This is a 2% increase over 2021
Increased demand and limited supply mean fewer buyers can afford a new vehicle
The average age of the light vehicle fleet in the US has been increasing since 2011
A new report indicates that the average age of all of the light vehicles on the roads of the United States has crept up to 12.2 years, a 2% increase over last year.
Interestingly, this doesn’t apply to electric vehicles, since their average age lowered from 3.9 to 3.8 years in 2022, a result of the increasing proportion of EVs on the road.
This average usually stays relatively similar since older cars get scrapped at the end of their life and brand-new cars are added to the fleet at a similar rate.
The fairly significant increase observed this year is another result of the pandemic, since it is mainly caused by a lack of new cars and financial instability among buyers.
Since the pandemic created a number of supply issues for automakers, the production of new vehicles has been slowed down enough to cause a shortage of new vehicles. Combined with the surge in demand caused by some highly anticipated new models, mainly EVs, this has also led to increasing car prices.
Since new cars are difficult to obtain quickly, many buyers have been forced to buy used cars, which have also increased in price.
This means that older cars that were worth very little and reaching the end of their useful life before the pandemic are now a lot more valuable since many buyers can’t afford newer vehicles.
This has also led to a lower rate of vehicle scrapping, since older cars are now either worth repairing or they need to be kept on the road since their owner can’t find a replacement vehicle they can afford.
This tendency of the automotive fleet to grow older is not new however, since the average age of vehicles in the US has been slowly climbing since 2011.
Experts believe that the average age of the fleet will go back down once the automakers manage to fix their supply issues and bring their production back to pre-pandemic levels.