Old Cars On US Roads Today Are As Old As Your Kid

Nov 23, 2016 10:36 AM EST | Rowland Eturma

With thousands of cars being churned out by automakers every year, you're expecting to see new cars more than old cars, right? Well, not really. When you take a look at highways all over The United States, you're bound to see older cars than new cars. Why is this phenomenon growing on US roads today?

A report just came out that the average age of light vehicles on US roads nowadays is 11.6 years old, based on a survey of light vehicles since Jan. 1, 2016. Old cars have even increased from an average of 11.5 years the previous year. Global financial analysis company IHS Markit put out these figures to provide information and analysis, which are aimed to predict useful trends for car manufacturers. Cars at 16 years and up are expected to grow from 62 million units today to around 81 million in 2026, according to Automotive News, citing data from IHS Markit.

So, why are there a lot of old cars than new ones? The reasons are pretty much down to economics, as well as lack of trust on the quality of new cars being put out. For one, the average American just doesn't have any money to throw away on big purchases. Money is still tight for families across the country, which directly affects any decision to buy a car. Add in millennials who might be working but still paying off their student loan debts, and the environment is ripe for used cars staying on the road longer, CNET reported.

On the bright side, service shops will have a heyday servicing old vehicles, Simply put, more old cars on the road also mean more money for service shops. Currently, there are more third-party shops across the country than dealer-serviced shops and more could be opening soon.

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