Cars are becoming less and less of a disposable item, according to a report from The Detroit Free Press. The average age of the 247 million cars and trucks in the US fleet is now up to 11.4 years, an increase of two full years since 2007 and 0.2 years since 2012. The newspaper spoke with Mark Seng, vice president of industry research firm Polk, who cited consumers' desire to avoid monthly payments and the ever-improving quality of mainstream cars and trucks as reasons for the increased age.

The first item is fairly obvious – no one really likes to carry a monthly car payment. The second point, though, is perhaps less obvious. The fact of the matter is that modern vehicles are just so reliable that people aren't feeling the need to scrap them as quickly. In fact, scrappage has fallen 50 percent since the start of the recession, a stat that is sure to pain junkyard scroungers everywhere.

But while the nation's average vehicle age is likely to continue to increase, it is expected to do so right along with increasing sales of new vehicles. After a 30-year low of 10.4 million vehicles in 2009, the annual average is running right along at 15.5 million according to The Detroit Free Press. While it seems counterintuitive for these two stats to climb together, the combination of improved reliability, lower interest rates and readily available longer-term financing options has created a kind of perfect storm for both long-term ownership and new vehicle sales.

How old is your primary vehicle? Participate in our poll below, then let us know your thoughts in Comments.

How old is your primary vehicle?
0-3 Years Old 5644 (23.7%)
3-6 Years Old 3793 (15.9%)
6-9 Years Old 4467 (18.8%)
9-12 Years Old 4200 (17.7%)
12-15 Years Old 2722 (11.4%)
15-18 Years Old 1206 (5.1%)
18-21 Years Old 598 (2.5%)
21 Years Old Or Older 819 (3.4%)
I Don't Own A Vehicle 347 (1.5%)


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  • 86 Comments
      Tom
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have a 98 Buick Century w/ 173k on it. Good on gas, comfortable, easy to work on, and the parts are reasonable. No rust because it is in the South East. If you live outside of the Northern rust belt your car should make 250 - 300k no problem. Milk your ride for all you can.
      Trist
      • 1 Year Ago
      A major contributing factor to the age of the average vehicle has to be the internet. I can literally make a recording of any noise/problem I have and throw it on (Name) forum and get help without the fear of an expensive diagnostic test. Also the strong/weak points of certain cars are easily ascertainable through community forums from current owners of whatever vehicles allowing people to feel more confident when getting an older car.
      ManOnFire
      • 1 Year Ago
      The price of new vehicle has increased at a much faster rate than wages, so therefore most people cannot afford to buy new vehicles.
      jbserra
      • 1 Year Ago
      So, if my car is 18 years, which category do I fit in Autoblog?!? Primary is 18 (95 SHO) Fun car is 26 (87 911 cab) Wife's is the newest at 10 (03 odyssey)
      pmdailey41
      • 1 Year Ago
      2003 monte carlo 250.000 miles and more
      Joe
      • 1 Year Ago
      My Pilot is almost 10 (9 years 8 months old as of now), 128,000 miles and showing no signs of wanting to give up any time soon.
      hhengineeringinc
      • 1 Year Ago
      been driving my 89 4x4 dakota since it was new, to replace it with something with the same tow rating is close to 17000 dollars if i look at vehicles that are 6 years old, hello. truck prices used to be inexpensive, now they are outrageous. could it just possibly be that theres a larger crowd that cant afford new than there was before
      Bradford
      • 1 Year Ago
      I really can't stand when polls like this are written with overlap. If my car is 3 years old, should I choose "0-3" or "3-6"? This makes the data pretty unreliable.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bradford
        [blocked]
      grandpa
      • 1 Year Ago
      in the olden days back in the 50's, 60's and 70's...in the snow belt, most cars would develop body rot by the time they were 3 or 4 years old, and build quality was frequently baaaaad.
      Jonathan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can understand this. With the economy being the way it is, of course people are holding on to their cars longer. I drive a 1987 MErcedes-Benz 260E that's been in my family since new, and as we all know, the w124 is one of the greatest built cars ever, so I rarely have any problems with it. *knocks on wood* It can maintain 80+ mph with no problem. God Bless the Germans. That being said, I am in the market for a new car, but not a NEW car. If it wasn't for the fact the A/C and the radio doesn't work, I'd hold on to mine (I'm not selling it, just want to get a new daily driver.), but I just don't want to put that much money into it... yet. Even that being said, I don't want a NEW car, just something different. I hate to be, "that guy", but I generally don't like most new cars. I can name a handful, and they're all out of my reach as of today.
      Electrium
      • 1 Year Ago
      Uh...if the "average" car is 11.4 years old, the poll should reflect hits. However, this is a car site! This is perhaps one of the best examples of sample bias.
      Charlie
      • 1 Year Ago
      1985 Fiero 118,000 miles wife's car runs like a top
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