Average US car now a record-setting 11.4 years old [w/poll]

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.

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