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Average Age of Vehicles in the US Continues to Rise

Nov 22, 2016

Car owners in the U.S. continue to hold onto their vehicles.

According to IHS Markit, the average age of light vehicles in the U.S. is 11.6 years, based on a snapshot of vehicles in operation on January 1, 2016. Last year, the average age of vehicles in the U.S. was 11.5 years. In addition, registrations for light vehicles in operation hit a record 264 million, marking an increase of over 6.2 million, or 2.4 percent.

One reason for the rising average vehicle age over time is the quality of new vehicles, noted Mark Seng, global automotive aftermarket practice director at IHS Markit.

The company began tracking the average age of vehicles in 2002 and in the first year of data, the average age was 9.6 years. In addition to vehicles getting older, car owners are getting their vehicles longer with the average length of ownership hitting a record 79.3 months as of the end of 2015, up 1.5 months compared to the previous year. IHS also said consumers keep used vehicles for about 66 months.
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