The average vehicle on the road is at a record 11.4 years old, according to a review of over 247 million current car and truck registrations conducted by the market research firm R.L. Polk, in Southfield Mich. By comparison, the typical model in household driveways was a mere 9.6 years old back in 2001.
Clearly the lingering effect of the economic crash, rising car prices and the fact that today’s cars are engineered to last longer than ever are contributing to the nation’s aging fleet, which Polk expects to swell to 260 million vehicles by 2018.
The big winners here would seem to be auto parts shops and repair technicians who stand to benefit from an aging fleet of cars and trucks in need of service. “Repair shops should be paying close attention to their business plans, while retailers have a unique and growing opportunity with potential consumers wrenching on their own vehicles,” says Mark Seng, vice president of Polk’s aftermarket practice.