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Monday, 23 May 2022 09:08

Average Age of Vehicles in U.S. Increases to 12.2 Years

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The average age of light vehicles in operation (VIO) in the U.S. rose to 12.2 years this year, increasing by nearly two months over the prior year, according to new research from S&P Global Mobility (formerly the automotive team at IHS Markit).

This is the fifth straight year the average vehicle age in the U.S. has risen. This year’s average age marks another all-time high for the average age even as the vehicle fleet recovered, growing by 3.5 million units in the past year.

 

The global microchip shortage, combined with associated supply chain and inventory challenges, are the primary factors pushing U.S. average vehicle age higher, according to the analysis. Chip supply constraints have caused continued parts shortages for carmakers, who have been forced to cut production.

 

The constrained supply of new cars and light trucks, amid a strong demand for personal transportation, could have influenced consumers to continue operating their existing vehicles longer, as inventory levels for both new and used vehicles were depleted across the industry.

 

Supply Chain Challenges Continue to Transform Vehicle Fleet

 

The ongoing effect of supply chain constraints has led to a decrease in vehicle scrappage, which measures the number of vehicles leaving the vehicle population and has been a catalyst for the rise in average age over time.

 

The scrappage volume for the prior year stood at more than 11 million and scrappage rate as a percent of vehicles on the road was just 4.2% of VIO---the lowest annual rate in the past two decades. It was in stark contrast from the previous year, which saw scrappage at its highest volume in two decades at over 15 million units, and second highest scrappage rate at 5.6% of VIO.

 

Additionally, the pandemic drove consumers from...


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