America’s aging vehicle fleet


Hit by economic problems, coronvirus-related, Americans hang on to their cars longer

The average age of vehicle – cars, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks – on the US roads is to the highest level in nearly 20 years. The U.S. vehicle population this year exceeded 280 million vehicles, up just 1 percent from 2019. According to the data published by IHS Markit Ltd, an expertise group dealing with global markets, industry and technical information, the average age of light vehicles in operation (VIO) in the States has risen to 11.9 years this year, about one month older than in 2019. Against the background of the crisis generated by the coronavirus pandemic, experts with IHS Markit say that the average age of vehicles on US roads will probably be pushed over 12 years. Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we have witnessed a sharp slowdown in vehicle sales.

“We definitely expect to eclipse the 12-year barrier,” – says Todd Campau, associate director of aftermarket solutions for IHS Markit.

The positive effect

However, there’s still a positive effect of America’s aging vehicle fleet.  Although not good for emissions or safety, it could help companies that manufacture and sell repair parts, as it can increase new business opportunities for companies operating in the aftermarket and vehicle servicing sector.

Based on the IHS Markit analysis, the volume of vehicles 6 to 11 years old is expected to expand, which presents major opportunities for the sector due to dealer service plans and warranties expiring, netting new business opportunities for independent service and repair shops.

A new problem that’s actually old

The aging U.S. vehicle fleet has been an issue for a long time and various politicians have tried to come up with solutions. One of them is an economic stimulus plans, according to which drivers would get  government-funded incentives to retire older, more polluting vehicles. But no decision has been made so far.



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