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How long do Canadians keep their cars?

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New vehicle buyers in Canada on average are keeping their vehicles 6.4 years and driving them 116,797 km before trading them in on a new model, though the time and distance differ significantly by type of car.

And of course we do things differently from the Americans, who are keeping their vehicles 5.1 years on average before trading them in.

While we keep our vehicles longer than our American cousins, says Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis at the Power Information Network (PIN), "the trends are similar. In both countries, owners of compact cars keep their vehicles longer than drivers of luxury cars or large SUVs."

This information comes from tracking "actual retail transaction data" that PIN (which is a part of the J. D. Power and Associates network of companies) does with dealers across Canada and the U.S.

In general, the more expensive the model the less time we keep it.

According to Libby, the average trade-in age and distances driven in Canada for each of the major automotive (with U.S. numbers in brackets) are as follows:

Entry compact car: 8.6 and 134,470 (8.5 and 155,660)
Premium compact car: 7.6 and 128,384 (6.3 and 126,570)
Premium midsize car: 6.5 and 111,251 (5.4 and 110,890)
All segments: 6.4 and 116,797 (5.1 and 108,859)
Entry midsize car: 8.2 and 113,935 (6 and 113,275)
Compact pickup: 6.2 and 119,714 (5.4 and 111,474)
Entry SUV: 6.2 and 114,611 (5.3 and 110,950)
Midsize SUV: 6.2 and 113,607 (4.7 and 104,732)
Compact van: 6.0 and 120,300 (5.1 and 111,250)
Sporty car: 5.9 and 98,751 (5 and 102,085)
Fullsize car: 5.8 and 105,146 (6 and 105,745)
Entry luxury car: 5.8 and 103,825 (4.9 and 97,457)
Light-duty fullsize pickup: 5.1 and 111,432 (4.6 and 106,363)
Mid-luxury car: 5 and 89,369 (4.5 and 86,043)
Premium sportscar: 5 and 56,364 (4.1 and 72,567)
Premium luxury car: 4.8 and 76,399 (4.2 and 77,742)
Luxury SUV: 4.6 and 89,310 (4 and 85,844)
Fullsize SUV: 4.4 and 109,316 (4 and 98,952)
Heavy-duty fullsize pickup: 4.2 and 109,496 (4.1 and 106,227)
Luxury sportscar: 3.3 and 38,210 (3.4 and 51,078)