Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Fri April 17 2015

Survey Finds Correlation Between Number of Vehicles, Miles Driven

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | April 17, 2015

Survey Finds Correlation Between Number of Vehicles, Miles Driven

It turns out that households with multiple vehicles often rely heavily on them. 

With the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration set to begin data collection for its latest National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) later this year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration recently broke down the most up-to-date figures in terms of average annual vehicle miles of travel per American household.

Unsurprisingly, the data from the most recent NHTS (2009) shows that households with more vehicles rack up more miles of travel over the course of a year.

Considering households with fewer cars are likely to consist of fewer traveling people, that finding certainly isn't a tough one to wrap one's head around. 

Interestingly, though, the data also reveals that households with more vehicles tend to drive their primary or most-used vehicle more often or farther than households with fewer vehicles. For instance, while the average two-vehicle household travels nearly 16,000 miles annually in its primary vehicle, a six-vehicle household travels more than 22,000 miles annually in its most-used vehicle.

Overall, households possessing just a single vehicle drove 10,600 miles per year on average, compared to households with six vehicles that traveled a total of 57,700 miles per year on average.

Those figures rise steadily for households in between, with two-vehicle households covering 23,700 miles per year on average, three-vehicle households traveling 33,900 miles annually on average, the average four-vehicle household racking up 43,600 miles per year and five-vehicle households traversing 49,300 miles per year on average.

The survey also shows that more than two-thirds of all U.S. households (68 percent) have either one or two vehicles, with just one percent boasting six vehicles. 

Most American households (36 percent) possess two vehicles, and only one out of 10 (nine percent) are without a single vehicle.

It will be interesting to see how much or little these numbers change when the FHA releases its updated survey.

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