Global automotive market intelligence firm Polk reports the average age of all light vehicles on the road in the US now stands at a record high of 11.4 years, based on review of more than 247 million US car and light truck registrations earlier this year.
For passenger cars, average age also met a record high at 11.4 years, while the average age of light trucks also increased to a record 11.3 years. Polk expects this trend to continue, while a shift in the fleet of vehicles in operation (VIO) is underway.
|Average age of US cars and light trucks. Note y-axis scale starts at “9 years” to enable seeing the slight differences by year. Data: Polk. Click to enlarge.
As part of its most recent analysis and the growth of vehicle registrations in the past few years, Polk found that the volume of 6-11 year old vehicles is declining, while the group of vehicles older than 12 years is on the rise. This trend supports the increase in average age and creates a potential strategic shift in the aftermarket as business owners consider options for growth and opportunity.
Polk recently developed a new forecast for vehicles in operation (VIO) through 2018. With the rebound in new vehicle registrations, Polk is forecasting the total VIO to grow 5% to more than 260 million vehicles by 2018.