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New Study Shows Multiple Cars Are King in U.S. Households

February 14, 2008

Schaumburg, Ill. — In a study of households with at least one vehicle, Experian Automotive found that households with three or more cars are the single largest group among American car owners.

The United States is still very much in love with the automobile, with a national average of 2.28 vehicles per household. Experian Automotive found single- and two-vehicle households are almost neck and neck, at nearly 34 percent and 31 percent, respectively. However, households with three or more vehicles maintain the single largest category, at nearly 35 percent. The number of vehicles per household varies across states and regions, with Washington, D.C., having the highest single-car percentage (62.5 percent), and South Dakota the highest percentage of households with five or more vehicles (12.79 percent).

The study also found that as the number of vehicles per household increases, the types of vehicles shift. Households with only domestic vehicles come out on top among two-vehicle households, comprising nearly 40 percent of the category. When moving up to three- and four-vehicle households, Americans tend to prefer a blend of domestic and import vehicles, at 49.8 percent and 59.87 percent, respectively. Households having only new vehicles also lead the two-vehicle category, at 43.5 percent. Interestingly, as the number of vehicles increases, so does the blend between new and used vehicles, with 60 percent of three-vehicle households and more than 70 percent of four-vehicle households having a mix of the two.

Other interesting findings in the study include the following:

--The most common pairing of vehicles in American households with two to four cars is a full-sized pickup truck and a standard, mid-range vehicle

--Of households with two or more vehicles in which one is an SUV, nearly 25 percent also own a pickup truck

--The percentage of one-vehicle households for those earning $250,000 or more annually is 35 percent — about the same as households with incomes of $25,000 to $34,999

“It’s obvious that regardless of where they live or what they earn, Americans place a high value on owning vehicles and in having at least two in their garage,” said Scott Waldron, president of Experian Automotive. “Knowing the number of vehicles on the road, the kinds of vehicles they are and where they’re located is crucial to enabling dealers and manufacturers to market to consumers according to their vehicle needs and preferences.”

Experian Automotive provides the information and insight that drives decisions across the entire vehicle sales cycle, ranging from market and vehicle history reporting to credit and marketing services. Experian Automotive assists dealers, lenders, manufacturers and consumers in making sound business decisions in buying and selling vehicles by helping them understand their market, manage lending risks, find new customers and provide the information needed to feel confident about their purchases.

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