Median Age of Vehicles Increases to 9.4 Years

The median age of passenger cars increased to 9.4 years in 2008, breaking the previous record of 9.2 years (in both 2006 and 2007). Trucks saw an increase from 7.3 to 7.6 years, as well. Meanwhile, scrapped cars also increased from 5.2% of all vehicles in 2007 to 5.6% in 2008, largely due to the aging of vehicles purchased in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

The bottom line is that consumers are putting off the purchase of new vehicles, likely due to economic concerns, but that doesn’t stop cars and trucks from breaking down on a normal schedule. Consumers will try to keep their vehicles running longer with short-term repairs, but the payoff in vehicle life won’t show up for a while.

Still, the median age of all vehicles has been increasingly steadily over the decade (up from 8.3 years in 2000), which may also point to increased durability of trucks and passenger vehicles.