Americans are replacing their old cars with new models, albeit slowly, according to Experian Automotive. Its most recent Automotive Market Trends analysis found that 2000 model year cars and older made up more than 28.3 percent of all cars on the road during the first quarter of 2014, while new cars accounted for 27 percent of all registrations during the same period.
Drivin' 'em till the wheels fall off
"Auto companies have been seeing the benefits from consumers coming back to market due to pent-up demand following the recession," says Melinda Zabritski, Experian Automotive's senior director of automotive credit. She adds that "getting the most out of the vehicle they purchase still appears to be top of mind for consumers."
The roster of the most popular older cars on the road has similiarities to the most popular new cars. In this chart, older vehicles are from model year 2000 and before.
Vehicles on the road, old and new
|Most common older cars||Most common new cars|
|Most common older cars Ford F-150||Most common new cars Ford F-150|
|Most common older cars Chevrolet Silverado 1500||Most common new cars Toyota Camry|
|Most common older cars Honda Accord||Most common new cars Nissan Altima|
|Most common older cars Toyota Camry||Most common new cars Chevrolet Silverado 1500|
|Most common older cars Ford Ranger||Most common new cars Honda Accord|
Source: Experian Automotive
Interestingly, Experian Automotive noted that a new trend was emerging with an increased interested in entry-level crossover utility vehicles (CUV). In the first quarter of this year, entry-level CUVs surpassed full-size pickups as the top vehicle segment among new registrations. Only full-size pickups and small economy cars have taken the top spot in the last 10 years.
Ready to buy a new car? Read 10 tips for buying the right car in 2014 before you start shopping.
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.