Average Age Of Cars Rises

S&P Global recently released updated figures on the number of US cars and light trucks owned in the US. In the US there are over 284 million vehicles, almost enough for every person in the country. The impact of this is that the average lifespan of used vehicles has increased to 12.5 years. This marks the sixth straight year of an increase in the number of cars and the lifespan.

The increase in age is partially attributed to the supply chain issues, and that certainly drove a huge increase in ownership retention, particular in cars which widely outpaced the increase in age of ownership of trucks. However, while supply chain issues likely accelerated the trend, the grow in lifespan can be traced back many years, well before any pandemic induced supply chain issues.

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This is the sixth straight year of increase in the average vehicle age of the U.S. fleet.  It also reflects the highest yearly increase since the 2008-2009 recession, which caused acceleration in average age beyond its traditional rate due to the sharp decline in new-vehicle sales demand.

S&P Global Assessment

Many sources have attributed to the increasing cost of new vehicles. In addition, as we’ve reported here at ShiftAtlanta, the value of used cars has also increased and even accelerated. The combination of high replacement costs for new vehicles, then accelerated by the demand and supply chain issues surrounding the pandemic has meant replacing a car has gotten increasingly expensive, and therefore people are holding on to their vehicles longer.

The volumes of vehicles ages 6-14 will grow by another 10 million units by 2028, adding to an already favorable volume of vehicles in the aftermarket target range.

S&P Global Prediction

Graphs used in this article were provided courtesy of S&P Global Mobility for the exclusive use of discussing their research.

About S&P Global Mobility

At S&P Global Mobility, we provide invaluable insights derived from unmatched automotive data, enabling our customers to anticipate change and make decisions with conviction. Our expertise helps them to optimize their businesses, reach the right consumers, and shape the future of mobility. We open the door to automotive innovation, revealing the buying patterns of today and helping customers plan for the emerging technologies of tomorrow.

S&P Global Mobility is a division of S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI). S&P Global is the world’s foremost provider of credit ratings, benchmarks, analytics and workflow solutions in the global capital, commodity, and automotive markets. With every one of our offerings, we help many of the world’s leading organizations navigate the economic landscape so they can plan for tomorrow, today. For more information, visit www.spglobal.com/mobility.

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