Average Age of Vehicles in U.S. Continues to Rise

  • The average age of vehicles on American roads continues to trend upward, according to a new report by S&P Global Mobility.
  • The combined average age of all light-duty vehicles is up to 12.6 years in 2024, up by two months compared to 2023.
  • The average age of passenger cars continues to trend higher at 14 years compared with light trucks at 11.9 years.

The average age of vehicles in use on American roads has continued to trend upward at a pretty steady pace for the past 10 years or so. Since COVID-19 first hit and new-car sales began to fall, that figure has only risen more and continued on the same path. According to a new report by S&P Global Mobility, the combined average age of passenger cars and light trucks has now reached a record high of 12.6 years.

average age of vehicles in u.s. continues to rise

S and P Global Mobility Average Vehicle Age Graph

Passenger cars help increase the average age, measuring 14.0 years compared to 11.9 years for light trucks, according to S&P. The new combined average is up by two months compared to last year and shows steady growth since crossing the 12-year average in 2021.

The rising age of registered vehicles follows early trends seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw new-car prices skyrocket, leading to a massive decline in sales. As of last month, the average transaction price on new vehicles was just over $45,000, according to J.D. Power. That figure is more than $2000 cheaper than the peak, reached in December 2022, but shows a stark difference compared to the $33,695 average price in April 2019.

The news isn't all bleak for the car business: According to S&P, the rising average continues to be a good thing for the aftermarket vehicle service industry. "With average age growth, more vehicles are entering the prime range for aftermarket service, typically from six to 14 years of age," said Todd Campau, aftermarket practice lead at S&P Global Mobility. Vehicles in that range tend to be outside typical manufacturer warranties, leading owners to utilize local repair shops instead.

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