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Average age of vehicles on Canadian roads increasing: DesRosiers

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TORONTO - The lifespan of vehicles on Canadian roads has grown in recent years as their durability improves, according to a study released Friday.

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants found a 20 per cent increase over the past five years in the number of vehicles on the road that are 16 years or older.

There were also 29 per cent more vehicles on the roads that are between five and 10 years old.

"More vehicles are lasting to relatively old ages, and fewer are disappearing from the road at age or mileage levels that in past years marked the end of a product’s service life," the report said.

The oldest vehicles are in Saskatchewan at 10.2 years average age, while the province of Newfoundland and Labrador had the youngest fleet at 7.7 years.

The study shows that pickup trucks — most popular in the Prairie provinces, where they make up 56 per cent of registered vehicles — edge out passenger cars in long-term durability.

"It’s no surprise, then, that truck-rich Saskatchewan residents are presently driving the oldest light vehicles in Canada with an average vehicle age of 10.2 years," the report said.

Ownership growth rates varied across the country, with booming Alberta seeing 37 per cent growth in total vehicle registrations over the past five years, while growth is only eight per cent in Ontario.

Trend patterns also show that trucks are quickly becoming more popular among Canadians, even as gas prices spike.

Registration of light trucks has grown from 41 per cent to 45 per cent of the Canadian fleet in the past five years.

Trucks are least popular with Quebecers, where the penetration rate is 34 per cent.

Meanwhile, Quebecers lead the country in choosing import vehicles, with 56 per cent of registered autos coming from foreign producers.

Drivers in the Prairie provinces were least likely to choose an import car or truck.

Among the diversified group of automakers termed "imports" are manufacturers from Europe, such as Volkswagen and Volvo, and Japan, such as Toyota and Honda.

But it is Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia that are seeing the most rapid growth in the last half decade, with registrations soaring 82 per cent since 2006.

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