Top 15 vehicles owners keep for 10 years

Top 15 vehicles owners keep for 10 years


What cars do owners hold onto the longest?

Besides the fact that vehicles are lasting longer today than ever before, this is a valuable question - a question whose answer could potentially increase service revenues and make valuable trade-in prospects.

iSeeCars.com took a look at over 395,000 used cars from model year 2005, sold by the original owner between January 1 and July 30 of this year, to get a better understanding of what kind of vehicles were reaching the decade mark by these original owners who bought the cars new.

Looking at the iSeeCars chart below, you'll see the 15 models among the 168 models studied that were kept the longest, all at least 1.5 times or more likely to be held onto than the average vehicle (which came in at 13.5 percent overall).

Top 15 New Cars Owners Hold Onto for 10 Years
Rank Model

% Original Owners Holding Car for 10 Years

Compared to Average
1 Honda CR-V 28.6% 2.1x
2 Toyota Prius 28.5% 2.1x
3 Toyota RAV4 28.2% 2.1x
4 Toyota Highlander 26.5% 2.0x
5 Honda Odyssey 25.6% 1.9x
6 Toyota Sienna 25.4% 1.9x
7 Toyota Camry 24.4% 1.8x
8 Toyota Avalon 23.8% 1.8x
9 Honda Pilot 23.3% 1.7x
10 Honda Element 23.1% 1.7x
11 Subaru Forester 22.9% 1.7x
12 Toyota Matrix 22.6% 1.7x
13 Honda Accord 22.1% 1.6x
14 Toyota Corolla 21.5% 1.6x
15 Toyota 4Runner 21.1% 1.6x
  Average of All Cars 13.5% -

Some quick takeaways you'll notice: they're all from Japanese automakers. Nine are Toyotas. Five are Hondas. One Subaru.

That's not the surprise, however, according to iSeeCars.com's chief executive officer, Phong Ly. The surprise comes from their segment makeup.

Ten out of the 15 vehicles are CUVs or minivans, with four out of the top five falling into either one of those two categories.

"These vehicles tend to be largely family cars, so if people buy these cars when they are just starting their families, it stands to reason that these cars would suit them for many years," Ly said in an analysis of the data.

Another key takeaway, according to iSeeCars, is the weak showing by what they see as the most popular vehicles from the list of fledgling double-digit ownership.

% of Owners Holding Onto Popular Cars
Model % Original Owners Holding Car for 10 Years Compared to Average
Toyota Camry 24.4% 1.8x
Honda Accord 22.1% 1.6x
Honda Civic 18.2% 1.3x
AVERAGE 13.5% -
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 13.1% 1.0x
Nissan Altima 13.1% 1.0x
Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 11.7% 0.9x
Ford F-150 11.4% 0.8x
Ford Escape 10.9% 0.8x
Chevrolet Equinox 10.0% 0.7x
Jeep Grand Cherokee 9.5% 0.7x

The list is especially devoid of one of North America's favorite vehicle types, the pickups.

"One reason that may be is because these cars are often used as work vehicles, such as in construction," Ly said. "Work vehicles log many more miles than average, likely requiring them to be replaced sooner."

On that same note, Ly also speculates that the absence of domestic brands in the most-held-onto group might be a result of them not having the same reputation for reliability that the Japanese brands typically garner.

The bottom of the overall list is riddled with domestic vehicles that are typically known for their use in commercial fleets or as rental vehicles, including the Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler Sebring and the Ford Taurus, or vehicles that make popular lease choices, like the BMW 5 Series.

"All of those markets are designed for cars that are no more than a few years old, so a decade after these 2005 cars were introduced, most of them would be sold by their second or third owners, rather than the original owners," Ly said.

According to Ly, car shoppers can sometimes find the most value in these older vehicles that have been kept by a single owner.

"Cars kept by the original owners for a decade tend to be well-cared-for, in terms of actual maintenance and repairs as well as overall cleanliness, so a car shopper is likely to find more value than in a car that has been through multiple owners and with a history that may not be so straightforward," Ly said.

By Auto Remarketing Staff.