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Economic conditions have caused many in the D.C. region to hold on to their older vehicles to avoid the financial burden buying a new one, according to AAA. The auto group says 25% of drivers have put off repairs on their older vehicles due to cost, making it more likely for them to be stranded on the side of the road.
In the past four years, AAA has seen an increase in the average age of vehicles that need emergency roadside assistance because drivers are not providing the proper maintenance to their older vehicles.
“Economic conditions continue to take a toll on many Washingtonians, resulting in them putting off needed repairs on their cars, which can lead to roadside breakdowns,” said John B. Townsend II, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Drivers should realize that maintenance and routine service are critical when keeping older vehicles running properly and safely.”
Eight percent of AAA Mid-Atlantic’s annual call volume comes from drivers stranded in vehicles that are at least nine years old.
AAA also says around the D.C. metro area, the average age of autos on the road is going up. According to the 2011 Vehicle registration Data Analysis by the Transportation Planning Board, the Washington metro area has 3.8 million registered vehicles ( 1.8 million in Suburban MD, 1.7 Million in Northern, VA and 278,400 in Washington, D.C.) The average age of the vehicle fleet was 7.84-years-old in 2005, 8.18-years-old in 2008, and 9.05-years-old today.