In 2022, the average age of all vehicles on U.S. roads increased to 12.2 years, the fifth consecutive year. This is the highest ever in the United States
According to research by S&P Global Mobility, the average vehicle age has increased by two months compared to 2021, which initially blamed the aging fleet of the US for continuing supply chain problems.
The biggest reason for Americans to keep their vehicles on the road for long periods of time is due to chip supply constraints, which are preventing automakers from building vehicles at the speed they were able to before the epidemic.
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In addition to declining supplies, the epidemic has forced more travelers to opt for private transportation over public or shared options. And now that epidemic restrictions are being lifted, the average number of miles driven has reached pre-epidemic levels. Without access to many new vehicles, consumers are either buying used or hanging their existing vehicles for a long time, which is good news for mechanics.
Todd Campou, associate director of aftermarket solutions at S&P Global Mobility, said: “Combined with the growing average age, the mileage of the strong average vehicle indicates the potential for significant growth in repair revenue next year.”
The news is not perfect for vehicle scrapers. High demand for vehicles and low production mean that, in 2021, only 11 million vehicles have been removed and scrapped from the road, or only 4.2 percent of vehicles are in operation. This is the lowest annual rate in the last two decades. This is in stark contrast to 2020, when more than 15 million vehicles – the highest number in the last 20 years – were scrapped.
This is expected to be a temporary state, and once car production resumes at full speed, scrapage rates will increase and the average age of the U.S. fleet will decrease. Unfortunately, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine could have a continuing impact on the supply of new vehicles next year, so the situation could get worse before it gets better.