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Buying a new car? These 20 motors could offer the best value for money

(Image credit: Toyota)

Buying a new car is a major investment and most people understandably want to purchase a vehicle that will stand the test of time.

The best auto insurance can offer peace of mind for accidents, but cover is unlikely to extend to everyday wear and tear, so choosing the right motor is crucial if you want to rack up the miles, and maybe even the best roadside assistance services too.

According to a study by, the average ownership period for a new car is 8.4 years, with the website analyzing over five million cars sold by their original owners between January 2014 and December 2018 to arrive at the figure.

It's a reasonable amount of time, if not quite the 10+ years of life many of us would hope to enjoy from a new set of wheels. 

Sports cars vs SUVs: behind the data 

Fortunately, eeking out up to three more years of road time may be as simple as buying the right motor.

The car search engine's statistics reveal that the Toyota Land Cruiser is the longest kept new car, with the full-size SUV staying parked with its original buyer for an average of 11.4 years. 

These are the top 10 new cars owners keep the longest in full.

  • Toyota Land Cruiser: 11.4 years
  • Chevrolet Corvette: 10.5 years
  • Mercedes-Benz SL: 10.3 years
  • Audi TT: 10. 2 years
  • Ford Expedition: 10.1 years
  • Ford Mustang: 10 years
  • Toyota 4Runner: 10 years
  • Porsche 911: 9.9 years
  • Toyota Sequoia: 9.9 years
  • Toyota Avalon: 9.7 years

As you can see, Toyota somewhat dominates the list, claiming four out of the top 10 spots, followed by Ford with two mentions. 

Other big names to make the cut include Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Chevrolet, who each hold a place for a sports car.

However, before you start mulling over the best home equity loans to help fund a new Corvette, consider the typical driving patterns of such vehicles. 

“As sports cars aren’t typically used as primary vehicles, owners likely aren’t as concerned with having the latest and greatest technology and safety features... Convertibles are the least-driven vehicle segment and accrue 60% less mileage than the average vehicle," commented iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly.

In other words, the data is informative – but it's not perfect. 

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Arguably more instructive is the average length of ownership of America's most popular cars, where the top 10 list features autos you can drive 365 days a year – Nor'easters notwithstanding.

Toyota again claims four places in the top 10, underlining the Japanese manufacturer's reputation for producing some of the most reliable cars on the market.

  • Ford Explorer: 9.6 years
  • Toyota Camry: 9.5 years
  • Honda Accord: 9.4 years
  • Toyota Highlander: 9.1 years
  • Honda Civic: 9.1 years
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee: 9.0 years
  • Toyota Corolla: 9.0 years
  • Toyota Tacoma: 9.0 years
  • Jeep Wrangler: 8.9 years
  • Ram Pickup 1500: 8.7 years

Once you've bought a new car, give it the best chance of going the distance by ensuring repairs are properly carried out when required – and you can take the sting out of these financially by signing up for one of the best extended car warranty services.

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A technology journalist with nearly 10 years of experience, James is the former News and Features Editor at Trusted Reviews, and has also served as regional Editor of Lifehacker. His articles have been spotted on sites ranging from The Sun to InStyle, but his true love is shiny things and the story behind them. An avid golfer in his spare time, you'll also regularly catch him hovering over the BBQ listening to Pearl Jam.