Lifecycle CO2 analysis. Higher miles per gallon ratings for new vehicles. End-of-life recycling. These things will matter to fewer and fewer people because, AutoMD has some interesting numbers out this week about how long people are keeping their vehicles these days. An online survey of car owners conducted in December and January found that about 77 percent plan on driving their current vehicles a total of 50,000 miles more than their previous vehicles. Considering the annual average for U.S. drivers is something like 12,000 to 15,000 miles, that means drivers today expect to hold onto their cars for an extra three or four years. Paying for repairs is apparently preferred to springing for a new set of wheels.

AutoMD (a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Auto Parts Network) says that there are, "clear indications that consumers are firmly breaking out of the buy-every-few-years cycle, opting to drive and repair instead." Of course, there is a slight chance that the increase in miles being put on current cars is because people are holding onto their cars now so they can buy a plug-in vehicle whey they become available, but the obvious economic reasons are more likely.

[Source: US Auto Parts Network, Inc.]

PRESS RELEASE

Car Owners Holding Onto Vehicles Significantly Longer, for at Least 50,000 More Miles, According to New Survey From AutoMD(TM) Auto Repair Experts

Consumers opting to hold and repair, rather than purchase anew, with 56% planning to drive until vehicle dies

CARSON, Calif., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AutoMD(TM) (www.automd.com), the most comprehensive and unbiased free online auto repair resource, today released the results of a survey revealing that car owners are putting many more miles on their current vehicles, 50,000 or more, than on their previous vehicle -- with the majority of respondents planning to keep their vehicle until it dies. The report also revealed that the economy is influencing many to do their own repairs and pay more attention to maintenance on their current vehicle.

The AutoMD survey, conducted online among car owners in December 2009 and January 2010, offers a snapshot of car owners' intentions about their current vehicle with clear indications that consumers are firmly breaking out of the buy-every-few-years cycle, opting to drive and repair instead.

Measured by Miles, Car Owners Plan to Drive Much Further in Current Vehicle

Nearly 50% of survey respondents indicated that their current vehicle had over 100,000 miles. A combined 69% reported that they planned to drive their current vehicle for 150,000 or more miles (13%), or until their vehicle dies (56%).

Nearly four in five (77%) plan to drive their current vehicle for 50,000 (or more) miles than they drove their previous vehicle. Less than 12% said they will keep their current vehicle for fewer miles than their previous vehicle.

Car Owners Opting to Repair and Maintain in Tough Economy

Fifty-four percent of respondents reported spending $500 or more on yearly repairs to their vehicle, with 21% reporting that they spend $1,000 or more. Forty-four percent report that tight budgets are driving them to either pay more attention to maintenance and repairs or do the repairs themselves. When asked for the number one reason for holding onto their vehicle for 100,000 miles or more, one-quarter stated that "in this economy, I simply can't afford not to" and nearly thirty percent indicated that being vigilant with repairs and service should keep it in good running condition.

"Not only are consumers holding onto their vehicles for years longer but, more significantly, for miles longer, opting to repair and maintain rather than purchasing new," said AutoMD President Shane Evangelist. "We estimate that these car owners will be spending at least an additional $2,500 on repairs over the intended life of their vehicle -and it is critical that they have accurate, unbiased information and tools to make the best possible repair decisions when spending those precious dollars. We launched AutoMD(TM) to do just this: empower car owners with free information on the best and most affordable options for repairing their vehicle in these tough economic times."

AutoMD was launched in January 2010 as the most complete and unbiased free online automotive repair resource designed to empower car owners with the best and most affordable way to repair their vehicles -- whether they're heading to the shop or doing it themselves. Unlike any other site, AutoMD allows both car owners and DIYers to 1. Diagnose car problems, 2. Know how much auto repairs should cost, 3. Understand the steps needed and the time it should take with How-to Auto Repair guides, and 4. Find the right local auto repair shop at the right price for their issue.

AutoMD is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Auto Parts Network, Inc., (NASDAQ:PRTS) .

The AutoMD Mileage Survey was conducted December 2009 through January 2010. The survey represents a snapshot of car owner intentions about their current vehicle. Participants identified as either DIYers (Do It Yourself) or DFMers (Do It For Me), with minimal trend differences between groups.

About AutoMD

AutoMD(TM) (www.automd.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Auto Parts Network, Inc., (NASDAQ:PRTS) , is the most comprehensive and unbiased free online automotive repair resource designed to empower car owners with the best way to repair their vehicles. Backed by a team of automotive data specialists and certified auto mechanics who are advocates for the car owner, AutoMD integrates unprecedented repair pricing transparency, easy-to-use diagnostic tools and How-to-Repair guides, repair shop listings geo-customized for each issue and a Repair-apedia of consumer-contributed advice into a complete and unbiased online repair experience that shifts the power to car owners
.


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