Vehicles in Operation (VIO) Hits 264M Units – A New Record

December 1, 2016

The total Vehicles in Operation (VIO) has reached 264 million units, a new record; the average age of the Vehicles in Operation is 11.6 years.

IHS Markit reports that that there are more vehicles on U.S. roads today than ever before: 264 million registrations for light vehicles in operation in the U.S.

Not only is this a record sum, the year-over-year growth (2.4 percent or 6.2 million units) is the highest it has been since IHS began monitoring the data.

The average age of a vehicle in operation is 11.6 years.

”Quality of new vehicles continues to be a key driver of the rising average vehicle age over time,” Mark Seng, director, global automotive aftermarket practice at IHS Markit, said in the news release.

“The recession created an acceleration beyond its traditional rate due to the nearly 40 percent drop in new vehicle sales in 2008-2009,” he said. “In the last couple of years, however, average age is returning to a more traditional rate of increase.”

Consumers are also holding onto their cars longer. At the end of 2015, the average length of new vehicle ownership was 79.3 months (up 1.5 months year-over-year) and 66 months for used vehicles.

As far as scrappage rates, 2015 figures were steady with 2014, the company said, with a little more than 11 million vehicles taken off the road last year. The all-time high was 14 million-plus vehicles scrapped in 2012.