The average age of light vehicles in the United States rose more than 10 percent, from 10.6 years in 2010 to 11.7 years in 2018, and is projected to edge up to 11.8 years in 2019, according to data in the latest report jointly published by Automotive Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association.
The report, published in the 2020 Auto Care Factbook, found that among total light vehicles in the U.S. last year, 43.8 percent were at least 12 years old, 20.3 percent were 4 to 7 years old, 16.7 percent were 8 to 11 years old and 19.3 percent were new cars or up to 3 years old. In 2009, 32.3 percent of light vehicles in the U.S. were at least 12 years old, 25.7 percent were 4 to 7 years old, 23 percent were 8 to 11 years old and 19.1 percent were new or up to 3 years old.
Total miles driven in the United States increased by 0.4 percent to 3.22 trillion miles in 2018. This marked the seventh consecutive year that miles traveled experienced an increase since a 0.6 percent drop in 2011. The data is attributed to information from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.
Steady job growth, increased productivity, falling unemployment numbers, business investments and low gasoline prices contributed to the increase in miles driven over the past three years, the report stated.
By the end of 2018, more than 280 million registered motor vehicles were on the road in the U.S., up 1.4 percent from 2017. That figure is projected to reach almost 287 million vehicles by the end of 2019.
The three main sources of data for the channel forecast model used in the report are U.S. Economic census data, Industrial Marketing Research Inc. and IHS Markit Inc. – for economic data as well as industry data provided by its automotive group, which includes the former R.L. Polk.