This 2018 Study Lists Which Cars People Keep The Longest

Image: Andrew Collins/Jalopnik
Image: Andrew Collins/Jalopnik

Once again, our friends at have compiled the cars that people hold onto the longest. The list is quite different from the data they got last year and has both some predictable entries and surprising rankings.


Last year conducted the same study and the results were dominated by mostly large family haulers and sports cars. However, this year most of the sports cars are gone except for the Chevrolet Corvette that occupies the number two spot. Also gone is the Toyota Land Cruiser which now has been replaced by the Ford Expedition.

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The methodology of the study is as follows: analyzed more than 6 million 5-year-old or older used cars sold by their original owners between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2017. Models which were owned for less than 5 years were excluded from the analysis, to eliminate the effect of short lease terms on the data. Models that were in production for less than 9 of the 10 most recent model years (2009 to 2018), heavy-duty trucks and vans, and models with two standard errors of the mean greater than +/- 1 month, were also excluded from the analysis. The average age of each model was calculated using the ages of cars when they were first listed for sale.

As for why the data changed so much, I got in contact with an data scientist who explained that, in pulling from more data, some of the outliers got drawn out:

For this year’s study, we made improvements to the methodology and some models from last year’s list such as the Land Cruiser were eliminated as a result...We don’t report data when we’re not comfortable with the accuracy, and we’re always trying to improve on how we process and report our data. First, for this year’s study, we added another year’s worth of data, which changed some of the values. Second, we used a minimum sample size last year to filter out noisy models, whereas this year we used the standard error of the mean.”


Given the adjustments to the study the results aren’t all that surprising, many of the cars on the list overlap with another study on vehicles that are likely to last 200,000 miles. Even the Corvette, a car that typically ends up with low miles even after several years of ownership, is often not used as a primary driver for many owners. Furthermore, the long-term running costs for a Corvette tend to be much lower than European sports cars.

To see more details of the study including which passenger cars and trucks are being held onto the longest, check out

Tom is a contributing writer for Jalopnik and runs He saves people money and takes the hassle out of buying or leasing a car. (


Ash78, voting early and often

I was really expecting some write-ins for “This f*cking Tempo that I’ll eventually replace when Becky stops telling the family court judge that I’m late with my checks every month, that f*cking b*tch.”

I’m sure there would be at least 3 respondents to that one with zero edits to the verbiage.