One in four cars on American roads is at least 16 years old

Illustration for article titled One in four cars on American roads is at least 16 years old

Image: Pontiac (GM

The next time you drive, check all your mirrors (as I hope you will anyway) at least one of the cars around you is likely to be at least 16 years old. It could even be the car you drive.

This is not new, the average age of the American car has been heading north for some time. Todd Campau, an aftermarket specialist with IHS Markit, which tracks vehicle records across the country, said CNBC There are many factors at work here that will likely lead to an even older fleet:

“In the mid-1990s, 100,000 miles was all you could get from a vehicle. Now, 100,000 miles away, a vehicle has just entered, “Campau said.

With the economy struggling due to Covid-19, which prompted companies to fire millions of Americans, the age of vehicles in the US is likely to rise. It may even rise at a faster rate, according to IHS. Markit.

This is because millions of people who used to travel to their jobs are now putting fewer miles in their cars while working from home. As a result, your vehicles are likely to last longer. Also, many who are ready to buy a new car or truck are likely to continue to drive the old one or trade it in for a used model, a market where sales have increased.

“We went out and bought a lot of (used) cars and said that if customers can’t get new ones, this demand is so strong that they will switch to used ones,” said AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson. CNBC’s “Squawk Box”. “” That is exactly what happened. “

What Campau does not mention is that, along with the average age of the fleet that is now 11.9 years old, new car costs and loan lengths have also skyrocketed. The average car loan now has a duration of 70 months, and the average cost of a new car has increased by $ 5,000 in the past five years. Those 70-month loans don’t come with optimistic terms, either. Even with flooding 0 percent interest COVID-19 specials, the average APR for a new vehicle loan was 5.8 percent in March. With the world more uncertain than ever, I think many more people will hesitate to launch such expensive long-term loans.

I very much agree with this trend. Heck, the average age of just Jalopnik’s fleet is much higher than 16 years. Hold on to those first cars for as long as you can friends. Treasure your pontiacs and saabs. Someday they will be classics and take first prize at your local Litwood.