Have you ever been stuck in a traffic jam and wondered how old the cars next to you are? According to recent studies, almost 25% of the vehicles in the USA would be, at the very least, 16-years-old. Such a conclusion means that at least 1 car out of 4 that you see around you are that old. Unbelievable, right?
The company, which was given the responsibility of tracking every vehicle registration in each US state, IHS Markit, claims that the average age of vehicles driving on US roads has reached an all-time high of 11.9 years, which has never been seen before.
Todd Campau, IHS Markit aftermarket specialist, said that the main reason behind the significant increase in the average age of vehicles is the improvement of their reliability. Owners are simply more comfortable using their cars for a longer period than the previous generations!
The US has seen a steady rise in the average age of vehicles circulating on the roads for a few years now. 2020 is the fourth year in a row to have followed the same trend. However, this trend is not really something new as the situation has been the same for the past two decades. Americans simply seem to have grown to hold onto their cars and trucks for longer periods. According to IHS Markit, back in 2010, the average age of a vehicle was 10.6 years, while that of the same back in 2002, was 9.6 years.
“In the mid-’90s, 100,000 miles was about all you would get out of a vehicle. Now, at 100,000 miles, a vehicle is just getting broken in,” said Campau.
According to the company, the average age is more likely to keep increasing and could potentially even rise even more. With the global pandemic hitting hard on people, a lot of them are struggling economically. Millions of Americans have been laid off by businesses and are now out of a job.
Also, due to the new “work from home” tendency, car usage has been lowered remarkably. Millions of people who used to go to work every day using their cars are now sitting and working at home instead. As a result of this, not only will their vehicles last longer but people who were planning to change their car soon might way for the situation to get a little better.
Car manufacturers are obviously very disappointed with those results as they need to seel more cars than ever now as most of them are trying to get back on their feet after the very tough last months. However, the misfortune of some makes the happiness of others, as they say. It’s safe to assume that used car salesman and independent repair shop, who strive on selling and fixing older vehicles, will benefit from the situation.
It’s important to keep in mind that the opposite could also turn out to be true. The current situation of the automotive industry is bound to change. With the rise of electric vehicle sales, the increase in short-term lease rates, and the soaring of ride-sharing services, the average age of cars on our road may drastically drop in the next few years. That will all depend on whether car owners are willing to change their consumer habits or not and at the pace at which the industry will evolve.
And that, only time will tell…
Source: IHS Markit