GRA
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GCC: US households are holding on to their vehicles longer

Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:21 pm

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2018/08/us-households-are-holding-on-to-their-vehicles-longer20180822-eia.html

The turnover of household vehicles has slowed since 2009, based on US Department of Transportation surveys of household vehicle travel, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported.

The 2017 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) reported that the average vehicle—including cars, trucks, and vans—has increased from 9.3 years in 2009 to 10.5 years in 2017, suggesting that many households have delayed the purchase of a new vehicle and continuing a trend of US households operating vehicles longer. The slowing of vehicle turnover has implications for transportation fuel consumption, because newer vehicles tend to have better fuel economies.

The aging of US household vehicles was reported across all light-duty vehicle types, in particular for pickup trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles. By comparison, the average age of in-use cars increased, in absolute terms, from 9.5 years in 2009 to 10.3 years in 2017.

The increases in average age between 2009 and 2017 ranged from a low of 0.4 years for other light trucks to a high of 2.4 years for pickup trucks.

Households with lower incomes tend to have older vehicles than households with higher incomes, but since 2009, that gap has slightly narrowed. The average age of vehicles used by higher-income households has increased more than those used by lower-income households. . . .
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LeftieBiker
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Re: GCC: US households are holding on to their vehicles longer

Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:40 pm

I think a lot, if not all, of that is a direct result of the 'Cash for Clunkers' program in 2009.
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Re: GCC: US households are holding on to their vehicles longer

Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:20 am

Since new car purchases are (I think) not in decline this stat only means that total registrations are increasing. I have no idea what that means to overall fleet fuel economy as an isolated number although the American love affair with gas guzzling trucks and SUVs is definitely a worrisome trend.
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RonDawg
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Re: GCC: US households are holding on to their vehicles longer

Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:36 am

LeftieBiker wrote:I think a lot, if not all, of that is a direct result of the 'Cash for Clunkers' program in 2009.


I think uncertain economics is the biggest reason for that. You're not going to commit yourself to new car payments if you aren't sure you'll have a job tomorrow, unless you have no choice (car died/is dying/got stolen/got wrecked). In today's economy, even a higher income is not a guarantee of job security.
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RegGuheert
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Re: GCC: US households are holding on to their vehicles longer

Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:08 pm

As GRA does, keeping ones vehicle for a long time is good for the environment when compared with replacing the vehicle every few years.

Unfortunately, most PEV owners (especially BEV owners, methinks) replace their vehicles much more frequently than the typical vehicle owner. Hopefully this trend will reverse in the future and PEV owners will keep their cars *longer* than their ICE-owning counterparts.
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LeftieBiker
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Re: GCC: US households are holding on to their vehicles longer

Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:46 pm

RonDawg wrote:
LeftieBiker wrote:I think a lot, if not all, of that is a direct result of the 'Cash for Clunkers' program in 2009.


I think uncertain economics is the biggest reason for that. You're not going to commit yourself to new car payments if you aren't sure you'll have a job tomorrow, unless you have no choice (car died/is dying/got stolen/got wrecked). In today's economy, even a higher income is not a guarantee of job security.


Yes, that's what I mean. During the CFC program you could suddenly trade in your POS gas guzzler for a new economy car that would cost less overall to run than keeping the guzzler going. That situation hasn't been duplicated since, and the economic recovery, to the extent that the working poor had one, has soured for them. I think that most of the Middle Class is now leasing new cars rather than buying them, although I don't have figures for that. At any rate cheap leases have largely replaced $10k econoboxes. (Although one local Mitsubishi dealer is offering Mirages for $169 a month to buy, not lease, albeit with a 8 year loan.)
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Re: GCC: US households are holding on to their vehicles longer

Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:05 pm

From the article:
. . . Households with lower incomes tend to have older vehicles than households with higher incomes, but since 2009, that gap has slightly narrowed. The average age of vehicles used by higher-income households has increased more than those used by lower-income households.

Overall, the aging of the vehicle fleet suggests many households have delayed purchasing a new vehicle or have instead purchased a used vehicle. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditures Survey show that spending on vehicle repair and maintenance has also increased in recent years.

Even as vehicle turnover has slowed, the US Environmental Protection Agency reports that fuel economy has continued to increase because of technology advances adopted across all vehicle types of new light-duty vehicles. . . .

The second bolded section should probably be read in conjunction with this report from last year: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/most-americans-cant-afford-a-new-car-study-finds-062817.html

It should be noted that this article refers to how long households are keeping their cars. The average age of the LDV fleet was up to 11.6 years in 2016. 1H U.S. car sales are down a bit from last year, where last year's annual sales were 17.25m, which in turn was down from the record 17.6m set in 2016: https://www.automobilemag.com/news/first-half-u-s-2018-auto-sales-are-down-slightly-from-last-year/
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RegGuheert
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Re: GCC: US households are holding on to their vehicles longer

Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:30 pm

The primary reason that people are keeping their cars longer could simply be that their cars are lasting longer than they used to in the past.
RegGuheert
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RonDawg
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Re: GCC: US households are holding on to their vehicles longer

Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:57 am

LeftieBiker wrote:During the CFC program you could suddenly trade in your POS gas guzzler for a new economy car that would cost less overall to run than keeping the guzzler going. That situation hasn't been duplicated since, and the economic recovery, to the extent that the working poor had one, has soured for them.


As bolded by GRA, the study noted how the rate that higher income households are holding onto their cars longer is increasing faster than low income ones. CfC doesn't explain that, because if anything that old POS gas guzzler would be more likely to have been driven by someone who simply cannot afford to replace it otherwise.

I think that most of the Middle Class is now leasing new cars rather than buying them, although I don't have figures for that.


Some brands are more likely to be leased (I think BMW holds the record at something like 3 out of every 4 are leased) as are certain segments like EV's. Yet, according to this article, overall less than 30% of all new cars sold in the first quarter of 2018 were leased: https://www.statista.com/statistics/453 ... lease-usa/ That's a slight drop from a year earlier, when 31% were leased. So I would not say the majority of middle class buyers are leasing. They're more likely to take out a 7 or 8 year loan than lease.

US News and World Report is also quoting a 30% figure for 2018: https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/buying-vs-leasing
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GRA
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Re: GCC: US households are holding on to their vehicles longer

Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:43 pm

RegGuheert wrote:The primary reason that people are keeping their cars longer could simply be that their cars are lasting longer than they used to in the past.

Cars are certainly more reliable than they used to be, and that is a factor in how long people are keeping them. But there was a huge increase in vehicle age subsequent to the Great Recession i.e. post-2008, and 2016's record sales probably represented people finally feeling secure enough economically to buy a new car. Even so, as studies have noted the average loan period is getting longer as prices continue to rise but wages remain stagnant, and I suspect many of the people may now be conditioned to keep their cars longer because they know they can. Millennials increasingly putting off car ownership and relying on car/ride sharing is another factor.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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