A: The average age of a car on the road is approximately 11 years. Depreciation (decrease in the value) is the largest expense of owning a vehicle, but it only accounts for approximately 48% of the total cost of ownership. In general, the wealth-maximizing strategy is to buy vehicles based on reliability and fuel efficiency and to drive them as long as possible. For example, the median cost of car ownership drops to $7,800 per year from $9,100 if you just keep your car for eight years instead of five. For more, read: Time for a New Car?