Despite the rise of car-sharing, telecommuting and urban living, car ownership is still the norm in America.
Nearly nine in 10 U.S. households have at least one car for every driver in their home, and more than a quarter of them have more cars than drivers in their house, according to a new report from AAA. The average household owns 2.1 cars.
Thanks to an improving economy and low gas prices, they’re also driving those cars more. Last year, Americans drove a total of 2.45 trillion miles, up 2.4 percent from 2014.
The cost of owning a car is at a six-year low, as lower gas prices offset upticks in other expenses like insurance, maintenance and depreciation.
Among Americans age 16 or older, 88 percent said that they drove last year, traveling an average of 10,900 miles each and spending 294 hours behind the wheel, the AAA report found. That’s more than 12 days and nights, or nearly two solid weeks, on the road.
Getting a license and buying a car remain rites of passage to which young Americans aspire. A recent Kelley Blue Book survey of Generation Z (those under age 17) found that 92 percent own or plan to own a vehicle, and 97 percent have or plan to get their license.
After five years of sales gains, the pace of new car sale increases is finally starting to slow down, but analysts at Edmunds.com believe the industry is still on pace for another record-breaking year.