Fact #845 November 3, 2014 From 1970 to 2013 the Share of Older Vehicles in Operation has Increased

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In 1970 only 3% of the cars in operation were 15 years old or older. With cars lasting much longer today, 19% of cars in operation in 2013 were that same category. The 15 years old and older category cannot be separated into individual years, thus the cumulative effect of all vehicles in that category causes a sharp rise in the data. Interestingly, the 1970 data and the 2013 data on cars in operation show that about 8% of cars were under one year old (green graph). The truck data for 1970 and 2013 show about 7% of trucks were under one year old - about the same percentage in both years. But the share of trucks 15 years or older is more than 20% in 2013, while only 15% in 1970. New vehicle acquisition was high in the 1960’s, evidenced by the large number of newer cars and trucks in operation in 1970.

Share of Cars in Operation by Age, 1970 and 2013
Graphic showing share of cars in operation by age in 1970 and 2013.

 

Share of Trucks in Operation by Age, 1970 and 2013
Graphic showing share of trucks in operation by age in 1970 and 2013.

Fact #845 Dataset

Supporting Information

Share of Cars and Trucks in Operation by Age, 1970 and 2013
Age
(Years)
Cars Trucks
1970 2013 1970 2013
Under 1 8% 7% 7.1% 6.5%
1 12% 6% 10.6% 5.1%
2 11% 5% 8.7% 5.2%
3 10% 5% 8.1% 4.0%
4 11% 4% 8.4% 3.2%
5 11% 6% 7.6% 5.6%
6 9% 6% 6.5% 6.1%
7 8% 6% 5.5% 6.1%
8 6% 6% 4.7% 6.1%
9 4% 5% 3.5% 6.4%
10 4% 6% 3.7% 5.8%
11 2% 6% 3.3% 5.5%
12 1% 5% 2.2% 4.9%
13 1% 5% 2.4% 4.6%
14 1% 4% 2.3% 4.2%
15 & older 3% 19% 15.3% 20.8%

Note: Under 1 category includes cars from model years 1971 and 1970 sold prior to July 1, 1970. For 2013, cars sold prior to December 31, 2013 which were model year 2013, 2014 or 2015 were included. Trucks include light trucks (i.e., pickups, vans, sport-utility vehicles) as well as medium and heavy trucks.

Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 33, July 2014, ORNL-6990, Tables 3.8 and 3.9.

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