Licensed repair professionals can help keep your older car safe
Birthdays are causes for celebration: another year in the rear-view mirror, but a new one just around the corner. Those annual recognitions go for your car, too, and added years mean added cause to make sure your vehicle’s running smoothly, no matter its age.
New data released by business researcher IHS Markit found Americans are keeping their cars longer than ever before: Most U.S. cars and trucks are now nearly 12 years old, and 1 in every 4 vehicles on the road is at least 16 years old. IHS Markit’s first-ever regional study also found the oldest vehicles—an average of 12.4 years—are in the West, including California.
The researcher cites the Great Recession’s negative economic impact on drivers coupled with cars’ overall increased reliability as reasons why Americans are holding on to their older vehicles.
“Better technology and overall vehicle quality improvements continue to be key drivers of the rising average vehicle age over time,” said IHS Markit’s Director of Global Automotive Aftermarket Practice Mark Seng. “The 40% drop in new vehicle sales due to the recession created an acceleration in average age like we’ve never seen before.”
However, there’s another reason why people now are holding on to their aging cars even longer—decreased driving during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Additional research by IHS Markit found:
- New vehicle sales have plummeted.
- More people working from home has reduced the need for multi-car families.
- Fewer miles traveled has reduced the need for repair or replacement parts.
- Mobility-as-a-service (on-demand transportation) has seen reductions of 75-80%.
- Lower fuel prices due to less demand has reduced an incentive to buy electric vehicles.
If you are one of the many Americans with an older car, our state’s licensed repair professionals are trained to keep your ride in tip-top shape through the years. The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) offers “A Consumer’s Guide to Automotive Repair in California”—readable and downloadable at www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/Auto_Rep_Guide.pdf—featuring tips and insights as well as consumers’ rights. To find out more about automotive services and professionals, visit www.bar.ca.gov; to ensure your automotive-repair provider is licensed, visit search.dca.ca.gov.