Money expert Clark Howard has always said that if you buy a new car and drive it for eight to 10 years, you’re doing a good job for your wallet.
Otherwise, he recommends buying cars that are slightly used — around two or three years old.
Now, a recent iSeeCars.com study has ranked the vehicles that original owners are most likely to keep for 10 years or more. The list is made up of all Japanese models: five Toyotas, three Hondas, one Lexus and one Subaru. And nearly all of the vehicles are SUVs or minivans.
New study reveals 10 vehicles that owners keep 10 years
To come up with the rankings, the automotive research firm looked at more than 2.5 million cars (model years 1981-2006) that were sold in 2016. The following 10 models were at least 1.9 times more likely than average to be held onto by the original owners for at least a decade.
Where the most popular cars ranked
Interestingly, some of the nation’s most popular vehicles didn’t make the overall top 10 list. However, the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima did rank higher than the average percentage of original owners who kept their vehicle for 10 years or more, which was 12.9%. On the other hand, the Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee were both several percentage points below the average.
As we mentioned earlier, Japanese brands had the highest share of vehicles that owners held onto for a decade or longer, led by two automakers known for reliability — Toyota and Honda. Korean brands Hyundai and Kia came in at fifth and seventh on the list, and GMC is the only domestic brand in the top 10.
What car buyers need to know
What’s the bottom line? For used car shoppers, the study concluded that buying an older car with just one previous owner may be a good decision.
“If an automobile has been kept by its original owner for a decade or longer, it’s very likely to have been well cared for, both in terms of cleanliness as well as maintenance and upkeep,” said Phong Ly, CEO of iSeeCars.com. “Shoppers may find more value in a one-owner car, compared to buying one that’s been through multiple owners or with a more complicated history.”
Once you find a used car that you’d like to buy, there are a few important things that Clark wants you to remember:
- Check the vehicle history report. Run the VIN through CarFax.com to find out if it’s a flood vehicle or if it has been in a horrible accident.
- Have the used vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic. One of the key things to know about buying a used car is that you buy “as is.” CarFax alone is not enough of a check; you need to take this additional step.
Finally, arrange auto financing in advance! Look at credit unions, online banks or even traditional banks. Only take dealer financing if it beats any other offer you have.