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The United States is known for having a robust automobile industry. At the same time, it’s also looking to add more electric vehicles on its roads. We’ll be going over the number of cars in the United States in 2023.
We’ll discuss the market share of vehicles including traditional versus electric. Will there be more electric cars on the road in 2023? Or things still holding strong for the standard gas powered vehicles?
Here’s the information that you need to know about the number of cars in the United States in 2023 (and where things are heading).
How many cars are there in the United States right now?
As of 2023, there are nearly 293 million cars currently in the United States. This number includes not just cars. They also include vans, SUVs, and other vehicles that are medium or heavy duty vehicles. Between 2012 to 2021, there have been nearly 41 million more vehicles registered in the United States.
The increase is approximately 16.5 percent over the course of this time period. Because of their high population, five states have the most vehicle registrations. These states were:
- New York
There are four states and the District of Columbia with the least amount of registrations including:
- Rhode Island
- Washington D.C.
How many US households own a car?
There are approximately 110 households in the United States that own a car. About one-third of US households own at least one vehicle while another third owns two. About 15 percent of these households own three cars.
About 9 percent of these households own no car at all. US households owning multiple cars are common compared to those that don’t own one. This can be due to the fact that some households may have families with those of driving age (including teenage drivers).
The number of households who own no car has been declining according to data from the 2020 US Census.
The top US metro areas with lowest percentage of vehicles
Despite millions of vehicles being registered, there are several cities that have a low percentage of vehicles being owned. This is due to the fact that these cities have reliable public transportation. The following metro areas include:
- New York City-Newark, NJ
- Philadelphia, PA
- San Francisco Bay Area
- Boston, MA
- Chicago, IL
About 57 percent of households in the NYC metro area own a vehicle. These include the suburban areas outside of New York City proper. Despite the fact that most people tend to walk or even use public transport, some people still prefer to drive in New York City.
Public transportation options include buses and metro trains. Even some transit services are even reducing or doing away with certain fares such as reducing bus rides to free.
Highest percentage of vehicle ownership in US metro areas
Not all US metro areas will have public transport access. Thus, urban sprawl increases the necessity of owning a vehicle. The following metro areas in the United States have a high percentage of households owning vehicles:
- Provo-Orem, UT
- Boise, ID
- Rockingham County, NH (Portsmouth)
- Hilton Head Island, SC
Almost 98 percent of households in the Provo, UT area own a vehicle. Cities such as Boise and Portsmouth, NH are also among other US cities that have a high percentage of households that own vehicles. Some of these cities may have public transport – but the availability is not as widespread compared to other cities.
How many new cars are sold in the United States annually?
Approximately 13.9 million vehicles were sold last year. These numbers were considered to be the worst in more than a decade. The sales have varied from various auto manufacturers.
The reason for these poor numbers were due to issues regarding the supply chain and the parts industry. General Motors saw a small gain in sales. They had a 2.5 percent increase from their 2021 numbers.
Other US-based automakers reported single digit declines. Automakers outside of the United States have reported larger number declines with Honda Motors seeing a near 30 percent decline in sales. Auto industry executives believe sales could bounce back despite concerns of several economic factors.
One executive stated that there was cautious optimism. He would add that the demand is still much higher than their supply. Nevertheless, auto sales are still much higher now compared to 2008-09.
Sales have been close to numbers that reflect recessionary levels. Plus, inventory numbers have tightened despite the increasing demand (especially during the COVID-19 pandemic).
The costs of car ownership
Even though owning a car may satisfy the need to move around, it comes at a price. Expenses are rising along with inflation. It is also becoming more expensive to own a vehicle compared to the previous decade.
Supply chain issues, rising costs of parts and labor, and high inflation are among some of the factors. Not to mention, insurance premiums may also be rising in the future. In 2022, the average cost for full insurance coverage was $1771 (annually).
That number is expected to rise north of $2000. The average American spends at least three percent of their income on auto insurance. Not to mention, it is also the law to possess car insurance in several US states.
The average cost for car maintenance is estimated at $9666 per year while commuting costs are close to $8500. Overall, the average cost for car ownership will be around $20000.
What are the top selling vehicles in the United States?
The Ford F-Series has been one of the top selling vehicles in the United States for several years. There had been a couple of years where it lost its top ranking to the Toyota RAV4. In 2022, the F-Series sold over 653000 units.
This included their electric version known as Lightning – which sold for nearly 16000 units. The Chevrolet Silverado sold over 513000 units after it updated its model. The Dodge RAM sold over 468000 units while Toyota held onto the fourth and fifth spots with their RAV4 and Camry, respectively.
The RAV3 sold close to 400000 units while the Camry sold 295200. Of all the automakers, Toyota seems to be enjoying the large number of sales and their place on the best-selling charts is rightfully deserved.
What are the market shares of US vehicles (by automaker)?
Using numbers from Q4 2020, General Motors commanded 18.35 percent of the US vehicle market share. Other brands came in a razor close second with 18.16 percent. Toyota was the highest foreign automaker with a hold on nearly 16 percent of the market share.
The Ford Motor Company maintained a 13 percent slice of its share as the rest of the automakers including Nissan and Hyundai Kia have single digit percentages.
Number of electric and hybrid vehicles in the United States
In 2021, hybrid vehicles increased to more than three-quarters compared to the previous year. All told, there were 801550 sold last year. EVs sales have also increased with 434879 – an 83 percent increase despite the total sales accounting for 3 percent of the entire automotive market.
Even hybrid vehicle owners are looking to make a switch to full-on electric vehicles. One of the reasons is that EVs tend to perform even better, including accelerating from 0 to 60 mph faster. States in the US are also providing rebates and incentives for its residents that own electric vehicles.
For example, there is a $7500 federal tax break for those who own new vehicles assuming they meet certain conditions. However, used electric vehicle owners can take advantage of a $4000 tax credit for purchasing them. States like New York offer up to $2000 in rebates depending on the model of EV that they own and the battery range.
Other states may also pay you thousands of dollars to exchange your current vehicle in favor of an electric one. These incentives and benefits will likely entice more US auto owners to make the switch as well.
There may be an expected increase in electric vehicle sales in the future. With Tesla as one of the premier automakers, traditional manufacturers such as Ford and Chevy have already placed their stake in the electric vehicle market. If you are considering purchasing an electric vehicle while taking advantage of the federal tax credit, there are several models that qualify.
While there are still hundreds of millions of cars owned throughout the United States, things are changing. More people may be buying electric vehicles in the future. Others may be doing an exchange.
But nevertheless, the auto industry is looking to bounce back after issues from the pandemic (including the economic impact right now). While auto executives are cautiously optimistic, it’s good to see that there is still a demand for new vehicles. The electric vehicles may also be due for a large increase in the near future with all the incentives and benefits available to owners of new and used models.