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Number of cars in the U.S. 1990-2018

How many registered motor vehicles are there in the U.S.?

Some 273.6 million vehicles were registered here in 2018. The figures include passenger cars, motorcycles, trucks, buses, and other vehicles. The number of cars sold in the U.S. per year stood at 6.3 million in 2016.

U.S. vehicle registrations

Second only to China, the United States is one of the world’s largest automobile markets based on the number of new light vehicle registrations, with around 17.2 million new light vehicle registrations in 2018. However, of the 70.5 million passenger cars produced worldwide in 2016, less than three million automobiles were produced in the U.S.

While the United States imports a significant amount of vehicles from various countries such as Japan, Mexico and Canada, passenger car assembly within the country increased from some 2.2 million units produced in 2009 to a little under four million units in 2016. Toyota and BMW are the leading carmakers selling imported cars in the United States.

Leading car manufacturers in the United States

The leading car manufacturers overall in the United States include the Detroit Big Three automakers: General Motors, Ford and Chrysler; today, Chrysler is fully owned by Fiat though. With respect to car brands, the Ford brand clocked in at number one in 2019, selling around 2.3 million vehicles in the United States alone. The brand's holding company is the Ford Motor Company; it was founded by Henry Ford in 1903 in Dearborn, Michigan. The company pioneered in large-scale car manufacturing and introduced production methods such as the assembly line. Ford is one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers, with 2019 revenue of just under 156 billion U.S. dollars.

Number of motor vehicles registered in the United States from 1990 to 2018

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Release date

December 2019


United States

Survey time period

1990 to 2018

Supplementary notes

The figures for 1990 through 2011 are taken from table 1-11 of the National Transportation Statistics 2013 report, published by the US Department of Transportation in 2013.
The figures for 2012 through 2017s are taken from previous Highway Statistics editions.
Vehicles: passenger cars, motorcycles, other 2-axle 4-tire vehicles, single-unit 2-axle 6-tire ore more trucks, combination trucks, buses.

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Statistics on "Car insurance in the United States"

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