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Do you and your car go way back? You and your car have been through a lot together, and according to research, you’re not alone. The average age of cars on the road reached an all-time high last year.

So why are we keeping the same cars longer than ever before? The short answer is “because we can.” Vehicle quality has continued to improve, and auto loan term lengths have continued to increase. Where 3-year and 5-year loans may have been the standard in the past, 6-year and 7-year loans are becoming more popular.

Lower Vehicle Sales

The more cars we keep on the road, the less we need to buy new ones. As such, automakers are seeing lower demand and lower vehicle sales, even in growing markets like China. The average car on the road in America is almost 12 years old.

That means the average car is older than Instagram. It’s older than One Direction. It’s older than the iPad. On the flip side, consumers are investing in their current cars to keep them reliable and roadworthy.

Are You Missing Out?

The biggest thing you could be missing out on by holding on to your car is tech. Automotive technology is constantly evolving. Even between model years, the “same” cars can have vastly different tech inside of them. Larger displays, more safety features, more robust interconnectivity. Cars are getting smarter every year.

But there are plenty who don’t put a premium on cutting edge auto tech. These drivers are comfortable with the vehicle they have. The seat is just where they like it. The air vents are angled perfectly. And their car payments are exactly what they expected.

Keeping it Running Longer

The secret to keeping your car running better and longer may be no surprise – it’s regular maintenance.

From oil changes, to air filters, even tire rotations, one of the best ways to extend the life of your car is to follow factory recommended maintenance. The other is to check your own car frequently and take it to the shop at the first sign of trouble.

You can even take car maintenance into your own hands. In fact, here are a few things you can do yourself:

  • Air Filter
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Spark Plugs
  • Cleaning Headlights

So as you’re driving to pick up your date this Friday, don’t forget the other love of your life, your car. It’s the only wingman/wingwoman/wingvehicle that won’t let you down. Just as long as you treat it right. Whatever vehicle you have, and however old it is, we’re here to help you hang on to it.