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Average Age Of Vehicles On The Roads Is Increasing

A recent study finds that car owners in the U.S. are hanging on to their vehicles for a longer period than they have in previous years.

CBS Local in Dallas-Fort Worth reports that figures from data provider IHS Markit indicated that Americans are keeping their cars and trucks longer today. Research shows that the average age of cars, trucks, or light-duty vehicles is currently at 11.8 years and is expected to rise to an average of 12 years or greater by 2020.

IHS Markit Director of Global Automotive Aftermarket Mark Seng believes this is because vehicles are being built better today and so car buyers are hanging on to them longer. Another contributing factor for the trend is that vehicles have a higher sticker price than they did previously, so consumers often finance them for as long as six to seven years.

Seng believes this contributes to the overall length of life for a vehicle.

Montana leads the pack in terms of vehicle age. Vehicle owners there tend to hold on to their cars and trucks 16.6 years on average. This is followed by Western states where the average is 12.4 years. In the Northeast, the opposite is true. Motor vehicle owners within these states tend to hold on to their cars and trucks an average of only 10.9 years. IHS researchers believe this may be due to weather conditions and higher incidences of stop and go traffic. Both of these factors can make a difference in the overall life of any vehicle.

Seng and the IHS team of researchers believe that this provides a unique opportunity in terms of auto parts sales and providing vehicle service.

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