The study shows that the average age of cars has been increasing since 2011, highlighting the trend towards the popularity of older cars with higher mileage. Data from Cox Automotive analysis shows that sales of high-mileage cars grew by 7 percent in the first quarter of 2022. Previously, cars with a mileage of more than 150,000 miles were often considered unqualified for retail sale and were instead auctioned off to purchase independent dealers.
According to S&P Global, the U.S. fleet, which includes all cars and trucks, has increased by 3.5 million vehicles to 283 million in 2022.
The statement said that the increase in the age of vehicles has contributed to the long-term decline in the number of recycling vehicles and the flow of demand for used cars. Car mileage also returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to the study, “increasing by more than 10 percent in 2021 as locks loosen and people return to work and leisure,” with each light car traveling an average of 12,300 miles in 2021.
However, compared to last year, the average service life of electric vehicles has decreased. S&P Global said that the total number of battery electric vehicles in operation increased by almost 40 percent to 1.44 million in 2022, and the average age dropped to 3.8 years from 3.9 years in 2021.
“This is a function of the fact that now the share of new EVs that sell every year is such a large share of the total [EV] population, ”Campo said.
S&P Global predicted in the study that problems related to the supply and shortage of microchips will continue to increase the average age of light cars until at least 2023.
“I think there will probably be increased pressure on the average age by 2024, maybe even up to 25,” Campo said. “Then I think it will level off as soon as the supply of new cars starts to catch up with demand. I think there is even the potential that the average age may even go down a bit … if that deferred demand for new cars is produced.”