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Average vehicle age levels off as new-car sales begin to rise

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Ford is targetting car owners of cars between 6 and 10 years old.

Ford is targetting car owners of cars between 6 and 10 years old.

Bloomberg

Ford is targetting car owners of cars between 6 and 10 years old.

IT is early days but it appears that the surge in new-car sales is helping to put a halt to the spiralling average age of private vehicles.

An analysis by vehicle history expert Cartell.ie concludes that the age of private motors here has 'levelled off significantly'.

That's because there are more new cars on the road this past year or so.

And, it must be presumed, that some, by no means all, of the cars traded in are not going back on the road.

But the average age is still way up on what it was in the 'good times' (5.17 years) and is now hovering around the 8.8-year mark.

It is also worth noting that the average age of all vehicles - commercials, trucks etc - on our roads is still a significant 9.39 years.

Cartell.ie say the upward spiral is showing signs of levelling off for the first time more than 10 years.

It tracked the average age of private vehicles in January of every year from 2000 to 2015.

And it found the difference between the age of the fleet in January 2014 and January 2015 was 11 days.

That, they reckon, is the lowest increase they have recorded since way back in 2001.

Its research appears to be a clear indicator of a substantial slowdown in ageing.

Nonetheless, it has to be pointed out that it is early days and that could change quite quickly.

By the same token their research shows that, as recently as January 2011, the age of fleet had gone up by a substantial 168 days year-on-year.

The slowdown in average age is regarded as a firm indication the motor industry is returning to some sort of normality.

It is important to remember, however, that new-car sales, while currently buoyant, are coming off an exceptionally low base.

Cartell.ie director Jeff Aherne says there is a combination of events at play, including:

* the increase in new-car sales and

* owners of older vehicles deciding they could hold out no longer.

Mr Aherne said: "We've seen an ageing private fleet year-upon-year since the record year for new car sales in 2000 when credit was widely available in the market and the economy was in good shape. Now, for the first time since that period, we are witnessing a levelling off.

He added: "There comes a natural point when the age of the fleet must level off, as motor vehicles cannot last forever, and, increased new car sales, combined with up-cycling of vehicles in the used market, may have brought us to that point."

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