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Average age of cars and light trucks in the US rises to 12.1 years, accelerated by COVID-19

14 June 2021

New research from IHS Markit shows that the average age of light vehicles in operation (VIO) in the US has risen to 12.1 years this year, increasing by nearly 2 months during 2020 and elevated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in average age will further drive vehicle maintenance opportunities from an increasingly aged vehicle fleet.

COVID-19 and its impact across the US caused a drastic reduction in new vehicle sales as well as a sudden increase in vehicle scrappage, which was a catalyst for increased velocity in the growth of the average age of light vehicles. The pandemic-induced rate of increase in average age is expected to be short-lived as 2021 will see a return of new vehicle registrations and increased activity in used registrations as we adapt to post-pandemic norms.

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