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Are Americans Too Poor For New Cars? Older Vehicles Dominate Highways


Even before the virus-induced recession, Americans were quickly spiraling down a financial hole with insurmountable debts and no savings. Their ability to afford a home, nevertheless, a vehicle, was becoming harder by the year. 

One way to gauge the economic mobility of consumers is to track the average vehicle age of a car, sport utility vehicle, and pickup truck. If the average age is within several years, it would mean there’s a high turnover as consumers can swap out older cars for newer ones.

But a new report via Reuters, citing IHS Markit Ltd. data, has made a troubling discovery, indicating the average age of vehicles on US highways has increased to 11.9 years in January, an increase from 11.8 years for the prior year, which is a two-decade high.

Todd Campau, associate director of aftermarket solutions for IHS Markit, said the pandemic crushed the economy and resulted in sharp declines in vehicle sales is likely to lead to the average vehicle age on roads to breach the 12-year level.

“We definitely expect to eclipse the 12-year barrier,” he said. People working from home could put fewer miles on vehicles, allowing them to last longer, he said.

Campau said, “average age of cars and light trucks has been increasing steadily for nearly 20 years, reflecting rising prices for new vehicles and improved durability that allows older vehicles to travel more miles with more owners before they are scrapped.”

IHS Markit said older cars on roads could be beneficial for repair shops.

But there’s a major, as we outlined last week, the virus pandemic has led to “14 million fewer cars” on highways. The ripple effect of older cars and an overall decline in vehicles on roadways suggest America’s economy has been shifted into low gear for a couple of years.

via zerohedge


  1. Gerald S Ladd August 2, 2020

    Some of us just don’t like the crap they are putting out now.

    1. Zakkova August 2, 2020

      Except or Ford Mustangs. I have a 2018 Mustang GT and it’s a fantastic car. With its 5.0 liter engine, high-performance exhaust system, and 10-speed automatic transmission the car is very fast for a stock car. The fit and finish of it are amazing for a $58,000 car. Before this car, I had a 2004 Mustang Cobra with a big Kenne Bell blower on it. I never had any problems with it. Never took to the garage for any problem. Like the GT, it was very well made too. Ford put some good engineering into their top of the line Mustangs.

  2. Roger Wayne Parker August 2, 2020

    The average new car was to expensive even before the virus. The cost of a decent new car is over 30.000 dollars. Not many Americans can afford that. Even with financing, you are looking at a 600 dollar or more payment a month.

  3. Ron Hopkins August 2, 2020

    Prices of new cars has become unbelievable! I walked in a car dealers lot and brand new trucks were from 60 to 75 thousand dollars! That’s close to house prices. Cheap cars are just that cheap. Small, and feel cheap. I always buy one to three year old cars to save on the loss of a new one as soon as you drive it off the lot, and the kinks have usually been taken care of by previous owner. Nuff said!

  4. Wilddog August 2, 2020

    Look at the price of a new pickup truck. Over $70,000.00! Most people buy a pickup truck because they need it for towing a trailer of some type or they use it for hauling. A scratch in the paint doesn’t bother someone if they have an older truck. But that new scratch in the paint on a $70,000.00 truck can be devastating. And then every 30,000 miles the customer has to take their vehicle into the dealer’s shop for a check up which the customer pays for and that is around $1,000.00. But if the customer does not take their vehicle in for the check up, it could void the warranty. But the dummycrats have to make sure their U.A.W. unions are making over $70.00 per hour and the corporation has to get that money from somewhere. So they usually just raise the price of their product. Most people don’t have jobs that pay that well, so they buy used.

  5. SE Brown August 2, 2020

    Vehicals are getting to expensive. When financing terms of 7 years that is just to much. You will never have a new car paid off because the terms will just get longer to be affordable.

  6. David Dyal August 2, 2020

    Insuring new vehicles is astounding. Once a vehicle gets to a point where carrying collision insurance is no longer practical, the monthly insurance rate drops dramatically. So, it is not only the cost of monthly car payments, but also the insurance to own that vehicle. What used to be a simple fender bender is now a major repair due to all the sensors and cameras that are damaged as well. Older vehicles are less difficult to repair as those are not a factor to replace.

  7. Jug August 2, 2020

    What has been said so far is certainly very true!

  8. Jan August 2, 2020

    Today’s small, ugly, EPA approved, style-free cars aren’t selling. They’re too small to be practical. You can lease a small Chevy Trax from a local dealer. No money down and $160 a month. They’re practically givin’ ’em away. These days, all the action is in pickups and large SUVs. Yes, you can pay $75 grand or more for a new full size pickup.

  9. ron August 2, 2020

    I had a farm in the 80s– I bought a brand new chevy big 10– it cost new 1800 dollars out the door— the same style of truck now is 70,000 plus dollars– & is all plastic & rubber–& the metal is very thin & cheap – there is no protection from an accident – –I can build a car body from budwiser cans that will probably be stronger — they will price their selves out of business — they little snow flake girls don’t need a “army tank” 4×4 with power everything & 6 mpg — & 70,000 dollars —just to visit her friends — I just bought a 1988 suzuki samurai 4×4 convertible –new motor & trans- new top — & 30MPG– every one think it is so cute — & I only paid 3500 for it & goodbye gm & ford — you can keep your “SMOKIN – CHOKIN- AUTOMOBILES—–WAKE UP AMERICA—thx

  10. James August 2, 2020

    Having read most of the comments herein I notice many commenting on the price of the new vehicles. Perhaps it is time to look at what is driving these prices. Government regulations occupies the most costly item, but lets not forget the extremely high cost of labor and the salaried personnel. Add to that the overly priced CEO’s and the luxurious benefit packages they receive and one begins to understand why a new truck costs 65+ thousand dollars. Labor unions have driven the cost of production on almost all levels, but those who work for second and third tier producers are often left in the background. As one who worked in a third tier manufacturing plant, I know very well how hard it is to afford these over priced and over rated vehicles.

    1. Larry Turman August 3, 2020


  11. Susie August 2, 2020

    They are TOO expensive, even with good interest or no interest rates. REPAIRS will be high & I DON’T WANT ALL THE TECH/COMPUTER STUFF ON MY CAR. I’d like to able to take it in & not face several $$ for repairs, I don’t want everything computer generated/controlled. AND THERE IS NO COLORS! THEY ARE ALL THE SAME, BLACK/WHITE or, GRAY.

  12. JoeyP August 2, 2020

    no one can afford an EXPENSIVE new car . . . They’re, well, too EXPENSIVE! There is too much unnecessary GARBAGE in these vehicles. What ever happened to good, old RELIABLE BASIC transportation, or a “no nonsense” way to BUY a car without all the GAMES the dealers play? One Wary Patriot. Team Trump and his allies 2020.

  13. AlbaK August 2, 2020

    I recently had an accident and the 9-year old car is had was declared totaled because the cost to repair was too much above the book value. Went and bought a used Ford Fusion 2018 to replace the 2011 Fusion and while it had a backup camera (very nice), it also had loads of extras which required a smart or i-phone, which I’ve never had nor want. It cost much more ($8,000) than the one I had. I also learned after I purchased a car that car rental companies sell their “used” cars at much lower prices because they turn them over before a year’s service and cut out a dealer’s commission if you buy direct from them. For a newer car, you have to buy all the bells and whistles. The previous writer said it: There’s too much garbage in the cars and they’re too expensive to buy new.”

  14. Larry Gaines August 3, 2020

    The price for new vehicles is to damn high and the vehicles are not worth it


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