Cars: Finding better mechanics
A J.D. Power and Associates report in 2009 states that the average age of a vehicle at trade-in is 73 months, up from 65 months in 2006. The reason? Drivers are deciding that they can save money by keeping their cars longer and taking better care of them instead of upgrading to expensive, newer models, says Jenkin.
However, to properly maintain an existing car, the owner will need to develop a relationship with a good auto mechanic, says Jenkin.
Consumers are becoming savvier about choosing the right pro for the job. Before the recession, if an auto technician recommended a car repair with a price tag of several hundred dollars, the car owner might have approved the service without asking questions or getting a second opinion, says Jenkin.
Now, drivers are becoming more proactive about finding knowledgeable technicians who can fix problems but won't charge excessive fees, he says. "People are asking their friends and family members for referrals for certified local auto mechanics," he says.