U.S. consumers are becoming increasingly likely to keep a hold of their combustion-engine vehicles for longer, a new S&P Mobility Study found. Now, the average age of U.S. cars and light trucks is a record 12.5 years.
The rise in average vehicle ages signifies the mass supply constraints that dealers faced during 2022, along with a fall in demand due to higher inflation and interest rates.
The S&P did state, however, that it expects the average age of vehicles to drop next year despite six consecutive years of rises. This sudden reversal in trend has been attributed to a rise in vehicle availability and a rise in demand for new vehicles. New vehicle sales will be pushed beyond 14.5 million in 2023, the S&P claimed.
In contrast to fuel-powered vehicles, trends in electric vehicle ownership have been moving in the opposite direction, with the average age of battery electric vehicles declining to 3.6 years from 3.7 years in 2022. The S&P added that the average age of EVs has wavered over the last three to four years.
According to the S&P, the rapid rise in EV sales in the U.S. has kept the industry relatively young, with a rise of 58% last year.