There are a total of 29.8 million vehicles registered in the U.S. as of 2022. Trucks are the most popular vehicle owned by Americans, with cars coming in second place before buses and motorcycles.
This data is taken from federal sources including the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration and a five-year survey of car ownership taken from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey.
Table of context:
- National vehicle ownership statistics
- Car ownership demographic
- Car ownership per state
- A summary of key insights + statistics
National car ownership statistics
According to statistics, 2020 had the lowest car sales recorded in the last 10 years, with only 14.5 million cars sold. A total of 16.5 million cars are predicted to be sold by the end of 2022.
The U.S. The Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration has reported that 91.5% of American households own at least one vehicle. This number has risen 0.6% between 2015 and 2020.
The number of households with three vehicles has been on the rise according to a survey taken between 2015 and 2019. The reason for this might be because households in America are growing in size. This has led to an increase in automobiles to comfortably accommodate every member of the household.
Data also suggests that the rising number of cars per household is due to the increase in a steady income, giving Americans the chance to afford an extra car and pay more car insurance.
|Number of vehicles||% of households (2020)|
|No vehicles available||8.5%|
|1 vehicle available||32.5%|
|2 vehicles available||37.1%|
|3 or more vehicles available||22.0%|
There are more than 30 car brands available in the U.S with Toyota, Ford, and Chevrolet being leaders in the market. In 2020 alone, these three leading brands managed to make a total of 5.4 million vehicle sales.
Car Ownership Demographic
- 33.7% of car buyers have an annual income of $50,000 – $75,000.
- 21.5% of buyers have an income of $75,000 – $100,000.
- The highest number of people without a car have an annual income of $20,000 – $30,000.
- The average annual income of new car buyers is $80,000.
- Used car buyers have an average annual income of $48,000
- The average car buyer is expected to pay around $9,666 annually for interest, gas, car maintenance, and monthly car payments.
- In 2019, more men owned a car than women even though both genders have a close number of having a valid driver’s license.
- In 2020 the number of women who owned a car increased to 35%.
- The number of SUV drivers is spread more evenly, with 57% being men and 43% being women.
- Ages 60 – 64 years old own the majority of cars in the U.S.
- Age 53 is the average age of a new car buyer.
- 50% of car owners are older than 60.
- Older Gen Z and Younger Millennials (18 – 24) have the lowest number when it comes to car ownership at only 0.2%.
- According to the National Equity Atlas, 18% of people who identified themselves as African-American did not own a car or any other vehicle.
- 14% of people who consider themselves as people of color do not own a car.
- 13% of Native Americans do not own a car.
- Caucasians have the lowest number out of all races, with 6% not owning a car.
Car ownership per state
In 2020, The Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Highway Policy Information gathered car ownership data for each U.S. state.
They found that the states with the highest car ownership had the highest number of population such as California, Florida, and Texas. On the contrary, the number of car ownership is lower in smaller states such as Vermont and Wyoming.
When it comes to the region, Northeastern states such as New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts have the lowest car ownership per household. Around 29% of New Yorkers do not have access to a car. This is mainly because New York has easy access to transportation.
When it comes to the number of vehicles per capita by state, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota took the lead. Montana has 184 vehicle registrations per 100 people. This was the largest across the U.S.
New York and the District of Columbia however, have the lowest number of registered cars per capita, with fewer than 60 cars per 100 residents. California takes first place for the highest number of electric cars owned. Around 41.7% of all-electric cars are registered in the state of California. North Dakoda had the lowest number of electric car ownership with just 220 electric car registrations.
Car ownership per state
|State||Number of car ownership||Number of car ownership per 100 people|
|District of Columbia||356,537||51|
A summary of key insights + statistics
- There were 66.7 million global car sales in 2021. This number was on the rise when compared to the 63.8 million sold in 2020.
- China is the only country that surpasses the U.S. regarding car ownership.
- Over 26 million vehicles were sold in China alone in 2021. This made up 31.4% of all global car sales.
- The electric car market is expected to rise 7.5% globally by 2025.
- There are around 1.4 billion cars in the world.
- 25% of all existing cars are in the U.S.
- Most Americans own a Ford
- 1 million electric cars were sold in 2020 alone.
It’s important to remember that the car industry is a very lucrative business. There is no doubt that people are changing their driving habits. Car ownership is declining among young people in developed nations such as the US and UK, which has been taken by some as evidence that this trend will continue as time goes on.