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AutoMD.com: Longer Ownership May Not Translate Into More VSC Sales

July 11, 2011

CARSON, Calif. — A new survey conducted by AutoMD.com indicated that car owners are holding onto their vehicles longer and are planning to put more miles on them than in previous years.

"With better built vehicles able to sustain longer lives on the road and new access to robust online repair information, we are not surprised that car owners continue to hold onto their current vehicles for miles longer than before,” said Brian Hafer, vice president of marketing for AutoMD.com. “Many of those who plan to buy a vehicle are opting out of purchasing a service contract and plan to either do their own repairs or visit their local repair shop instead."

Conducted online among 3,000 car owners during first quarter of this year, the survey’s results showed that 58 percent of respondents said that a 'recovering' economy has not decreased the number of miles they plan to put on their current vehicle. Nearly 80 percent of respondents plan to put up to or over 50,000 more miles on their current vehicle than they put on their previous vehicle.

The results also indicated that extended vehicle ownership is becoming more commonplace regardless of the economy’s recovery signs.

Only 12 percent of survey respondents plan to buy a vehicle in 2011 and only half plan to do so out of necessity. Six percent cited the recovering economy as the biggest motivator to purchase.

Nearly half of those who intend to purchase a vehicle in 2011 do not intend to purchase a service contract, according to the report, with 56 percent saying that they are too expensive. Respondents indicated that they would prefer to either go to the local independent repair shop if a problem arises (34 percent) or take their chances on the vehicle (22 percent).

Of those who do not intend to purchase a service contract, 26 percent said they plan to do most of the repair and maintenance work themselves.

The percentage of survey respondents reporting they have more than 100,000 miles on their current vehicle increased by 25 percent from 2010. In addition, 68 percent plan to drive their existing vehicle for over 150K miles or “until it dies”.

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