Still driving a beater?
You’ve got company. The average age of vehicles on the road in America has reached an all-time high.
The typical vehicle on the road today is now 11.8 years old, having increased an average of 4% over the last five years, according to research firm IHS Markit.
The number of vehicles on the road has also hit an all-time high: more than 278 million.
The primary reason driving these trends: Quality improvements have enabled Americans to keep their cars for longer periods.
Quite simply, it takes a lot longer for a car to become a beater these days.
“The quality is higher, lasting longer, withstanding the weather,” said IHS Markit Director of Global Automotive Aftermarket Mark Seng.
Another factor: Loans often stretch for six or even seven years, giving owners an incentive to keep their vehicles for longer.
Vehicles in the West are the oldest at an average of 12.4 years, while vehicles in the Northeast are the youngest at 10.9 years, according to IHS.
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Expect the average of vehicles to keep getting older, in part because older vehicles are holding up so well.
IHS projected that the number of vehicles that are at least 16 years old will increase by 22% from 2018 to 2023, reaching 84 million. That would mark an increase from 35 million in 2002.
Contributing: Associated Press
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.