|Median age of cars in the US fleet is increasing.|
The median age of cars in the US fleet has climbed to an all-time high of 9.0 years, according to a vehicle population report released by R. L. Polk & Co.
Only 4.3% of total passenger cars and trucks were scrapped in 2005—a low not seen since 1949. The scrappage rate for passenger cars in 2005 was 4.5 percent, another record low.
|Vehicle scrappage rates.|
In addition, light truck scrappage rates experienced a third straight year of decline at 4.1 percent in 2005.
Despite a record number of new heavy and light truck registrations in 2005, scrappage rates still decreased. This implies that vehicles are lasting longer and, based on the light truck to car ratio for new vehicles, the data shows that light trucks are continuing to make up a larger percentage of the vehicle population.—Mike Gingell, VP Polk Aftermarket
The median age of US vehicles also increased across all major vehicle categories. The nine-year median age of cars continues a four-year record-setting trend. For all trucks, the median age increased to 6.8 years in 2005. Light truck median age in 2005 increased to 6.6 years.
Light vehicles are on the road longer today than they have ever been. As vehicle durability and technology continues to improve each year, we expect the trend of increased vehicle longevity to continue.—Dave Goebel, consultant for Polk’s Aftermarket
In 2005, 34.8% of the light vehicle population was 11 years of age and older, compared to 29.1 percent in 1996. Over this same ten-year period, the number of vehicles 11 years of age and older grew an average of 4.5 percent per year.