Median Age of Cars Jumps to 10.8 Years

2000 Ford Taurus Wagon

The median age of a car in the United States reached an all-time high last year, according to R.L. Polk & Co. As of June 2011, the average age for a new car in the U.S. now stands at 10.8 years — 11.1 years for passenger cars and 10.4 years for light trucks.

The median age of a vehicle has increased steadily over the past 16 years, Polk says, because people are holding onto their vehicles longer for various reasons, including improved vehicle reliability. More recently, the economic downturn has prompted more Americans to keep their vehicles even longer, waiting for a sunnier occasion to buy a new car.

Over the next few years, Polk sees the average age of the vehicle fleet to slow down. The reason has mostly to do with pent-up demand for new cars, which will decelerate the median age rise. According to Polk, the mix of cars to trucks, which was skewed more to trucks in 2008 and 2009, will also bring down the median age over time because trucks age more quickly than cars.

Overall, the United States has some 240.5 million cars on the road, which is slightly down from the peak in 2008 of 242 million vehicles.

Average Age of Vehicles Reaches Record High (R.L. Polk & Co.)

By Colin Bird | January 17, 2012 | Comments (6)

Comments 

skinner

I am sure this is at least partly due to the fact that cars are no longer built to be disposable, as they once were. Even the "worst" cars for the most part will far outlast cars from a couple of decades ago.

Mike

I have a 1997 Infiniti QX4 268k, still going strong, looks great still!

Rockaby

My car's 15 years old as well.

Highdesertcat

You can keep any car running by replacing the failed or worn-out parts. In many cases, it is cheaper to keep 'er.

I know people who own brand new cars and trucks and still hold on to their 20+ year old vehicles.

In other cases, like now with the economy and job market in the tank, people are forced to keep their old jalopies because they have no money to buy better.

navy

i have a 06 lexus gs 430 and still hold on to my 92 supra turbo with 300+ km still running strong.

Soakee

In my household, we have more cars than drivers. We put fewer miles on each and keep them longer. This same situation goes for several friends/relatives. Our money is spent on more/older vehicles rather than newer/fewer vehicles.

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