US Vehicle Registration Statistics

US Vehicle Registration Statistics

How many cars in the US? Need vehicle registration statistics? How many vehicles in the US?

Some custom reporting is available for US vehicle registration statistics, including motor vehicle registration data by ZIP code or state. Complete analysis is available based on year/make/model, or by demographics such as household income.

Automobile statistics are available for every car-owning household in the nation (that’s about 128 million households in 2021!) including vehicle owner demographics by year, make and model, household income, employment, married status, consumer buying histories, ethnicity and more. If need to reach new customers and grow your sales, rely on the most complete and current consumer mailing lists in the automotive aftermarket. Our vehicle ownership masterfile has the year, make and model of 170 million US consumers including automobile, truck and motorcycle owners, and we can drill down to DIY consumers with a buying history of aftermarket parts and accessories.

For mailing lists, see our automobile mailing list page, or auto dealers may be interested in our automotive direct mail list page. If you want to know how many cars there are in the world, follow that link.

How many cars are on the road in the US

Registered Vehicles in US By YearVehicle Registration Statistics
Registered vehicles in US 2022 (proj.)290.8 million
Registered vehicles in US 2021 (proj.)289.5 million
Registered vehicles in US 2020286.9 million
Registered vehicles in US 2019284.5 million
Registered vehicles in US 2018279.1 million
Registered vehicles in US 2017270.4 million
Registered vehicles in US 2016264.0 million
Registered vehicles in US 2015257.9 million
Registered vehicles in US 2014252.6 million
Registered vehicles in US 2013248.9 million
Registered vehicles in US 2012248.7 million

This table includes light-duty vehicles as well as medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, which are often left off of VIO counts. It also includes vehicles with a VIN year of 1982 and earlier, and these older vehicles are also often left off of VIO counts.

how many cars in the US graph

CLICK TO ENLARGE: Graph showing how many trucks and cars in the US by year. Right click to save this graph as an image.

There are about 289 million vehicles on the road in the US, with an average age of 12.1 years. The average age of trucks has remained relatively unchanged at around 11.6 years, but the average age of cars is approaching 13. The US fleet has gotten progressively older over the past decade, as consumers hold on to their cars and trucks longer. Better car and truck reliability and vehicle technology are big reasons for the increasing age of the US car parc. With the slowdown in new vehicle sales due to the pandemic, the age of the average vehicle in the US will continue to creep upwards.

US car sales statistics

CLICK TO ENLARGE: The number of new vehicles sold in 2020 dropped due to the Coronavirus pandemic. New car and light truck sales are projected to be around 15.5 million in 2021 and 16.5 million in 2022.

Car sales statistics: There were about 14.5 million new cars and light trucks sold in 2020, the lowest number since 2012.

Fun fact: the automotive sales figures quoted by the media as car “sales” are actually vehicles shipped by the OEMs. Actual new vehicle sales are determined by vehicle registration data. In a normal year 10% to 20% of vehicles “sold” go into inventory for 30-90 days.

Car Sales Stats by YearNew Vehicles sold
New light vehicles in US 2022 (proj.)16.5 million
New light vehicles in US 2021 (proj.)15.5 million
New light vehicles in US 202014.5 million
New light vehicles in US 201917.1 million
New light vehicles in US 201817.1 million
New light vehicles in US 201717.2 million
New light vehicles in US 201617.4 million
New light vehicles in US 201517.2 million
New light vehicles in US 201416.4 million
New light vehicles in US 201315.5 million
New light vehicles in US 201214.4 million

Many new car sales forecasts for 2021 have recently been downgraded (as of August or September) to 15.5 million units, which has actually been Hedges & Company’s forecast through most of 2021.

U.S. vehicle registration statistics from registration databases

Here’s a table with other US registration statistics, pulled from vehicle owner databases as well as US government data.

