Used and new car prices near record highs and the American fleet gets older

That old car is worth money. This catch phrase from a long-running TV commercial for Victory Auto Wreckers that ran in the ’80s has never been more accurate. Used car prices are nearing record highs, with some owners selling their gently used cars for more than they paid for them new. At the same time, the average age of cars on American roadways is 12.1 years, according to an IHS Markit report released this week.

“2020 was a radical departure from the norm and challenged assumptions about how vehicle owners use their vehicles,” Todd Campau, associate director of Aftermarket Solutions at IHS Markit, said in a statement. 

At the same time, automakers are reporting record sales months for new cars as the economy and some Americans emerge from the pandemic flush with cash and pent-up demand. These three factors have two things in common: Constrained supply is limiting the availability

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