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Pandemic Causes Average Vehicle Age Increase

Vehicles aged approximately two months during 2020.

U.S. cars and light trucks’ average age grew to 12.1 years in 2020.

According to a research firm, IHS Markit, this can be attributed to drivers traveling fewer miles and scrapping more vehicles during the pandemic.

Americans’ travel via vehicle decreased by more than 13% in 2020 and scrapped vehicles exceeded 15 million.

Increased scrapping usually decreases average age, but the lower new vehicle sales and reduced vehicle miles traveled resulted in the opposite, said IHS Markit.

Microchip shortages also contributed to a decline in vehicle production. IHS Markit expects the lack of chips to keep challenging new vehicle production.

IHS Markit predicts 2021 will see a return of new vehicle registrations and increased activity in used registrations as the country returns to normalcy.

Average vehicle age should lower in 2021 as a result.

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