DETROIT, Michigan: As supplies of new cars and light trucks remain tight due to supply chain issues, U.S. consumers are using their existing vehicles for longer, marking an all-time high for the average vehicle age, according to a report from S&P Global Mobility.
This year, the average age of light vehicles in operation in the U.S. rose to 12.2 years, increasing by some two months from 2021, the report said.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers shifted from using public transport and shared transport to personal cars, and as customers could not upgrade their vehicles, demand for used cars accelerated, along with increased average vehicle age, the report added.
In its latest update to a worldwide index of supply problems, the New York Federal Reserve has reported that as COVID-19 lockdowns in China and the Russian invasion of Ukraine increased delivery times, pressure on global supply chains worsened in April and air freight costs between the U.S. and Asia increased.
In 2022 and 2023, as new vehicle production and sales continue to be affected by parts shortages, the average age of light vehicles used in the U.S. is expected to rise, the report said, noting that demand for battery electric vehicles in the U.S. has risen rapidly over the past few years.
In 2022, the average age of electric vehicles in the U.S. is 3.8 years, down from 3.9 last year, and hovering between 3 and 4.1 since 2016.