June 19, 2024
Insurance

The typical car on American roads is currently 12.6 years old

Car enthusiasts and automotive journalists may enjoy purchasing new vehicles, but the general public may not share the same level of excitement. According to a recent study conducted by S&P Global Mobility, the average age of vehicles on American roads has been steadily increasing, reaching 12.6 years in 2024.

This trend presents a lucrative opportunity for aftermarket parts and service providers. Todd Campau, the aftermarket practice lead at S&P Global Mobility, stated, “With the average age of vehicles increasing, more cars are entering the prime range for aftermarket services, typically between six to 14 years of age. With over 110 million vehicles falling within this category – accounting for nearly 38% of the total fleet on the road – we anticipate a continued growth in the volume of vehicles in this age range, projected to rise to around 40% by 2028.”

As more owners choose to hold onto their vehicles for longer periods, the number of cars being scrapped has not seen a noticeable increase since last year. For every new passenger car registration, two vehicles are scrapped, leading to approximately 27 million vehicles being taken off the roads since 2020, while only around 13 million new vehicles have been registered.

Despite the rate of scrapping remaining relatively stable, the overall number of vehicles on the roads has shown significant growth compared to previous years. As of January, there were 286 million vehicles in operation, marking an increase of two million from the previous year. The number of vehicles aged six years or less has decreased from 98 million in 2019 to 90 million in 2024, partly due to supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Furthermore, the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) continues to rise, with 3.2 million EVs in operation at the beginning of this year, representing a more than 50% increase since 2022. However, S&P pointed out that the average age of EVs on the roads, currently at 3.5 years, may see an uptick in the near future as the pace of adoption slows down.

FAQ

1. What is the average age of vehicles on U.S. roads in 2024?

The average age of vehicles on U.S. roads in 2024 is 12.6 years.

2. How many vehicles are estimated to fall within the prime range for aftermarket service by 2028?

It is estimated that around 40% of the total fleet on the road will fall within the prime range for aftermarket service by 2028.

Conclusion

The automotive industry is witnessing a shift towards older vehicles on the roads, creating new opportunities for the aftermarket sector. As the average age of vehicles continues to rise, aftermarket service providers stand to benefit from the increasing demand for maintenance and repair services. Additionally, the growth of electric vehicles presents a promising future for the industry, with EV adoption on the rise despite potential challenges. It will be interesting to see how these trends evolve in the coming years.

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