This is one list, that’s an interesting statistic. I’m not sure if it’s inherently good or bad that a North Carolina city tops the list of car ownership rates. And another city comes in at number 7. On one hand, it’s good that our state is affluent enough that residents can afford to purchase and maintain vehicles. On the other hand it probably also speaks to the lack of good public transportation. Not just that but the spread-out suburban nature of most North Carolina cities just makes not having a vehicle pretty impractical. Even in Charlotte with the light rail and Lynx gold line, you’d be severely limited on where you could get to without a car.

This list was compiled by Automoblog who calculated the household vehicle access, percentage of workers commuting by car, and average commute times by using data from the 2020 U.S. Census. Additionally, the statistics for time lost in rush-hour traffic Automoblog sourced from the TomTom Traffic Index. They are based on the additional time spent commuting in rush hour compared to the same routes in normal traffic.

The Why Of Car Ownership

It’s not just North Carolina though, in fact, in most cities in the U.S a car is a necessity for the majority of households. There are of course exceptions, such as New York City. In fact in the Big Apple, according to this study, only 70% of households have access to a vehicle. I’m actually surprised that it is that high, I can’t imagine navigating driving around Manhattan. In contrast, though, the top 10 featured on this list all have over a 94.7% car ownership rate. Does it surprise you that two North Carolina cities have the highest car ownership rates? Texas has three but no other state has more than one.

Would you be willing to use public transportation if it could get you where you need to go quickly? Safety is by far my biggest concern, even more than ease of access. With concerns over gas emissions as well as cost, and some areas requiring electric vehicles it will be interesting to see what transpires in North Carolina. Keep reading to see the top 10 cities and read the full analysis here.

  • The Top 10 Cities For Car Ownership Rates

  • 10. Salt Lake City, UT

    Winter daytime shot of Salt Lake City. Featured is the temple from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or the Mormons

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 94.7 %

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 75%

    Average Commute Time: 19.8 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 57 hours

  • 9. Houston, TX

    houston texas

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 94.8%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 86%

    Average Commute Time: 28.6 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 86 hours

  • 8. Oklahoma City, OK

    OKC

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.1%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 91%

    Average Commute Time: 21.4%

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 55 hours

  • 7. Charlotte, NC

    Charlotte Staycation

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.1%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 82%

    Average Commute Time: 25.6 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 58 hours

  • 6. Orlando, FL

    Orlando

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.2%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 85%

    Average Commute Time: 28.1 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 68 hours

  • 5. Dallas, TX

    Dallas

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.4%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 85%

    Average Commute Time: 26.9 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 67 hours

  • 4. Austin, TX

    Austin

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.6%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 78%

    Average Commute Time: 24.6 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 74 hours

  • 3. Riverside, CA

    Riverside

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.7%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 88%

    Average Commute Time: 32 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 84 hours

  • 2. Nashville, TN

    Nashville

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.8%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 84%

    Average Commute Time: 25.4 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 75 hours

  • 1. Raleigh, NC

    Raleigh

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 96.1%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 82%

    Average Commute Time: 24.4 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 51 hours