Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - Bob the builder
Loads & loads of threads on how to prolong a car's life. However, it seems to me that very few folk keep a car for more than say 3 yrs, often from brand new. A quick trawl of neighbours and relatives reveals that most of them are rich enough to buy a new car every couple of yrs or so and chop it in, or they're on company cars - ditto. Why on earth would they bother treating the car with kid gloves , changing oil, coolant, brake fluid etc. Of course this may well be done for them under warranty etc. So, how long do you keep yours ? And do you look after it to prolong its life for you, or for someone else in the future ??
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - blank
I do a lot of miles and can't afford a new car every three years, so I look after them for my own benefit. The 1997 Polo I am now selling runs almost like new as far as I can tell despite 111k miles. To be honest I thought I would run this car to higher mileage than I have, but we have decided to be reckless and buy a sports car while we can.
The Mondeo we also run will be with us until about 150k, in about 2 years time, at which time I still expect it to be a pleasant vehicle to drive, which is why I maintain it throughly, beyond the call of the service schedule.
I expect the possibly excessive maintenance of the cars will not completely pay for itself in resale value, more in reliability and the car still driving well throughout my ownership.

Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - DieselBoy
I've always been one for changing my car every 12-18 months or so.

However, as I'm getting older and wiser, and I've come to realise that my car is just a means of getting from A to B, I've decided that I may as well keep it.

I bought my current car (Peugeot 406HDI 2000 'W') in April of this year. It had 44,000 on the clock. It now has 62,000. I'm happy with keeping my car until it's done 200,000. That means, assuming I keep a constant monthly mileage, I'll be changing it in December 2008! Will I get bored of it by then? Probably. In the meantime, I will maintain it above and beyond the required levels, purely to save hassle of breakdowns etc.
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - Roger Jones
I run two seven-year old cars (a Golf VR6 from new, an MB E320 Coupé from four years old) and one nineteen years old (Capri 2.8i from new). I sold an Audi 100 ten years after acquiring it new. All these cars are very well built and they please me immensely, so I enjoy taking care of them and also the compliments I receive about them from friends. I am not such a compulsive consumer that I simply have to have something new every couple of years, which used to make sense in the dark days of the 1970s but which I now find very dubious, given the general improvement in construction standards.

I do look around at what's new and I could change without too much pain in the pocket, but quite honestly I am so satisfied with what I've got that I have said to myself that I wouldn't change even if I won the Lottery. That's a slight exaggeration, as I'd be very tempted to look at the new MB E-class, but even then I'd be reflecting on the fact that MBs are less reliable than they were, are no longer "hewn from single blocks of steel", and also that the staff at my local MB dealers like driving my car for that very reason.

So, I am looking forward to a happy relationship with my present cars for at least another five years, quite possibly another ten, and perhaps fifteen and more. The services of an excellent mobile mechanic underpin my confidence about this prospect. I don't care about keeping up with other Joneses. Daring to be different?
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - jd
I like cars, I like to change them, I get bored with them after a year or two .....

It may hurt in the pocket if I analyse it enough, but I get a lot of enjoyment with changing things (not just cars ......) and couldn't bear to keep things the same for long.

I tried it with a Passat Tdi but after 2 years just HAD to change again.

Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - DougB
I opted out of the company car scene 10 years ago and soon discovered what a waste of money cars can be.
Since then I have I have run Vauxhall Senators - first one cost £3500 and lasted 6 yrs until it was rammed outside my house by a drunk driver.

Second one cost £4500 and that has been going strong for four years.
Petrol consumption is high but parts and servicing (by a local independent) is relatively cheap. I hope to keep this one till it drops!

Other car is a VW Corrado VR6 which is 10yrs old in Jan 2004. Driven this for 7years and it has been relatively trouble free. I keep the service history up to date with VW but anything else is done by my local independent. I toy with selling it owing to my increasing girth, but until I find something which pound for pound is as much fun I'll keep it.

