Auto Service World
News   March 8, 2024   by Adam Malik

How much longer average age will climb

Average vehicle age has been on a sharp rise in recent years and it will continue to for several more, an industry observer predicted.

At AAPEX 2023, Todd Campau, aftermarket practice leader at S&P Global Mobility, talked about the factors driving vehicle age upwards. His group reported this year that the average age of a vehicle in the United States is 12.5 years. That’s the highest it’s ever been.

No updates have been made for Canada since 2020. At that time, AIA Canada reported average age at 9.7 years. Industry experts believe that number is around 10.5 years today. That, too, would be a record high for this country.

“We’ve continued to set records,” Camapu said during his presentation, Trends Impacting the North American Aftermarket. “I think the real note in average age is the rate at which it’s been climbing. Average age typically does stay pretty consistent or climbs very slightly. The past few years, it’s been climbing pretty rapidly and it’s continuing to look like it’s going to climb pretty rapidly for a couple more years.”

New vehicle sales are climbing, but slowly. So that influx of new vehicles to bring down average age hasn’t been coming at the typical pace it used to be before the pandemic. Supply chain issues and high interest rates will continue to suppress new vehicle sales for the next little while.

“I think we’ll see the average age continue to climb probably through 2025,” Campau predicted. “And then it’ll probably begin to settle down into a more normal growth rate again.”

This is a positive sign for the auto care industry, he pointed out. It indicates the industry will be healthy going forward.

“All good news for the aftermarket when it comes to the vehicle fleet. It’s growing, it’s aging, people are keeping their vehicles on the road for a longer period of time,” he said. “All that means more repairs coming to our bays, more tires that need to be replaced more brake jobs, more oil changes and everything. So good news, in general for the aftermarket.”

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