Consumers Are Hanging on to Their Cars Longer

By Lindsay Hood
|  Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011  |  Updated 3:42 PM PDT
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Extreme Autofest 2011

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The economy is putting the squeeze on car owners as they turn to their local mechanic shops to help them keep their cars on the road longer.

"People are tight on money," said Steve Maugeri, owner of Beemer and Benz in the Morena area. "It's kind of do what you gotta do."

Maugeri says the last year has been particularly bad for his customers, as they try to tighten up.

"They are doing what is minimal to get them on the road," Maugeri said.

Sometimes I get people who need a $1000 repair and the owner asks me to fix what needs to be repaired to make it drivable and then they come back later for the rest of the repairs, Maugeri said.

The average cost of a car is close to $30,000 and experts say that saving up one extra car payment and spending that on car maintenance could help your car last even longer. The average age of a passenger vehicle in America today is 10.6 years, according to the Car Care Council.

“Hanging on to your current vehicle allows you to redirect money you would spend on a new car to pay off credit card debt, college loans and other bills or beef up savings or even take a road trip vacation,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

Cars should deliver an average of 200,000 miles in its life span, the council said. On average, consumers spend an average of $706 per year on repair and maintenance.

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