Average Age Of Cars On US Roads Hits Record 11.5 Years

Posted: Jul 29 2015, 10:44am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 29 2015, 1:18pm CDT, in News | Cars & Vehicles


Average Age of Cars in the U.S. Hits Record 11.5 Years
Credit: Getty Images
  • Americans are buying new cars even though their old ones are running!

More Americans are buying new cars even though their old ones are standing in their driveway.

The age of vehicles on the road in the US is rising. On an average cars live for more than 11.5 years on the road. The number was revealed by the new IHS Automotive survey.

While it was also revealed more Americans are buying new cars at a rate of 17 million vehicles annually. The fact seemed baffling at first. Many raised the question as to why consumers will buy more vehicles when they already have reliable cars. 

The phenomenon can be explained by the fact that more consumers while buying new cars are also keeping their old ones in the driveway. The vehicles may also have been resold to another owner rather than being sent to the junkyard.  

The rate at which Americans are hanging on to old cars is astonishing. On the other hand the US consumers bought a startling number of 42 percent more cars in 2015 than they did in 2014. 

Mark Seng the global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive revealed in an interview that vehicles in America are lasting longer. Thus consumers are hanging on to their cars for longer rather than scraping them for metal.

Currently the number of light vehicles in the US is at an all-time high. More than 257.9 million units of light vehicles are registered. The reason for such a high number of light vehicles is improved reliability and durability of cars. 

“As long as we have tracked average age, it has gradually risen over time due to the increasing quality of automobiles,” said Mark Seng, global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive.

“For the five to six years following the recession, however, average age increased about five times its traditional rate, which we attribute to the nearly 40 percent drop in new vehicle sales in 2008-2009. We’re now seeing average age begin to plateau and return to its traditional rate of increase as consumers have recovered from the great recession and have begun buying new vehicles again.”

According to analyst major car makers have overcome the big quality issues and have substantially improved their quality. The number of old cars on the road is currently 44 million, while it was 26 million in 2002. 

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