New Record Age of Motor Vehicles on U.S. Roads Fueling Consumer Demand for Quality, Recycled OEM Parts

MANASSAS, VA –   Today, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) is responding to new data demonstrating that the average age of light vehicles in the United States has reached an all-time high of 11.4 years, presenting significant opportunities for the increased utilization of recycled, genuine original equipment manufacturer (OEM) automotive parts.

The data comes from the latest report issued by R.L. Polk, a global automotive market intelligence research firm, which compiled information from state vehicle registration databases and reviewed over 247 million car and light truck registrations for the report.  According to Polk, the average age of the nation’s car and light-vehicle fleet has continued to rise since 2002, a trend which has now resulted in a record high of 11.4 years.  This represents an increase from 11.3 years last year and 10.8 years in 2010.  In 2002, the average age of a vehicle on the road was 9.8 years.

“Industry trends have demonstrated to us for years that Americans are holding onto their cars for longer than ever before — for personal economic reasons as well as better engineered vehicles built to last longer,” said ARA CEO, Michael Wilson.  “Professional automotive recycling businesses play an increasingly important role within the automotive parts marketplace to provide consumers with quality, green recycled parts to service their aging vehicles.”  According to the Polk report, the number of vehicles older than 12 years has increased more than 20 percent and that percentage is expected to continue to rise for at least the next five years.

“We are excited about the growing opportunities illustrated by this new data for automotive recyclers to provide green, recycled parts to consumers looking for economical solutions to their automotive repair needs,” said ARA President, Chris Wright.  “From do-it-yourselfers to insurance companies and the service repair community, automotive recycling businesses offer quality, recycled OEM parts replacement options.”

Since 1943, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) represents an industry dedicated to the efficient removal and reuse of “green” automotive parts, and the proper recycling of inoperable motor vehicles. ARA represents the interests of over 4,500 auto recycling facilities in the United States and fourteen other countries around the world. With programs such as the Certified Automotive Recycler Program (CAR), Green Recycled Parts, and other partnerships, ARA members continue to provide consumers with quality, low-cost alternatives for vehicle replacement parts, while preserving our environment for a “greener” tomorrow.

To learn more about the Association, visit ARA’s Home Page at or call (571) 208-0428.