Drivers Keeping Their Cars Longer

By Scott Sarvay

October 9, 2012 Updated Oct 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM EDT

Fort Wayne, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - More people are using the well-known motor club AAA for roadside assistance and so far in 2012 they've taken 18 million calls for help.

Local mechanics say this could be linked to drivers holding onto their cars longer. The average car on the road is 10 and a half years old.

Dick Fox, the owner of Fox and Fox in Fort Wayne said he was shocked when he saw one vehicle he recently serviced had 428,000 miles on the odometer. That driver said he's hoping to hit 500,000 miles.

Fox says more and more people are holding onto their cars because it's cheaper to fix them than to buy a new vehicle. But he also says more people are trying to cut corners wherever they can and only do the bare minimum on repairs.

Choices like those are the big reasons why more people need a tow.

Fox says, “It's still less expensive to put a transmission in that car than it is to replace the car. So even though people are waiting until the cars die and have to be towed in, many times it's still a better value for their dollar to go ahead and repair the car.”

This obviously raises questions of safety while on the road.

Fox says it's important to always take care of any safety issues. But pushing things like the transmission to its “last leg” is ok. Many drivers want to get every last mile before doing needed repairs and that’s not a bad thing.

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