6/27/2019

U.S. Car Fleet Continues to Age

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The average age of light vehicles in operation in the U.S. rose 1% last year to an all-time high of 11.8 years at the start of 2019, IHS Market reports.

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The average age of light vehicles in operation in the U.S. rose 1% last year to an all-time high of 11.8 years at the start of 2019, IHS Market reports.

IHS began tracking vehicle age in 2002, when the average vehicle on the road was 9.6 years old. The average rose 4% through 2007, then zoomed more than 12% per year from 2008 to 2013 as the economy recovered from the global recession.

The pace of aging has since slowed to an annual average of 4%. IHS attributes the shift to longer vehicle life to improved quality and new safety technologies.

 

The forecasting firm expects the number of vehicles at least 16 years old to reach 74 million units by 2023. That would be a 22% hike over 2018 levels and more than double the number of such vehicles on the road in 2002.

By region, the western U.S. has the country’s oldest vehicles:12.9 years on average. The northeast had the youngest fleet, with an average age of 10.9 years.