Average age of U.S. vehicles hits record 12.1 years in 2020-IHS Markit, Auto News, ET Auto
The average age of American cars and light trucks hit a record 12.1 years in 2020, as Americans drove fewer miles and scrapped more vehicles during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to IHS Markit.
The research firm said the two-month increase in the average age of vehicles from the 2019 figure may be short-lived as new and used car sales continue to accelerate as the pandemic is abating.
Kilometers traveled by vehicles in the United States fell by more than 13% in 2020, according to IHS, as more than 15 million vehicles were scrapped, or about 5.6% of the total vehicle fleet.
Normally, such a high scrapping rate would lower the average age of vehicles, the company said. But fewer kilometers driven, combined with lower vehicle sales during the pandemic, had the opposite effect, with the average age dropping from 11.9 years in 2019.
IHS researchers also said that an ongoing semiconductor shortage, which has reduced vehicle production, has resulted in lower dealer inventories and inflated transaction prices, in turn causing prices to rise simultaneously. used vehicles.
The firm said these factors could push back the average age of vehicles in 2021 as more owners sell or trade in their old used vehicles.