Sales of new vehicles in the United States have been good in the past year but the average age of auto fleet reached a record. The median age of all trucks and cars is currently at 11.4 years. This was up from 11.2 years the previous year. A decade ago, the average was 9.7 years. The average age continued to increase for 11 straight years.
The average age for passenger cars is 11.4 years. The average for light trucks is now 11.3 years. This is according to the new data from R.L. Polk and based on a review of more than 247 million car and light truck registrations in January.
The number of 6 to 11 year old vehicles dropped while the number ovehicles older than 12 years old went up by more than 20 percent.
Drivers didn’t buy new cars during the recession. They maintained their vehicles to avoid buying new ones. In 2012, they finally start returning to showrooms to purchase new cars but also to trade in models for more fuel efficient versions. Analysts said that Americans hold on their old cars and trucks for economic reasons.
The number of vehicles went down between six and 11 years but it was offset by the increase in the number of vehicles older than 12 years. Analysts said that drivers are keeping their cars. Cars today don’t rust out as much as they did in the past. Engines are also made better than before. These are some reasons why drivers keep cars running longer than before.
New car sales could reach more than 16 million for the first time since 2997. Auto sales went down to 10.4 million in 2009. But even with the increased activity in new car showrooms, aging cars will remain on city streets and highways.