Canadians are finally trading in their used cars for new ones.

BMO Economics is predicting vehicle sales in North America are on pace to hit the 18 million mark for the first time since 2007.

The increase is due in part to people trading in their old cars, especially in the U.S.

BMO Economics says the average age of a U.S. vehicle is 11.4 years old.

The agency said in a report that "Canadian preferences are starting to mirror U.S.

Mark Cunning dumped his 2003 minivan last year.

"It was in really good shape and it didn't have any rust or anything like that but it was starting to get there, so I thought it was time to buy a new car and ended up buying a 2013 Jeep Wrangler," he said.

John Skelton, sales manager with Provincial Chrysler in Windsor, Ont., sees a lot of older models being traded in.

"A lot of the trades we do take in are older vehicles that people think their cars on their last leg," he said. "They might get a repair bill that they feel is jus a little too much to spend on that vehicle."

All those older cars being replaced by newer ones is affecting the bottom line for some mechanics.

Some auto repair businesses report drops off by 40 per cent.

"I see a lot of people changing to brand new cars which is actually affecting a little bit of the business on the repairs. So it does affect most of the small businesses right now," said Ramzi Kalouti of Royal Auto Centre.

According BMO Economics, vehicle sales in Canada in May were up 2.4 per cent over the same time last year. Ontario led the country with sales increases of 10.2 per cent.

"The Canadian automotive sector continues to benefit from higher quality products and attractive finance rates, leading to
a larger number of Canadians interested in purchasing a new vehicle," BMO Financial Group's head of automotive finance Robert Sadokierski said in a news release.

Chrysler is the No. 1 seller of new vehicles in Canada so far this year.

It has assembly plants in Windsor and Brampton.

The company has posted sales increases in Canada for 55 consecutive months.

The longest streak in the company’s history.

According to BMO, Canadians intend to purchase a new vehicle every five years, spending an average of $26,044.

Total North American sales were at 16.6 million at the end of June so BMO expects North American sales to hit 18 million sometime this summer.