U.S. passenger vehicles in use hit record average age of 12.6 years

The average age of passenger vehicles in use on U.S. roads hit a high of 12.6 years in 2024, according to a Wednesday report from S&P Mobility. Out of 298 million vehicles in use, 98 million were under 6 years old. File Photo by Aaron Kehoe/UPI

May 22 (UPI) -- The average age of cars and light trucks on U.S. roads hit a record in 2024, according to a Wednesday S&P Mobility report.

The report said that the average age for cars and light trucks in the United States rose to 12.6 years, two months older than the average age in 2023.

The age analysis showed light trucks in use average 11.9 years, while cars average 14 years.

According to S&P Mobility the increase in average age of vehicles is slowing as new registrations normalize, improving opportunities for aftermarket and vehicle service. as well as repair opportunities.

"With average age growth, more vehicles are entering the prime range for aftermarket service, typically from 6 to 14 years of age," S&P Global's Todd Campau said in a statement.

"With more than 110 million vehicles in that sweet spot -- reflecting nearly 38% of the fleet on the road -- we expect continued growth in the volume of vehicles in that age range to rise to an estimated 40% through 2028."

There were 298 million U.S. passenger vehicles in use in January, as of 2019 there were 98 million cars and light trucks under six years old in use.

About 3.2 million vehicles in use in the United States in 2024 were electric vehicles. EV registration passed 1 million for the first time in 2023, an increase of 52% compared to 2022. EV growth has been slower than some automakers anticipated.

"We started to see headwinds in EV sales growth in late 2023, and though there will be some challenges on the road to EV adoption that could drive EV average age up, we still expect significant growth in share of electric vehicles in operation over the next decade," Campau said.

The average age of EVs on U.S. roads is 3 1/2 years.

The scrap rate for U.S. vehicles this year was 4.6% compared with 4.5% in January 2023.

Since 2020 more than 27 million passenger cars were scrapped, while just over 13 million new ones were registered. For light trucks and SUVs, more than 26 million were scrapped, while almost 45 million new ones were registered.

Campau said the data shows a continuing customer preference for trucks and SUVs over cars.