicles ranges from 8.3 to 9 years.

The vehicle that owners keep the longest is the Ford Expedition, one of five SUVs among the ten vehicles that owners hold onto longest. iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly comments:

These vehicles tend to be family haulers, which means that parents are likely to keep them for longer than average and not replace them until a large family vehicle is no longer necessary.

The Expedition may last longest, but it is not among the best-selling vehicles. Among the 20 top-selling U.S. vehicles, the overall average ownership lasts 7.4 years, almost a full year less than the average for the vehicles Americans keep longest.

Based on their research, here’s iSeeCars’ list of the 20 best-selling vehicles that U.S. drivers hold onto longest:

  1. Ford Explorer: 8.4 years
  2. Honda Accord: 8.3 years
  3. Toyota Camry: 8.1 years
  4. Toyota Highlander: 7.9 years
  5. Toyota Corolla: 7.8 years
  6. Jeep Grand Cherokee: 7.8 years
  7. Honda Civic: 7.6 years
  8. Honda CR-V: 7.6 years
  9. Ram 1500 pickup: 7.4 years
  10. Chevy Silverado: 7.4 years
  11. GMC Sierra: 7.3 years
  12. Ford F-150: 7.2 years
  13. Nissan Altima: 7.1 years
  14. Toyota RAV4: 7 years
  15. Ford Escape: 6.8 years
  16. Nissan Sentra: 6.8 years
  17. Hyundai Elantra: 6.6 years
  18. Chevy Equinox: 6 years
  19. Ford Fusion: 5.8 years
  20. Nissan Rogue: 5.3 years

The full report is available at the iSeeCars website and includes additional information and data tables.