63 Car Ownership Statistics, Trends, and Insights for 2023

Car Ownership Stats and Trends

If you’ve ever driven on a major highway, you’ve probably noticed recently that there seem to be A LOT more cars on the road.

It’s not in your head.

Here’s a better look at just how many cars will possibly prevent you from merging and who is driving those cars.

Check out our list of car-buying statistics, too!

Need an expert quote for your story? We’re happy to help. Contact our Senior EV Editor Steve Birkett.

Key Car Ownership Statistics

The highlights.

How Many Cars Are There In the US?

  1. A total of 278,063,737 personal and commercial vehicles were registered to drivers in the U.S. in 2021.

Car Ownership Stats Registered Personal And Commercial

  1. There are a total of 101,601,344 automobiles registered to drivers in the U.S. according to the most recent data.

What Percentage of Americans Own a Car?

  1. 91.7% of households had at least one vehicle in 2021 (the most recent data available.)

Car Ownership Stats - Households One Vehicle

  1. Only 8.3% of households did not have a vehicle in 2021.

Other Key Statistics

  1. In 2023 there are a projected 243.4 million licensed drivers in the US.

Car Ownership Stats - Licensed Drivers

  1. 89% of all American adults have a driver’s license.
  2. California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania have the most vehicle registrations, due to their size and population.
  3. More trucks are owned in the U.S. than any other vehicle type.
  4. The average American drove 13,476 miles per year in 2022.
  5. 37.1% of households had two vehicles in 2021, a 0.8% decrease from 2017 (37.4%).
  6. 22.1% of households had three or more vehicles in 2021, a 7.28% increase from 2017 (20.6%).
  7. Of the nearly 276,000,000 vehicles registered in 2021, 4,102,232 of them were publicly owned.
  8. The average age of vehicles on U.S. roads is 11.9 years.

Car Ownership Stats - Average Age of Vehicles

Also Read: Which Cars Have the Highest Dealer Markup?
(updated monthly)

Highest Lowest Markup

Types of Vehicles Owned

  1. There were 166,079,082 private and commercial truck registrations in 2021.
  2. The Ford F-Series is the most popular vehicle model nationwide, based on sales in 2022.
  3. Other car models that rank among the most popular in 2022 included: the Chevrolet Silverado (513,354 sales), the Ram Pickup (468,344 sales), the Toyota RAV4 (399,941 sales), and the Toyota Camry (295,201 sales).
  4. White is the most popular color for cars, making up 25.8% of cars on U.S. roads.

Car Ownsership Stats - White Cars

  1. Following white, the most popular car colors are Black (22.3%), Gray (18.4%), Silver (12.1%), and Blue (9.5%).
  2. This means that Grayscale-colored cars (white, black, gray, and silver) account for 78.5% of all vehicles on the road.

Electric Vehicle Ownership Statistics

Check out our 2023 interesting electric vehicle facts and statistics for more info!

  1. Electric car sales accounted for 5.6% of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2022, with more than 750,000 new all-electric cars registered.

Car Ownership Stats - EV Sales

  1. In 2022 new EV registrations hit 604,638, more than 60% higher compared to the same period a year ago.

Car Ownership Statistics by State

While there are more cars in Texas, California, and Florida than in most states, the percentage of car ownership in smaller states is surprisingly high.

And there are a surprising number of people owning multiple cars in Montana.

  1. Idaho and Wyoming tied for the highest rate of car ownership nationwide, with 96.2% of households in both states reporting access to at least one vehicle in 2021.

Car Ownership Stats - Idaho Wyoming

  1. The District of Columbia had the lowest percentage of car ownership nationwide, with only 64.3% of households owning at least one vehicle.
  2. Montana tops the list of states with the highest number of motor vehicle registrations per 1,000 licensed drivers in 2021 with 2,492.55.
  3. The other top 5 states with the highest number of registered vehicles per 1,000 licensed drivers are South Dakota (2,067.69), Wyoming (2,015.58), North Dakota (1,643.66), and Iowa (1,619.97).
  4. Delaware has the lowest number of motor vehicle registrations per 1,000 licensed drivers in 2021 at 547.23.
  5. The other states with the lowest number of vehicle registrations are the District of Columbia (652.13), New York (787.69), New Jersey (956.75), and Arizona (1,027.52).
  6. Delaware had the largest increase in motor vehicle registrations (49.55%) between 2017 and 2021.
  1. Other states with the largest increase in motor vehicle registrations include Maine (28.09%), Arkansas (25.08%), Utah (19.99%), and Montana (18.18%).
  2. The District of Columbia had the largest decrease in motor vehicle registrations between 2017 and 2021, with vehicle registrations dropping by 65.5%.
  3. Other states with the largest decrease in motor vehicle registrations are West Virginia (27.42%), Alaska (13.98%), New York (13.27%), and North Dakota (12.87%).
  4. Western states saw the largest drop in miles traveled, which was 3.0 percent, or 62.5 billion miles, in June 2022 compared to June 2021.
  5. California has the highest rate of EV ownership, with EVs representing 1.61% of total registered vehicles in the state as of 2021.

