How Many Cars Are in the U.S.? Car Ownership Statistics 2024

KEY POINTS

  • Rising car ownership: 91.7% of U.S. households had at least one vehicle in 2022, up from 90.9% in 2015.
  • Truck dominance: Trucks are the most popular vehicle type, making up well over half of the country’s 283.4 million registered vehicles.
  • State variations: Car ownership rates vary by state, with Idaho at 96.2% of households and Washington, D.C. at 65.7%.

Key findings are powered by ChatGPT and based solely off the content from this article. They are reviewed by Jack Caporal, our research director. The author and editors take ultimate responsibility for the content.


Car ownership rates are ticking upwards in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 91.7% of U.S. households had at least one vehicle available in 2022, compared to 90.9% in 2015.

The United States consistently ranks near the top in terms of car ownership, and in several states, at least 95% of households have access to a vehicle. There are, however, a few areas with more robust public transportation systems that buck the norm, including Washington, D.C., New York, and New Jersey.

Read on to find out where your state ranked, the total number of vehicles in the country, and more of the latest car ownership statistics.

National car ownership statistics

There were a total of 283,400,986 registered vehicles in the United States in 2022, according to the Federal Highway Administration. That’s a 7.5% increase from 2015, when there were 263,610,219.

It might surprise you to learn that trucks, and not automobiles, were the most popular type of vehicle. Even though car insurance quotes tend to be higher for trucks, they make up well over half the vehicles in the country.

Automobiles registered Buses registered Trucks registered Motorcycles registered Total vehicles registered
99,946,870 954,119 172,932,334 9,567,664 283,400,986

Data source: U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (2024). Vehicles registered in 2022.

Most households (91.7%) had at least one vehicle available in 2022. That’s 0.8% more than in 2015. Interestingly enough, the biggest change in those five years was an increase in the households with three or more vehicles.

Number of vehicles 2022 2020 2015
No vehicles available 8.3% 8.5% 9.1%
1 vehicle available 33.2% 32.5% 33.7%
2 vehicles available 36.9% 37.1% 37.4%
3 or more vehicles available 21.6% 22.0% 19.8%
Any vehicle 91.7% 91.6% 90.9%

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau (2024).

Car ownership rates by state

Car ownership rates vary significantly by area. In Idaho, 96.2% of households have access to at least one vehicle, compared to just 65.7% in Washington, D.C. and 70.9% in New York.

There’s also a huge difference in the average number of vehicles per household. Delaware has an average of 1.2 vehicles per household, while in Montana, there’s a whopping 5.1 vehicles per household. Ideally those multi-car households are bundling coverages, so they can get discounts on car insurance.

State Share of households with at least one vehicle Vehicles per household
Alabama 94.8% 2.9
Alaska 90.9% 2.7
Arizona 94.9% 2.3
Arkansas 93.5% 3.1
California 93.1% 2.5
Colorado 95.0% 2.3
Connecticut 91.0% 2.1
Delaware 94.1% 1.2
District of Columbia 65.7% 1.8
Florida 94.0% 2.4
Georgia 94.3% 2.4
Hawaii 91.9% 2.7
Idaho 96.2% 2.9
Illinois 88.8% 2.3
Indiana 93.6% 2.5
Iowa 94.4% 3.0
Kansas 94.6% 2.3
Kentucky 93.6% 2.5
Louisiana 91.8% 2.8
Maine 93.2% 2.3
Maryland 91.3% 2.3
Massachusetts 88.2% 2.1
Michigan 93.1% 2.5
Minnesota 93.2% 2.6
Mississippi 94.1% 2.1
Missouri 93.2% 2.3
Montana 95.8% 5.1
Nebraska 94.8% 2.6
Nevada 93.0% 2.4
New Hampshire 95.7% 2.7
New Jersey 89.1% 1.9
New Mexico 94.8% 2.3
New York 70.9% 1.7
North Carolina 95.0% 2.2
North Dakota 94.7% 3.5
Ohio 92.8% 2.4
Oklahoma 94.5% 2.3
Oregon 92.8% 2.6
Pennsylvania 89.5% 2.3
Puerto Rico 87.1% #N/A
Rhode Island 90.2% 2.0
South Carolina 94.6% 2.6
South Dakota 95.0% 3.9
Tennessee 94.9% 2.5
Texas 94.6% 2.2
Utah 96.3% 2.6
Vermont 94.0% 2.4
Virginia 93.9% 2.4
Washington 93.2% 2.7
West Virginia 92.0% 2.4
Wisconsin 93.5% 2.4
Wyoming 95.9% 3.8
Total 91.7% 2.4

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (2024).

