Special Report

Cars Americans Keep the Longest

The average American keeps a new vehicle for about six years, according to research by automotive industry consultancy firm R.L. Polk. But chances are you’re seeing many cars, SUVs and pickups on the road that are much older than that. And the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many auto owners to postpone plans to trade in for a new vehicle.

Certain models are enjoying long lives with their original purchasers, according to an analysis by iSeeCars.com. The analysis identifies the top 10 cars that owners keep for 15 years or more. And Japanese auto companies account for all 10 slots. Toyota had seven, Honda two and Subaru one.

SUVs appear to be long-lasting vehicles, taking six spots on the list. The top 10 is rounded out by two trucks, a hatchback and a minivan.

Click here to see the cars Americans keep the longest.

The iSeeCars.com analysis looked at more than 660,000 used cars from model years 1981-2005 that were sold in 2020. For each model, the percentage of cars sold by the original owner was mathematically modeled. The models were then ranked by the original-owner percentage. The analysis excluded models with low sample size, heavy-duty trucks and work vans, and models that were no longer in production as of the 2020 or 2021 model year.