Car Ownership Statistics By Metropolitan Area

Unsurprisingly, many New Yorkers don’t own cars. Because who needs ‘em when you have the famously reliable MTA to get you from point A to point B in a timely manner?

  1. The US metro area with the highest percentage of vehicle ownership is Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL, with 97.6% of households owning at least one vehicle.

Car Ownership Stats - Metro Area

  1. The next top US metro areas are Provo-Orem, UTwith 97.5% Greeley, CO with 96.7%, Twin Falls, ID with 96.7%, and St. George, UT, with 96.5%.
  2. The US metro area with the lowest percentage of vehicle ownership is New York-Newark-Jersey City, with 56.5%.

Car Ownserhip Stats Lowest Metro Area

  1. The next US metro areas with the lowest vehicle ownership percentages are Philadelphia, PA with 76%, San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metro Division; San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area with 80.1%, Boston, MA Metro Division; Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metro Area with 82.5%, and Chicago-Naperville-Evanston, IL Metro Division; Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metro Area with 86.1%.

Car Ownership Cost Statistics

Statistics show that it costs approximately one arm and one leg to own a car in 2023.

  1. The average car owner spends around $20,146 on car-related costs (including maintenance, insurance, and commuting) per year.

Car Ownership Stats - Average Spend

  1. The average cost of full coverage car insurance per year is $2,014.
  2. The average person spends 2.93 percent of their income on car insurance.
  3. Car maintenance costs an average of $9,666 per year.
  4. Commuting costs car owners an average of $8,466 per year.
  5. Monthly loan payments for new cars cost an average of $725 in the first quarter of 2023.
  6. Used vehicle loans averaged $516 per month.
  7. As of March 2023, the average cost of a new car was $48,008, according to Kelley Blue Book.
  8. The average cost for a used car was $26,213.
  9. Registration fees for a new car can cost anywhere from $23 to $216.

Car Ownership Demographics

Despite the general increase in car ownership, racial inequity is still a barrier for households headed by people of color.

  1. Male drivers drove an average of 16,550 miles per year while female drivers clocked in at 10,142 miles per year.
  2. Drivers aged 16 to 19 and senior drivers over 65 drove a similar annual mileage of around 7,600 miles.
  3. 43% of car owners are female and 57% are male.
  4. Nationwide, households headed by people of color are less likely than white households to have access to a vehicle. Black households are least likely to have access to a vehicle at 18%.

Car Ownership Stats - Black Households

  1. Female-headed households are less likely than male-headed households to have access to a vehicle for all racial and ethnic groups identified by the census.
  2. The largest age group of car owners is age 60-64, making up 12.95% of car owners.

Car Ownership Stats - Age Group

  1. The second largest group of car owners are aged 55-59, making up 12.17% of car owners. The third largest group is 65-69, making up 11.73% of car owners.
  2. The smallest age group of car owners is 18-24, making up only 0.02% of car owners.
  3. The second smallest group is 25-29, making up 0.88% of car ownership. The third smallest is 95+, making up 1.08% of car owners.

Car Ownership Growth and Trends

Business Insider seems to think most of us won’t own a car by 2030. While many of us would love to not have to brave the highways, more of us have trust issues, especially when it comes to self-driving cars.

  1. Between 2017 and 2021, personal and commercial vehicle registrations increased by 3.66%, indicating an upward trend in car ownership.
  2. Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Montana saw the biggest increases in vehicle registrations from 2015 to 2020 with increases ranging from 19% to 25% during this span.
  3. Vermont saw the most significant drop in registrations, decreasing 7% over the same period.
  4. Compared to June 2021, travel by car on roads and streets decreased by 1.7%, down 4.8 billion vehicle miles in June 2022.
  5. The greatest decrease in miles traveled was in the western states, which was down 3.0 percent or 62.5 billion miles in June 2022 compared to June 2021.
  6. The number of households with no access to a vehicle decreased by 0.5% from 2020 to 2021.
  7. Business Insider predicts that car ownership will drop 80% by 2030, with would-be car owners relying on self-driving electric taxis for transportation.

Car Ownership Stats - Drop by 2030

Show Sources for This Year's Stats
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