Regards DougB
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - eurocourier
I have a ten year plan with my Sprinter - don't believe you know a vehicle till you've had it a few years. I've done 200,000m in less than two years in it, and I'm very happy with the way it feels and runs. Original engine will go to double this use at least, only had to replace one injector and bulbs so far. Maybe I'm just too much of a tightarse; what is the argument against getting value for money?
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - L'escargot
At one time, the life of a car was largely governed by how soon it would succumb to rust. Known in some parts, I believe, as the dreaded doby (?) worm or some such!

What is the the governing factor now?
L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - L'escargot
I bought my 2 litre Focus new 4.5 years ago and it's now done 69k. It still runs OK, and has no discernable free-play in the steering or suspension. Rust is starting to become apparent on the rear suspension arms, but there's none apparent on the bodywork. Now that I'm retired I don't have any fixed plans regarding it's replacement ~ I'll just see how it goes.

I remember driving a car in 1956 that had so much free play in the steering that you could turn the steering wheel 5 inches (measured at the rim) before it had any effect on the road wheels, and I remember owning a car that in 1970 failed it's first MOT (3 years old) because of rust in the floor pan. They don't make cars like they used to ~ thank goodness!!
L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - SjB {P}
I intend to run the Volvo V70 2.4T purchased earlier this year for at least five years. SWMBO's nine year old Pug 306 will be kept for as long as it remains as totally reliable as it is now, and that it passes MOTs without major expense.

My parents have run Volvo's since 1972, keeping them for a minimum of ten years at a time from purchase new (Mum's 440GLi is currently fourteen years old and counting, and Dad's S80 five years old). The fact that they have all been reliable, and total cost of ownership over such an extended period of time has been relatively low, that pursuaded me to join the fold after many company cars on a three year cycle.
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - helicopter
I have always bought cars at two years old and kept for as long as economically possible.

We had a 1300 cc Polo Classic bought at two years old which we kept for 16 years 100,000 miles and let us down once (alternator).

Stood outside in all weathers.

We only traded in when a Megane owner reversed into it causing considerably more damage to the Megane than the Polo and paid up in cash rather than further ruin his already poor insurance record. It didn't have power steering which gave Mrs H big muscles and was beginning to be a problem for her

It was used originally as a family car, then by our son to learn to drive and Mrs H as a runaround.

Dents were knocked out , bumper straightened and an engine mount sorted, MOT gained no problem and sold for £150. That was two years ago and I know its still going.

Great little car.

Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - RickyBoy
Rover 216GTi Honda twin-cam thingy in BRG from new for 7 years (91-98). Younger brother got me Rover discount.

Octavia SLX (Demonstrator with 180 on the clock) for 5 years (98-2003). £1200 off OTR price.

Octavia vRS (June 2003-?). Will definitely keep until June 2006 (unless me old Mum shuffles off to another place before then when I'll place an order for a Vanquish!).

Yes, I look after them. I'd rather have them clean 'n' tidy on the inside than sleek 'n' shiny on the outside.
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - Robbie
I used to change my car every two to three years, but I have kept my present car, an Omega 2.5 V6, which I bought new in October, 1994. It has been an excellent, trouble free motor car, and still drives as if it were new. It will be going in February or March when I get my new Honda.
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - MS
Opel Manta for 8 years from 3 years old
Citroen XM for 8 years from 5 years old
Peugeot 307sw 6 months from new - hope to keep it 10 years

All privately owned.
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - r_welfare
Wish I could keep a car long enough without getting bored of it!Over the last seven years my name has graced the V5 of eleven motors, most kept for six months and around 10-12,000 miles, although the longest was 18 months and 31,000 miles. Having said that I plan on keeping my current Accord a good few years, and getting back to bangers eventually for "high days and holidays"!

