Spain has a serious problem with the aging of its car fleet (and few solutions)

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The Spanish mobile fleet is old. Much. But he’s not the only one. in January, ACEA estimated the average age of vehicles circulating in our country at 13.1 years. However, the drop in new vehicle registrations has raised this figure. According to Direct Linewith data from the DGT, this figure has grown to 13.5 years.


In fact, according to data from the European association, 16,044,285 Spanish cars were more than ten years old at the beginning of 2022. With the data updated by the insurer, this barrier of 16 million vehicles is the one that marks the oldest, those who are over 15 years of age. And 66% of the more than 22 million vehicles registered in our country are more than 10 years old.

The problem at European level is that these figures are not so far from the average continent. Although Luxembourg (the one with the best record) has an average of 6.7 years in its mobile park or Austria lowers the figure to 8.5 years, countries such as Germany are already at 9.8 years and France in the 10.3 years on average.

In addition, the health of the Spanish economy, with citizens losing much of their purchasing power, is making it even more difficult to modernize the park. In fact, last August, new vehicle registrations rose by 9%, but were 30% lower than the same period in 2019, according to Anfac data. In addition, the consumer market, which is often used to test the general health of the industry, fell 4%.

To understand this trend, manufacturers’ associations also point to a lack of stock at dealerships. A fact to take into account but that is not definitive. In fact, until last July, in Spain they have bought this year more used cars than new. And, in addition, 61.5% of these transferred vehicles had more than 10 years.

That the aging of the automobile market is closely linked to the industry is clear when data are compared. The total car fleet is 38% older than a decade ago. Between the years 2000 and 2008, in Spain around 1.5 million vehicles were sold annually. Since then, only between 2015 and 2018, the million units sold in a year were exceeded.

Everyone’s problem

That a car with more than 10 years is more insecure that a new one is indubitable. In fact, in its strategy to eliminate victims on the road, the EU is already forcing the homologation of vehicles with powerful technological equipment in terms of safety.

According to DGT dataalready in 2015, when a large part of the car park lacked ADAS driving aids which are now becoming common chances of dying in a 10-year-old vehicle they were doubled, when compared to a new vehicle. In 2011, cars with more than 15 years involved in an accident was 15% of the total, today it is 44%.

However, it is not only a matter of what new and better systems are incorporated into vehicles. Both the DGT then and current studies point to a problem: drivers neglect maintenance when the car is ten years old.

It will be increasingly difficult for us to touch the mechanics of our car.  And it doesn't matter exactly

The ITV assistance seems to be a problem in our country. The 40% of cars do not appear for this periodic technical examination, 50% of those who do present some type of deficiency and one in five are rejected due to serious or very serious faults.

According to Línea Directa in the aforementioned study, 44% of the vehicles rejected in the ITV do so due to lighting defects, 34% due to steering problems and 26% due to deficiencies in the axles, tires or the suspension. All of this leads to greater insecurity on the road, since, according to the DGTa car with worn tires travels five more meters before braking, about 20 meters with damaged brakes and 28 meters if the suspension is deficient.

And the last summer seems to confirm the trend. From the insurer Axa they point out that this year there have been 26% more assistance for bad tires than in 2019. In this section, blowouts have multiplied and up to 97% more incidents have been recorded for this reason.

Photo | Juanedc

The Spanish mobile fleet is old. Much. But he’s not the only one. in January, ACEA estimated the average age…

The Spanish mobile fleet is old. Much. But he’s not the only one. in January, ACEA estimated the average age…

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