Vehicle numbers per state generally coincide with population numbers. The most populated states (California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania) also have the most registered vehicles. From 2015 to 2022, 40 states and Washington, D.C. saw their vehicle numbers increase, compared to 10 that saw them decrease.

State Vehicles registered (2022) Vehicles registered (2020) Vehicles registered (2015) Percent change 2015-2022
Alabama 5,464,382 5,320,340 5,400,419 1.2%
Alaska 679,125 792,826 815,122 (16.7%)
Arizona 6,090,179 6,053,781 5,630,647 8.2%
Arkansas 3,569,698 2,913,369 2,772,214 28.8%
California 31,119,113 30,398,249 29,424,012 5.8%
Colorado 5,116,858 5,350,708 5,005,172 2.2%
Connecticut 2,789,423 2,867,554 2,841,764 (1.8%)
Delaware 467,268 1,006,135 964,316 (51.5%)
District of Columbia 380,801 356,537 322,929 17.9%
Florida 19,663,462 18,464,506 16,105,008 22.1%
Georgia 9,153,627 8,829,596 8,137,621 12.5%
Hawaii 1,243,333 1,256,140 1,242,319 0.1%
Idaho 2,031,332 1,917,677 1,854,019 9.6%
Illinois 10,334,435 10,587,725 10,595,254 (2.5%)
Indiana 6,256,479 6,199,901 6,045,114 3.5%
Iowa 3,779,422 3,787,224 3,636,898 3.9%
Kansas 2,588,185 2,603,543 2,634,856 (1.8%)
Kentucky 4,291,816 4,459,685 4,151,982 3.4%
Louisiana 4,593,542 3,861,204 3,901,432 17.7%
Maine 1,294,286 1,121,106 1,104,001 17.2%
Maryland 4,919,054 4,211,377 4,135,158 19.0%
Massachusetts 5,184,450 5,036,686 5,069,601 2.3%
Michigan 9,403,708 8,453,239 8,294,108 13.4%
Minnesota 5,673,333 5,690,749 5,281,269 7.4%
Mississippi 2,298,929 2,058,975 2,068,853 11.1%
Missouri 5,373,722 5,587,022 5,624,005 (4.5%)
Montana 2,249,485 1,952,553 1,645,227 36.7%
Nebraska 1,967,125 1,935,357 1,981,296 (0.7%)
Nevada 2,672,391 2,549,357 2,316,056 15.4%
New Hampshire 1,437,151 1,357,535 1,296,137 10.9%
New Jersey 5,999,667 6,006,247 5,938,585 1.0%
New Mexico 1,870,380 1,783,151 1,823,445 2.6%
New York 9,111,362 11,324,755 10,638,765 (14.4%)
North Carolina 8,995,906 8,739,280 7,928,973 13.5%
North Dakota 1,093,509 899,083 890,803 22.8%
Ohio 11,028,755 10,592,317 10,557,323 4.5%
Oklahoma 3,345,331 3,730,247 2,988,512 11.9%
Oregon 4,139,333 4,095,442 3,607,482 14.7%
Pennsylvania 10,868,829 10,690,187 10,598,694 2.5%
Rhode Island 806,142 866,625 875,097 (7.9%)
South Carolina 5,245,829 4,561,299 4,162,651 26.0%
South Dakota 1,364,513 1,294,282 1,082,289 26.1%
Tennessee 6,828,011 5,855,373 5,612,123 21.7%
Texas 23,291,638 22,419,490 21,864,841 6.5%
Utah 2,876,800 2,479,604 2,229,193 29.1%
Vermont 625,664 607,890 655,347 (4.5%)
Virginia 7,763,287 7,606,452 7,238,905 7.2%
Washington 7,835,063 7,257,401 6,725,467 16.5%
West Virginia 1,652,896 1,657,362 1,613,345 2.5%
Wisconsin 5,681,673 5,616,271 5,466,581 3.9%
Wyoming 890,285 861,028 814,989 9.2%
Total 283,400,986 275,924,442 263,610,219 7.5%

Data source: U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (2024).