Regardless of this I always take a new purchase straight to my friendly local mechanic and request a full service, cambelt change (if I have no proof of a previous one), change of gearbox and brake fluid etc, and instruct him to go through the car with a fine-tooth comb and fix anything wrong. This usually results in a bill for £300-£400 but buys a lot of peace of mind and over all those cars (probably talking about 120k miles over the lot) I've never had anything major go wrong - except when I bought a Rover 214 from a friend "dirt cheap", and the cambelt went after 20 miles.

Of course, changing cars so frequently means that the running costs are disproportionately high as a result of the above, but as I say, peace of mind, and it's nice to know that the next owner shouldn't have many problems for a while, either...
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - alan kearn
Two Land Rover lwb. station wagons one bought six months old in 1975 sold in 1988 cost £2200 sold for £900 the other bought new 1988 sold 2002 cost £14000 sold for £5300 certainly didnt cost much in depreciation. Sold the second Land Rover on the first day of advertising (free advert), on the internet, to a man who lived in Germany.
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - Mondaywoe
I used to change every 3-4 years (long succession of Renaults). Then I bought a Xantia - liked it a lot and spent the first few years expecting it to go wrong. It didn't...and the longer I kept it, the more I came to rely on it. Eventually kept it 9 years / 105,000 miles.I traded it in for the C5 and got £1350 for it. All in all, I got really enjoyable driving out of it, great reliability and my money's worth!

Now I'm just at the stage of waiting for the C5 to prove troublesome. It's just coming up to 25,000 - no problems whatsoever. Looks like another 9 year stint coming up!

I reckon if you get a car that you're comfortable with, which suits your lifestyle and which is reliable - hold onto it, even if you get the odd bill. Those bills are nothing in comparison to the hit you get with depreciation.

Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - Vansboy
Mrs Vansboy's had her (new)Mx5 Montana since April now, this is to stay for 3 yers, in theory. have to see if she gets fed up with it before the, doesn't look like she will.

Never bought new in the past, our last 'own' car, Xj6 sovereign, '90 G reg, bought at 4 years old kept too long, 6 years.Started costing £$£$.

My Meastro van is 311,000 miles '93, had it at 3 years old. My previous posts for a large estate,to replace it, maybe 406 V6, looked quite promising, from your comments.This will be an ex fleet motor, so 3 years, to keep 18months or so.

Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - paulb {P}
My wife and all of my friends will tell you that I change cars more frequently than some folk change underpants. Thing is, I buy a car, saying loudly "I'll keep this one for at least 5 years", then 10-18 months later the opportunity to acquire something better/different/more economical/quicker/whatever comes along, and having effectively no self-control at all I go for it. What this must have cost me over the last few years in terms of depreciation, I do not care to think. But hey, you're only young and silly once.

Having said that, while they're mine they do get looked after - straight up to the garage to have even the slightest thing fixed, serviced on the nail, oil, tyres and so on checked scrupulously, and thoroughly Autoglymmed far more often than is necessary (mind you, have found that this pays dividends come trade-in time).

Would like to think that those who have my cars after me get a good deal; certainly, the next owner of the ex-rental Fiat Stilo that I had for 3 months earlier this year to see if they are as bad as everyone says (answer: no, but don't for goodness' sake buy an example that is a retired hire car) will be getting a car that is now in considerably better nick than it was when I got it, given that I caused to be sorted out (at the manufacturer and dealer's expense) all the various things on it that the hire car company's customers had broken, damaged or stolen. Had to get rid of the poor thing as the fuel consumption (1.6 petrol, 37 mpg) on a daily commute of 60 miles in total was becoming less and less funny, especially when you consider that the diesel that preceded it and the diesel that replaced it both did over 50 mpg on the same journey.

Anyway, digression aside, current motor will jolly well have to stay around for a bit as it's on 0% finance over three years and Mrs B will have a sense of humour failure if I get rid of it!
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - Mudguts
...To destruction!
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - LongDriver {P}
I keep mine for 3years/150,000 miles typically.....
Longevity - How long do you keep yours ? - malteser
Depends if I've taken that little blue tablet or not!
"Rude, crude and socially unacceptable"

Value my car