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Average Age of Cars, Light Trucks Rises

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June 27, 2019—The average age of light vehicles in operation (VIO) in the U.S. has risen again this year, to 11.8 years, according to new research by IHS Markit.

The shift among various age categories continues to be closely monitored because it is important to those who manage inventories of required parts and plan for sales and service. From 2002-07, the average age of light vehicles in the U.S. increased by 3.5 percent. From 2008-13, however, the increase was 12.2 percent. Over the last five years, the average age increase has returned to its more traditional rate – aging by 4 percent over the time period.

Light vehicles in operation in the U.S. have now reached a record level of more than 278 million according to the analysis -- an increase of more than 5.9 million (2.2 percent) since 2018.

For the first time the analysis included a review of various regions around the country. The oldest light vehicles are found in the West at 12.4 years while the youngest are found in the Northeast at 10.9 years.  

In addition, the light vehicle fleet is not aging at the same rate across regions. In the West, light vehicles increased 1.5 percent from 2018-19 while in the Midwest they aged by just 0.4 percent. The state of Montana has the oldest average age with light vehicles averaging 16.6 years. The youngest average age is in Vermont, where the average age of light vehicles is 9.9 years.

 

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