There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get at least 15 years and 200,000 trouble-free miles out of a new car today – putting off the day when you’ll have to dig deep for a replacement and also maximizing the investment you’ve got in your current wheels. Done right, you can end up with almost-free transportation. The car itself won’t have cost you much of anything – you’re only out of pocket for things like gas, oil/filter changes and so on.
The key thing is proper care – and proper driving. Cars are a lot like our bodies; live like Elvis – and don’t expect to live very long. But treat your body (and your car) with care and respect – and both should last a very long time.
Regular maintenance per the factory recommendations
Not just oil changes, but general maintenance, including periodic service of the brake system, cooling system, transmission – and so on. Most automakers provide a service schedule with their new cars, listing what should be done (and when) according to mileage accrued or time passed. These are not suggestions – they are there for a reason. Ignore them at your peril. As an example: Failure to have an ABS brake system periodically flushed can lead to the premature failure of major (and expensive) parts like the ABS pump.