One factor in the rise of total losses over the last decade is that, overall, vehicles on the road today are older than they were a decade ago. In 1991, the average passenger car was 9.1 years old (8.8 years old when light trucks were added to the mix). In 2009, that average had risen to 10.6 year old (10 years for cars and light trucks combined). That’s a trend that isn’t likely to reverse soon, with consumers now on average keeping their vehicle an average of 52 months (up from 45 months three years ago) before replacing it.
You likely can see that aging fleet in the mix of vehicles of you’re repairing. In 2007, according to Mitchell International, the average repaired vehicle age was 5.62 years old. That has nudged up every year since, to 6.39 years in 2010, and up over 6.5-years-old so far this year.