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DETROIT (Reuters) - Cars and trucks on U.S. roads average 11.4 years in age, the oldest on record since research and consulting firm Polk began to keep track of vehicle age in 1995, Polk said on Tuesday.
Polk counted 247 million U.S. passenger cars and trucks registered in 2013, just short of a record 250 million counted in 2008. That figure will grow to 260 million vehicles by 2018, Polk said.
In 2012, the average age of cars and trucks on U.S. roads was 11.2 years.
Mark Seng, vice president of Polk's aftermarket practice, said the older vehicles will present profitable opportunities for chain and independent repair shops.
Two of the main reasons behind the aging U.S. vehicle fleet is the better quality of the cars and trucks and the fact that consumers, wary after the recession, are keeping their vehicles longer.
In 2013, the average age of passenger cars on U.S. roads was 11.4 years, up from 11.3 years in 2012, while the average age of trucks in 2013 was 11.3 years, up from 11.1 years in 2012.
Before the recession, in 2007, the average age of cars and trucks on U.S. roads was 10 years, Polk said.
Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Dan Grebler