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Average Age of Light Vehicles in Operation Continues to Rise

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Aug. 6, 2013—For the past 12 years, the average age of light vehicles on the road has steadily increased, hitting a record high of 11.4 years in 2013 according to Polk.

Based on a review of more than 247 million U.S. car and light truck registrations earlier this year, the average age of passenger cars on the road is 11.4, and the average age for light trucks on the road is 11.3, both record highs.

Polk expects this trend to continue.

As part of its most recent analysis, Polk found that the volume of 6–11-year-old vehicles is declining, while the group of vehicles older than 12 years is on the rise. This trend supports the increase in average age and creates a potential strategic shift in the aftermarket as business owners consider options for growth and opportunity.

"These are interesting times for the automotive aftermarket," said Mark Seng, vice president of Polk's aftermarket practice. "Customers from independent and chain repair shops should be paying close attention to their business plans and making concerted efforts to retain business among the do-it-for-me audience, while retailers have a unique and growing opportunity with potential consumers wrenching on their own vehicles."

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