When you think of states where the vehicle is ubiquitous, most people would likely name California. While the Golden State has the largest number of registered vehicles on the road, there are more Californians despite the recent departures to other states in recent years.

However, other states, including Washington, have more registered private vehicles per capita (100,000 population) than California.

USDOT Showcases States Vehicles per Capita

The survey based on U.S. Department of Transportation statistics shows which states have the most vehicles per capita.

  • Montana has the highest number of registered private automobiles per 100,000 population on the list, 41,938.
  • In second place is Alabama, with 40,833 registered private automobiles per 100,000 residents.
  • Washington is in third place, with 37,413 registered automobiles per 100,000 residents.

The number of registered private automobiles per 100,000 population reflects transportation needs in different states.  For instance, in Western states like Montana, residents have to drive great distances while in the northeast, namely New York, automobile ownership can be considered too expensive when considering the costs to park.  Not surprisingly, New York ranked 51st in the nation in per capita car ownership.  (Washington, D.C. was included in the survey)

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The Top 10 rankings look like this:

Rank

State

Registered Private Automobiles per 100,000 Population

1

Montana

41,938

2

Alabama

40,833

3

Washington

37,413

4

California

35,751

5

Florida

35,592

6

Iowa

35,047

7

South Dakota

34,772

8

Ohio

34,358

9

South Carolina

34,325

10

Kentucky

34,093

 

A CLOSER LOOK

After Washington is California, which leads the nation in terms of the sheer number of registered automobiles, with an astonishing 14,027,931 vehicles. With a population of 39,237,836, this results in approximately 35,751 registered private automobiles per 100,000 residents.
Florida is in fifth place, with 35,592 registered private automobiles per 100,000 residents.

Iowa ranks sixth, thanks to its 35,047 registered private automobiles per 100,000 residents.

In seventh place is South Dakota, which has 34,772 registered private automobiles per 100,000 residents.

Ohio is in eighth place, with 34,358 registered private automobiles per 100,000 residents.

With 34,325 registered private automobiles per 100,000 residents, South Carolina is in ninth place.

In tenth place is Kentucky, with 1,537,391 registered private automobiles. With a population of 4,509,394, this translates to approximately 34,093 private registered automobiles per 100,000 residents.

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Of course, it's also important to protect your car from theft. Here's some interesting information about what cars are the most targeted.

The 20 Most Stolen Cars in Washington State by Year and Model

Gallery Credit: AJ Brewster

5 Things To Do If Some Idiot Steals Your Car!

Once the panic is gone, it is time to take action! These tips don't guarentee that your car will be returned to you, but by doing these suggestions (courtesy of NerdWallet) ASAP, it'll help save some future stress in your life.

Gallery Credit: tsm/Timmy!