Average car age hits record high of 11.5 yearsPublished: Wednesday, July
29, 2015

The average age of U.S. vehicles on the road has reached a record 11.5
years, due to both the reliability of modern autos and the lingering
effects of the recession.

The average age of vehicles has been climbing steadily since the consulting
firm IHS Automotive began tracking the number in 2002. The average length
of ownership for a new vehicle is now almost 6.5 years, and five years for
a used vehicle.

Cars and trucks also now have the same average age, reflecting the
increased quality of the former. A reliable car can now go 200,000 miles or
more, which would last many consumers a decade, said Doug Love, a spokesman
for *Consumer Reports*.

The average age appears to be plateauing, though, as buyers have returned
to the car market in bigger numbers. Sales of new cars rose from 12.7
million in 2011 to 16.5 million last year, and they are expected to exceed
17 million this year. IHS predicts the average vehicle age will hit 11.6
years in 2016 but won't climb to 11.7 years until 2018.

This is a more normal rate of age increase, according to IHS. Vehicle age
increased rapidly between 2008 and 2013 as more people held on to their
cars during the recession. In 2008, the average age of cars was 10 years;
by 2013, it had reached 11.4 years (AP/New Orleans*Times-Picayune*
July 29). *-- BTP*

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