How often do you look outside your car as you drive to work and see an older version of the model you drive? Older cars are staying on the road and in the market through different avenues of car sales.
The average age of vehicles on the road in the U.S. is rising, even as consumers snap up more new ones — a paradox attributable to substantial increases in reliability.
The typical car on the road in the U.S. is a record-high 11.5 years old, according to a new IHS Automotive survey.
Yet Americans are buying cars at an annualized rate of more than 17 million vehicles, marking a high not seen since before the Great Recession. In fact, U.S. vehicle owners bought 42% more cars than they scrapped in 2014, according to IHS. The number of light vehicles registered in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 257.9 million units.
How are vehicles getting older, while Americans are buying newer cars, too?
Simple: They’re either keeping the old ones along with the new ones — know anyone who bought a new car and kept their old one in the driveway? — or the vehicle made its way into the used-car market, where someone else bought it..
“Vehicles are simply lasting longer than ever before,” Mark Seng, global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive, told USA TODAY. “The consumer is hanging onto their vehicle longer than ever before.”