Edmunds.com estimated that there were nearly 11 million auto sales lost during the recession, of which four million of those potential drivers have not purchased a car since.
The auto industry is flaunting the phrase pent up demand leading to sales today with the seasonally adjusted annualized rate at 14.3 million cars but younger generations are not the cause.
Edmunds showed that new car purchases by 18-34 year olds decreased 30 percent throughout the last five years, partially due to societal shifts, where this age group is moving to urban areas and they do not need a car.
The consulting firm Deloitte showed in a survey that 46 percent of 18 to 24 year olds would prefer internet access and interacting online over owning a vehicle.
"One factor that appears to have contributed to the car sales drop is the fairly sizable decrease in licensed drivers among this age group," reads the Edmunds.com report. "New car-buying could also be constrained by the impact of the collapse of the housing market on this age group - many of whom likely bought their first homes during the peak of the bubble and may now find themselves under water on their mortgages. This age cohort could also have adopted a new financial austerity, adopted in the face of persistent economic uncertainty and a looming future fiscal cliff."
Lenders are also holding the younger generation back from obtaining loans for a new car. The average credit score was 749 in the fourth quarter of 2007, down from 776 in the first quarter of 2010, according to Experian data. Auto sales have started to improve due to loosening credit standards, but the younger generation is not necessarily seeing the effects.
The lifespan of new cars is also encouraging drivers to hold off on new car purchases, as cars are lasting more miles than ever before. Auto service centers are providing new advancements, while preventative maintenance can keep a car running far beyond that 100,000 mile mark.
To improve a car's lifespan further, drivers are encouraged to drive with caution at all times, conserve brakes and rotors and never put off maintenance. This will increase the car's resale value as well.
If you hold on to a car for 15 years, driving 200,000 miles, instead of trading in for a new car every five years, you could save $30,000 over that time period according to a recent study by Consumer Reports. Experts say choosing the right car, with the right history, can make all the difference for future performance and reliability and help put off a future purchase.
"Most people focus on the purchase price, the reality is a car is a depreciating asset, it's worth less with each passing day," said Jeff Bartlett, auto editor at Consumer Reports. "And, it depreciates more when it's relatively new. You want to pick a car that's not only going to meet your needs today, but is built to adjust to your lifestyle in the years ahead."
Other useful tips to extend the life of a vehicle include avoiding the sun and not neglecting a car's user manual. The sun's rays can be damaging to the paint and interior of a car and will wear on them over time. Drivers should find shade to park in whenever possible. A user manual has loads of information to help treat your car with the utmost respect and help it to live as long as possible. Following recommended maintenance schedules for oil, fluid and parts can not only save your car's life and preserve its resale value, it can also avoid future major damage from occurring, saving money in the long run.