Why the Average Age of Vehicles on the Road Is Rising and What it Means for Auto Mechanic Careers

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Auto sales are fairly high, and yet the average age of cars on the road in Canada continues to rise. According to a TD report, the average age hit 9.3 years as of 2012. While that is a fair bit lower than the American average of 11.4 years (also as of 2012), the increase still has repercussions on Canada’s automobile and repair industries. Odds are good that it will affect your own career in some way in the coming years.

Here is a quick look at why the average age of vehicles is rising in Canada, and how this new reality might affect professionals working as auto mechanics.

Students Looking at Auto Mechanic Careers: Modern Cars Just Last Longer

New vehicles are a major expense for most, and modern cars and trucks offer better longevity than what came before. Unsurprisingly, this combination has led many consumers to stick with the functioning vehicles they already own. This is the largest driver behind the increase in the average age of Canadian vehicles.

In spite of their longer longevity, older cars still tend to need more repairs. If this trend continues, you might end up performing more, or more frequent, maintenance work for the clients you pick up during your career. It’s worth noting the TD report also mentioned there’s not much reason to suspect a sudden surge in purchases of new vehicles. Odds are pretty good that the average age of cars will indeed remain relatively high.

Truck Durability Is a Driving Force Toward Higher Average Vehicle Age

Perhaps unsurprisingly, trucks that are built for difficult terrain and heavy loads are a bit better at surviving the years, too. That, combined with the high level of truck ownership in Canada (57.6 per cent of Canada’s 2013 car sales were for light trucks) has helped contribute to the rise in average vehicle age in Canada.

This will only affect you in your auto mechanic career if you end up working somewhere with a large concentration of truck owners. If you work in a large city like Toronto, odds are much better that you’ll see compact and mid-sized cars for the most part. If you do find yourself in a rural area with many older trucks, there’s a good chance that you’ll have a sturdy business keeping old pickups in decent shape.

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Trucks tend to last longer, and Canadians buy a lot of trucks

The Auto Repair Industry Might Grow During Your Auto Mechanic Career

Mechanics, and particularly mechanics working at garages, frequently use “aftermarket” parts, which are not made by the car’s manufacturer. These parts tend to be cheaper than those made by the manufacturer, though this does not necessarily indicate lower quality.

Because of this potential for savings, owners of ageing vehicles will likely turn to independent garages for the repairs their older vehicles will inevitably need. Demand for aftermarket parts should continue to increase, as it has for the past several years. Demand for graduates of a mechanic certification program will also continue to increase, particularly for positions at aftermarket shops and garages.

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The aftermarket industry should gain from the increased age of Canada’s vehicles

Though some areas will experience more growth in repair needs, the national trend of drivers keeping their cars for longer says that you can expect to be hard at work repairing cars for a long time.

Do you want to begin training toward your auto mechanic certification in Toronto?

Visit Automotive Training Centres for more information about getting started.

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