The average age of private cars in Iceland is 10.2 years, according to the newest figures from the Icelandic Roads Administration. The average age of private cars in EU countries is 8.5 years, according to ACEA figures. Interestingly the average age of Icelandic cars nearly 20 years ago in 1989 was 7.5 years.
In comparison, the average age of cars in the UK is 6.7 years, 7.5 in Italy, 8.1 in both France and Germany, 9.1 in Denmark and 9.4 in Sweden. The Finnish are the only nation surveyed by ACEA with older cars: an average age of 10.5 years. According to Statistics Norway figures, Norwegian cars are of a similar age to those in Iceland, at 10.3 years.
The impression of some commentators outside of Iceland that every Icelander drives a brand new car bought on credit before the banking crash would appear to be rebuffed by these figures; and it is probably the high rates of tax which encourage Nordic residents to keep their cars on the road slightly longer.
The ACEA statistics for the EU are from 2006 because no newer figures are available, Visir.is reported. Ozur Larusson from the Confederation of Icelandic Car Retailers says that the figures will not have changed much in the meantime as the EU car market is comparatively massive and therefore more stable. He points to independent figures just released from Sweden showing that the age of Swedish cars has not changed since the ACEA figures in 2006.