Number of Registered Vehicles in USVehicle Registration Statistics
Number of Tesla cars registered in the US (through January 1, 2021)827,000
Percentage of Tesla cars in the US, registered, owned and driven in California (through January 1, 2021)46%
Percentage of registered vehicles in the US that are motorcycles3.2%
Percentage of registered vehicles in the US that are cars, 201835%
Percentage of diesel vehicles sold in U.S., Q1 20204%
Percentage of alternative fuel vehicles sold in U.S., Q1 20208%
Percentage of 2018 vehicle models that came with 2.0L engine (most popular engine in 2018)23%
California’s share of all vehicles registered in the US (#1 state with 32.1 million vehicles 2018)12%
California state-operated vehicle fleet (#1 state for state-operated vehicles)38,300 units
Wyoming’s share of all vehicles registered in the US (#50 with 593,000 vehicles)0.6%
Share of top 5 states, all vehicles registered in the US (California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Ohio)33.5%
Increase in number of registered vehicles in US 2001-201020%
Increase in average price of a used vehicle in the US 2009-20103.8%
All U.S. households with one or more leased vehicles6%
Households with leased vehicles, household income under $25,0004%
Households with leased vehicles, household income $25,000 to $50,0005%
Households with leased vehicles, household income $50,000 to $100,00010%
Households with leased vehicles, household income $100,000 and up13%
All U.S. households that own one or more vehicles, 200486.3%
All U.S. households that own one or more vehicles, 200787.0%
All U.S. households that rent the home and own one or more vehicles, 200772.3%
All U.S. households that own the home and own one or more vehicles, 200793.8%
Percentage of U.S. households with automotive DIY behavior over a 12 month period9.5%
Cars or station wagons in the U.S., percentage of total vehicles, 201053.4%
Pickup trucks sales statistics in the U.S., percentage of total vehicles18%
Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) in the U.S., percentage of total vehicles12%
Minivans, cargo vans and passenger vans in the U.S., percentage of total vehicles9%
Full size or other trucks in the U.S. with two axles and six or more tires, percentage of total vehicles3.2%
Increase in Chrysler Group U.S. automobile sales, January-June 2010 vs January-June 200940%
Increase in Ford Motor Company U.S. automobile sales, January-June 2010 vs January-June 200924%
Increase in General Motors Corporation U.S. automobile sales, January-June 2010 vs January-June 20097%
Increase in American Honda U.S. automobile sales, January-June 2010 vs January-June 200913%
Decline in new car sales, 2008 vs. 2007 (Great Recession)-10.5%
Decline in domestic new car sales, 2008 vs 2007 (Great Recession)-13.7%
Decline in pickup truck sales, 2008 vs. 2007 (Great Recession)-27%

More in-depth vehicle registration statistics are also available from the Bureau of Vehicle Statistics, a section of the Research and Innovative Technology Division (RITA) of the Department of Transportation (DOT). These links open vehicle registration data in a new browser window for your convenience. Also refer to our own auto aftermarket news page for the latest on the automotive aftermarket.

Vehicles in Operation (VIO) forecasting and new vehicle sales data forecasting

Using custom algorithms, modeling and a variety of data sources, Hedges & Company can create custom data sets forecasting the vehicles that will be on the road. These reports can be customized to include information about the vehicles as well as demographics of their owners. This is available for the US. It covers the entire US as a whole, or in some cases can be broken down by state.

Due to unknown economic and business variables affecting future vehicle sales, we’re not always able to forecast by model. In most cases we can forecast by make, engine platform and drivetrain, or body style.

Contact us for a quote today.

how many cars in the us

Complete automotive market research with car buyer statistics

Registration data is used to create custom automotive market research reports. We can report on all vehicles in operation (called VIO or car parc) across the United States or for specific geographic areas. Or, we can report on registrations of new vehicles, either owned or leased, by consumers or by businesses. Learn about vehicle ownership trends by looking at registration statistics over time. We also feature highly accurate automotive mailing lists.

Car buyer statistics

Looking for vehicle registration data/Vehicles in Operation (VIO) for foreign or domestic automobile and truck makes? Our vehicle data includes demographic data and ownership data on the following makes: Acura, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Bugatti, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Daewoo, Dodge, Eagle, Fiat, Ford, Geo, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Lancia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mercury, Merkur, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Ram, Saab, Saturn, Scion, Smart, Subaru, Suzuki, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Motorcycles registered in the US

There are over 8 million motorcycles registered in the United States. If you need registration statistics for motorcycles, or mailing lists to reach motorcycle owners, we can help. Need registration data for motorcycles or ATVs? Motorcycle makes in our masterfile include Aprilia, Big Dog, BMW, Buell, Can-Am, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha.

Demographics by vehicle owners

We have household income, employment, married status, consumer buying histories, primary household language, multiple vehicles owned, and more all by year/make/model.

Need exotic and high-end vehicle data? Our masterfile also includes hard-to-find lists and data on exotic makes like Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, DeTomaso, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Maybach, Panoz, Porsche and Rolls Royce.

More information on vehicle registration data and the process it goes through is available in this blog post “Everything You Need to Know About Vehicle Registration Data.” That post covers how the data comes in from DMVs, how the data is cleaned up and standardized, and important ways it is different from vehicle data released by the U.S. government.

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