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Average Vehicle Age is 12.2 Years

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May 25, 2022—The average age of light vehicles in operation currently sits at 12.2 years, according to a report through S&P Global accessed for an article by The Detroit News.

The 12.2 increase this past year bumps the average vehicle age up by two months, and it is the fifth year in a row that an increase has been seen.

The average age of a car on the road right now is 13.1 years and the average age of a truck is 11.6 years. The pandemic, supply chain disruptions and parts shortages are all elements at play in keeping people in their vehicles for longer. 

This sounds good overall for the automotive repair industry, doesn't it? S&P Global initially forecasted an 11 percent in repairs and service in 2021 from 2020, and it is more than likely that prediction was surpassed. 

Before the pandemic began, the average vehicle age was anticipated to flatten because sales had declined. But as the pandemic interrupted production and it became difficult to access components such as semiconductors, things changed.

"It is a little bit of a unique situation driving the growth trajectory," said Todd Campau, automotive aftermarket practice lead at S&P Global in the article. "We expect it to continue to grow for a few years and then drop off in the '25, '26 range, depending on how the pandemic, pent-up demand and scrappage work out."

Another thing that this average vehicle age speaks to is how difficult it is to purchase a new vehicle right now. Many compounding issues at play make it easier for drivers to keep their current vehicle and opt to bring it in for repairs, perhaps more often that usual.

Campau said that the new vehicle market is expected to pick up in the next 18 months or so.

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