By Nora Naughton, Crain News Service
DETROIT (July 29, 2015) — The average age of light vehicles on the road in the U.S. reached a new all-time high of 11.5 years at year-end 2014, while the total light vehicles in operation hit a record 257.9 million, up 2.1 percent from 2013, IHS Automotive reported.
The average age of cars on the road reached an all-time high of 11.4 years at the end of 2012, a record that held through the end of 2013. Despite reaching a new high, the rate of increase in average age is actually returning to normal, according to IHS analyst Mark Seng.
“We're now seeing average age begin to plateau and return to its traditional rate of increase as consumers have recovered from the great recession and have begun buying new vehicles again,” he said in a statement.
IHS forecasts that the average age of vehicles will hit 11.6 years in 2016, but will not reach 11.7 years until 2018.
It doesn't appear as though vehicle age will go down in the future, Mr. Seng said.
“As long as we've been tracking it, vehicle age has been on the rise,” he told Automotive News. “Vehicle quality is getting better and that's driving a longer length of ownership.”