Vehicle Ages Increase in U.S.


Vehicle Ages Increase in U.S.
A view of a dealer in used cars in the Woodside neighborhood of Queens in New York. © rblfmr

The average of light vehicles in the United States rose to 12.5 years at the start of this year, a 3% increase from the average in 2022, and the third consecutive year of 12 years or higher average age, according to data in the latest report jointly published by the Auto Care Association and MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers association.

Published in the 2024 Auto Care Factbook, the report said that from the start of 2013 to the beginning of this year, average U.S. light vehicle age rose 11% to 12.5 years, compared to 11.3 years, passenger car average age rose 20% to 13.6 years at the start of this year, compared to 11.3 years, and average light truck vehicle age rose by 5%, to 11.8 years this year.

The report found that at the start of this year, 42% of passenger cars and light trucks were at least 12 years old, 23% were 4-7 years old, 20% were 8-11 years old, and 15% were 3 years old or newer. Back at the beginning off 2013, 39% of passenger cars and light trucks were at least 12 years old, 24% were 8-11 years old, 21% were 4-7 years old and 16% were 3 years old or newer.

Total distance driven within the U.S. increased 1% to 3.2 trillion miles in 2022, flattening after a pandemic rebound-driven 11% jump in 2021, according to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. Annual miles in 2022 still remained behind pre-pandemic 2019 level of 3.3 trillion miles. The reported attributed the stagnation in vehicle miles driven to two contrasting factors – rising fuel prices driven by international sanctions placed on Russia and a continued return to pre-pandemic activities such as travel, attending live events and in-person work.

By the start of 2023, the total number of registered light vehicles increased slightly to 293.5 million. That’s the second straight year of increases – after a 1% hike to 292.2 million at the beginning of 2022.

The main sources of data used as inputs in the channel forecast model are U.S. Economic Census data, Industrial Marketing Research Inc. and S&P Global Mobility, for economic data as well as industry data provided by its automotive group.

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