Drivers keeping their cars longer than ever before


Here at WalletPop, we're always on the lookout for signs that consumers are behaving responsibly.

Automotive consulting firm R.L. Polk, the median age of cars on U.S. roads was 9.2 years in 2007, tying the record set in 2006. In 2007, 41.3% of all cars were 11 years or older compared with 40.9% in 2006. Dave Goebel, who worked on the study, said that "Each new model year the technology continues to get better, and there are fewer components that fail, so we expect to see these trends continue."

Buying high-quality cars that are a few years old continues to be one of the savviest things you can do for your finances.

I know: a brand new sports car is exciting but, as Suze Orman says, "I see so many of you shelling out big bucks for tricked-out cars that you can't afford because of some insane need to impress people you don't even know who pull up alongside you at red lights."

Don't be stupid: Buy a quality used car and drive it for a long time.