SOUTHFIELD, Mich.—Light vehicles in the U.S. are getting older and retaining more value, according to a new report from S&P Global Mobility.
The average age of light vehicles in operation in the U.S. is up for a fifth straight year, S&P Global Mobility said, rising nearly 2 percent over 2021 to 12.2 years.
S&P Global said in a statement that the increase was driven by the global microchip shortage and supply chain issues causing a "constrained supply of new cars and light trucks, amid a strong demand for personal transportation."
Todd Campau, automotive aftermarket practice lead for S&P Global, told Rubber News sister publication Automotive News that supply shortages are causing owners to either keep their vehicles longer or purchase used ones.
"People do value their vehicles; people do still feel the need to have a vehicle available to them, maybe even more coming out of the pandemic, so that's caused the vehicle fleet just to grow a little bit," Campau said.
"And because the new-vehicle sales haven't been available, it's been growing from within really from vehicles that have been on the road, and they're just staying available longer."
The research shows the average age of vehicles has been increasing since 2011, highlighting a trend in popularity of older and higher-mileage vehicles. Data from a Cox Automotive analysis shows that sales of high-mileage vehicles grew 7 percent in the first quarter of 2022.