Fact #997, October 2, 2017: Average Age of Cars and Light Trucks Was Almost 12 Years in 2016

October 2, 2017

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The average age of cars and light trucks reached a new high in 2016 at 11.6 years - an increase of about 21% since 2002. The continual improvement of vehicle quality is a key driver of the increased average age of vehicles in operation. The average age for cars was higher than for light trucks in the past but that difference began to narrow after 2007. The average age for cars and light trucks reached parity in 2014 and remained the same through 2016 with both averaging 11.6 years. The trend toward parity for cars and light trucks is likely influenced by the increasing popularity of crossover vehicles that are classified as light trucks but largely serve the same function as cars.

Average Age of Cars and Light Trucks, 2002-2016

Graphic showing average age of car and light trucks from 2002 to 2016.

Source:

IHS Automotive/R. L. Polk Annual Press Releases. Most Recent Release November 22, 2016.

Fact #997 Dataset

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