Average US Vehicle Age Hits 12.6 Years As Inflation Takes Toll

Cars, trucks, and SUVs across the U.S. are getting older, with the average vehicle age now at a record 12.6 years. According to S&P Global Mobility, which monitors state vehicle registration data, high prices for new cars and massive economic pressures on buyers account for the trend, ABC News reports.

Despite a small recovery in new vehicle sales and a recent drop in prices — the average new car cost just over $45,000 last month, down from a peak in December 2022 — many people still find new cars too expensive. “It’s prohibitively high for a lot of households now,” said Todd Campau, aftermarket leader at S&P Global Mobility. “So I think consumers are being painted into the corner of having to keep the vehicle on the road longer.”

In April of 2019, the average car cost $33,695.

Another possible factor is that people are hesitating on vehicle purchasing decisions due to uncertainty about whether to choose an electric vehicle (EV), a hybrid, or stick with gasoline – as many are concerned that the availability of EV charging stations (VW recently stepped away from plans to go all-electric). However, Campau notes that cars are better made now and last longer, which is good news for car owners.

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