The average age of light vehicles in the United States rose 8%, from 10.9 years in 2011 to 11.8 years in 2019, and is projected to edge up to 11.9 years in 2020, 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 all light vehicles in the U.S. last year, 44.3% were at least 12 years old, 22.4% were 4 to 7 years old, 18.4% were 3 years old or younger, and 15% were 8 to 11 years old. In 2010, 33.7% were at least 12 years old, 25.5% were 4 to years old, 23.9% were 8 to 11 years old and 16.9% were new or up to 3 years old.
Total distance driven increased 1% to 3.27 trillion miles in 2019. This marked the eighth consecutive year that miles traveled increased since a 0.6% drop in 2011. The highest increase in annual miles driven over the 2009-2019 period was a 2.6% increase in 2016. 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 reported noted.
By the end of 2019, 286.8 million total registered motor vehicles – including medium- and heavy-duty trucks – were on the road in the U.S., up 2.2% from 2018. The figure is projected to reach nearly 290,000 vehicles by the end of 2020.
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.