Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Average age of cars and trucks on US roads hit record of 11.4 years in Jan. 2013 and is predicted to go higher-AP

8/6/13, "Can you guess why Americans keep older cars longer?" AP, Tom Krisher, LA Daily News

"Americans are keeping their cars and trucks longer than ever, and even with new car sales increasing, the average age will continue to rise, an industry research firm says.

The average age of the 247 million cars and trucks on U.S. roads hit a record of 11.4 years in January, the latest figures available from state registration data gathered by the Polk research firm.

That's up from 11.2 years in 2012, and nearly two full years older than in 2007, before the start of the Great Recession, Polk said Tuesday.

People are keeping their cars because the quality is so much better and they are trying to avoid the monthly payments, said Mark Seng, a Polk vice president. The annual percentage of cars and trucks sent to the scrap yard has dropped 50 percent since the recession, he said.

"Cars are just lasting longer," he said.

The company doesn't see the age dropping for at least five years, even though U.S. vehicle sales are running at an annual rate of around 15.5 million, which is near pre-recession levels. And it predicts that the percentage of cars age 12 or older will actually rise in the next five years.

The change creates a big opportunity for repair shops and auto-parts stores, Seng said."...via Free Republic

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