Electric vehicle ownership rates by state

There were 3,299,502 registered electric vehicles in the United States by the fourth quarter of 2023.

California can take most of the credit for that, as it’s home to roughly 1.2 million electric vehicles, 36% of the nationwide total. On the other end of the spectrum, North Dakota recorded the lowest total, with just 876 electric vehicles.

State EV Registrations
Alabama 11,831
Alaska 2,538
Arizona 84,611
Arkansas 6,572
California 1,178,948
Colorado 82,563
Connecticut 29,587
Delaware 7,687
District of Columbia 7,492
Florida 231,518
Georgia 85,050
Hawaii 24,195
Idaho 7,982
Illinois 93,021
Indiana 23,987
Iowa 8,333
Kansas 10,401
Kentucky 10,750
Louisiana 7,529
Maine 6,829
Maryland 64,919
Massachusetts 68,842
Michigan 45,588
Minnesota 33,933
Mississippi 3,246
Missouri 24,665
Montana 4,230
Nebraska 6,304
Nevada 44,060
New Hampshire 9,247
New Jersey 125,317
New Mexico 9,557
New York 121,768
North Carolina 63,768
North Dakota 876
Ohio 46,128
Oklahoma 22,845
Oregon 60,196
Pennsylvania 64,631
Rhode Island 5,943
South Carolina 19,224
South Dakota 1,556
Tennessee 30,483
Texas 210,433
Utah 36,860
Vermont 7,312
Virginia 78,694
Washington 141,055
West Virginia 2,542
Wisconsin 22,776
Wyoming 1,080
Total 3,299,502

Data source: Department of Energy (2024).

Car ownership rates by city

Murrieta, California is the city with the highest car ownership rate in the United States, as 99.3% of its households own vehicles. Here’s the full top 10:

City Percentage of households that own vehicles
Murrieta, California 99.3%
League City, Texas 99.0%
Surprise, Arizona 98.7%
West Jordan, Utah 98.7%
Cary, North Carolina 98.6%
Pearland, Texas 98.6%
Highlands Ranch, Colorado 98.5%
Centennial, Colorado 98.3%
Gilbert, Arizona 98.3%
Elk Grove, California 98.2%

Data source: TitleMax (2020).

New York City has the lowest car ownership rate by far at 45.6%. Cities with low car ownership tend to have more public transportation options and high population densities. This makes a car more of a luxury than a necessity, especially considering the extra costs involved, such as car insurance and parking.

City Percentage of households that own vehicles
New York, New York 45.6%
Newark, New Jersey 59.7%
Washington, D.C. 62.7%
Jersey City, New Jersey 62.9%
Cambridge, Massachusetts 63.2%
Boston, Massachusetts 66.2%
Paterson, New Jersey 67.0%
Hartford, Connecticut 67.4%
San Francisco, California 70.1%
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 70.5%

Data source: TitleMax (2020).

In case you’re wondering why Washington, D.C.’s car ownership rate is different here than it was earlier, it’s because this data is from TitleMax. The numbers earlier were from the Federal Highway Administration. It’s normal to have some variations between data sources.

Car ownership in 2024 and beyond

Although car ownership rates and registered vehicle numbers rose from 2020 to 2022, they did so at a considerably slower rate than from 2018 to 2020. Only 1.2 million new vehicles were registered in 2022, compared to 6.3 million in 2021.

That’s a reflection of car prices rising quickly in 2021 and 2022. The price of new vehicles grew faster than red-hot inflation for much of 2021 and 2022.

The recent slowdown in automobile purchases comes after a tough 2020 for the industry. From 2015 to 2019, dealers had five straight years with at least 17 million sales of new light-vehicles, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. That trend was halted in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic and a semiconductor shortage slowed down vehicle production. New light-vehicle sales were just 14.43 million in 2020 and 14.97 million in 2021.

On a positive note, the electric vehicle market has been booming. EV registrations rose by 40% from 2021 to 2022 and another 21% the following year. While the industry is still heavily reliant on the state of California and Tesla, it’s clear that more consumers are making the shift to electric vehicles.

Methodology

The average number of vehicles per household was calculated by dividing each state’s number of registered vehicles by its number of households.

Sources

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