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William Maley

Industry News: Average Age Of A Vehicle Stands At 11.4 Years

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A new report from IHS Automotive says the average age of a vehicle on the road stands at 11.4 years, the same age as last year. This is change from the past few years where the age was climbing steadily.

"In our history of tracking, we have seen a gradual increase in the average age of vehicles on the road. This year, we're seeing somewhat of a plateau in the market, and expect it to remain over the next few years, without a major change in either direction. We attribute this to a number of factors, including the economy and the increasing quality of today's automobiles," said Mark Seng, director, aftermarket solutions and global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive.

But IHS is predicting that the average age will creep up to 11.5 year by 2017, and up to 11.7 by 2019.

IHS also reports that at the end of 2013, there were 252.7 million light vehicles operating U.S. roads. This is up by 3.7 million vehicles when compared to 2012.

Source: IHS Automotive

Press Release is on Page 2


Average Age of Vehicles on the Road Remains Steady at 11.4 years, According to IHS Automotive

  • U.S. Vehicles in Operation (VIO) Hits Record Levels at More than 252 Million; Scrappage Rate Declines Significantly

SOUTHFIELD, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The combined average age of all light vehicles on the road in the U.S. remained steady at 11.4 years, based on a snapshot of vehicles in operation taken Jan. 1 of this year, according to IHS Automotive, which incorporated Polk into its business last year.

Total light vehicles in Operation (VIO) in the U.S. also reached a record level of more than 252,700,000 -- an increase of more than 3.7 million (1.5 percent) since last year, said the IHS Automotive analysis from July 2013. In addition, new vehicle registrations outpaced scrappage by more than 24 percent for the first time in a decade, according to the analysis.

The average age is in line with the trend shift first seen in 2013, in which the combined fleet of cars and light trucks on the road is older than ever. New analysis, however, indicates the average age of light trucks has increased in the past year to the same age as passenger cars, both at 11.4 years. This milestone marks the first time this has happened since 1995, when the data was first reported.

“In our history of tracking, we have seen a gradual increase in the average age of vehicles on the road,” said Mark Seng, director, aftermarket solutions and global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive. “This year, we’re seeing somewhat of a plateau in the market, and expect it to remain over the next few years, without a major change in either direction. We attribute this to a number of factors, including the economy and the increasing quality of today’s automobiles.”

Looking ahead, IHS forecasts that average age of vehicles is likely to remain at 11.4 years through 2015, then rise to 11.5 years by 2017 and 11.7 years by 2019. This rate of growth is slowing as compared to the last five years due to the substantial increase in new vehicle sales.

Scrappage Rates Decline amid VIO Growth

The number of vehicles scrapped in 2013 was significantly fewer than in previous years, with just over 11.5 million vehicles scrapped during the 12-month timeframe analyzed by IHS Automotive. In comparison, a record high of more than 14 million vehicles were scrapped in 2012. This while VIO is up 1.5 percent, a rate the auto industry hasn’t seen in the U.S. since 2004-2005.

Dynamics of Fleet Age and Mix

With the shift in ownership comes shift in the age of vehicles within segments of the overall fleet, which is important to business planners in the aftermarket and service industries so they can manage inventories of parts required and plan for sales and service activity accordingly.

Based on the growth of new vehicle registrations in the past few years as the U.S. auto industry has rebounded, IHS Automotive forecasts that the volume of vehicles 0-5 years old will increase by 32 percent over the next five years while vehicles in the 6-11 year old category will decline by 21 percent. Because of improved quality and consumers holding their cars and light trucks longer, vehicles 12-plus years old continue to grow and will increase by 15 percent by 2019.

The IHS Automotive aftermarket team is working with customers in all areas of the aftermarket to help them best identify opportunities and specific planning efforts that may help improve their business. Likewise, business planning opportunities are under way at the OEMs to help them identify additional sales opportunities as vehicles are taken out of service and newer vehicle are coming into the U.S. vehicle fleet.


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As the Miata is a 2002 and the MINI is a 2003, I am right in line with this....

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A bit ashamed to report I am only at 10 yrs old on my DD. In the past It's been 29 and 28.

Still hopefully on track to add a 74 yr old vehicle to the road this year.

40COE_zps90815d49.jpg

Edited by balthazar

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Happily, we have lots of members here in the older than average car category!

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Cars are more reliable and last longer now. Plus, cars are rather expensive also. I would imagine a lot of people can't afford to buy a new car every 5 years or so, so they hold on to them for 10 years.

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I love my 94 GMC LTE Suburban, not letting that go any time soon.

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It's been almost 10 years since I bought a new vehicle, and my 3 vehicles average out to 14.5 years old. I may be replacing a vehicle later this year, so the average age may go down for me.

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Well, I'm right at 9.6 right now, so I am getting there. Fleet is not going to change much, though a new one could be added....

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Too bad I had to replace the 99 Park Avenue Ultra for the 08 Lucerne. I really like the Lucerne, admittedly more than the PA. Then again, I will probably hang onto the Lucerne for at least 5-7 years.

If today's new cars were priced as if it was 1980, then the average age of cars would drop like a stone. Reliability and cheaper/easier to fix are the best reasons to hang onto older models.

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Just realized my average age for all my auto's is 12.25. Not bad, Not bad at all! :P

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^ If I go that way on currently-owned vehicles, my number is 47.8 (tho only the 10-yr old job is registered).

Of the 22 vehicles I've owned, the average model year is 1965.

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^ If I go that way on currently-owned vehicles, my number is 47.8 (tho only the 10-yr old job is registered).

Of the 22 vehicles I've owned, the average model year is 1965.

All of mine are still registered / licensed. So I be good with it. Though I do love driving my 94 suburban the most. Cannot wait till I finish the conversion to CNG so I can drive it all the time.

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