DETROIT (Reuters) -- U.S. consumers are holding onto their current vehicles longer, automotive consultant Polk said.
This continues a trend that began in late 2008 -- coinciding with a dropoff in new-vehicle sales and the U.S. economic downturn.
Consumers on average are now holding onto a new vehicle for 64 months, up 4.5 months from a year ago.
Polk points out that more older vehicles on U.S. roads create opportunities for companies serving the automotive aftermarket.
Used-car prices have increased as consumers are holding onto their current vehicles longer, which has also been a weight on new car prices.
"The average length of new vehicle ownership increased an average of 3.7 percent annually prior to the economic and auto industry meltdown in late 2008," Polk said.
Since then, that has increased more than 14 percent, "with no signs of slowing down," Polk said Wednesday.