Increasing Average Vehicle Age Brings Business for Aftermarket Repair and Parts

June 13, 2024
It’s a trend that’s bringing more customers to seek out repairs, especially outside a dealership in an effort to save money.

More and more Americans are opting to preserve their vehicles for as long as possible rather than purchasing a new one, creating an expanding customer base for the aftermarket, reports WTVA 9 News.

The driving force behind this is the continued rise of the average car payment, which has hit an all-time high this year. Monthly car payments for new vehicles amount to $700 for many drivers, with used cars being closer to $500 a month. Average interest rates for a loan on a new car sit at around 6.3%, and APRs for used cars are currently 11.9%.

“A lot of young kids are burdened with a lot of car debt, because they got excited, got credit and could afford a car,” said Chris Keith, owner of a used auto parts store in Pontotoc, Mississippi called KARS. “Now, the car payment and the insurance is kicking their hind end.”

It’s a trend that’s bringing more customers to seek out repairs, especially outside a dealership in an effort to save money. Chris Ruth, owner of Ruth's Auto Repair, frequently makes trips down the street from his shop to visit KARS in search of affordable parts for his customers. 

Ruth has seen an increase in the price of new parts as opposed to used ones, and with him seeing an influx of customers holding onto their vehicles to save money, he does what he can to help them.

“With the cost of everything going up it's become more reasonable to repair the cars than it has been to just run out and buy another one and get a car payment,” explained Ruth.

About the Author

Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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