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The Country with Lowest Car Ownership Rate in the World

In this article, we will take a look at the 30 countries with lowest car ownership rates in the world. If you are up for the challenge, you can see the 30 Countries with the lowest car rates in the world here.

Car Ownership in the US: At a Glance

On March 28, Forbes reported that 278.87 million personal and commercial vehicles were registered in the United States in 2022. Trucks remained the most popular choice with almost 170.24 million registered personal and commercial trucks in 2022 alone. On the other hand, 98.57 million cars were registered, the second most popular choice of vehicle in the United States. Almost 92% of households across the nation owned one vehicle. Idaho and Wyoming had an ownership rate of 96.2% each, the highest recorded percentage in the US. 64% of households in the District of Columbia had at least one vehicle, the lowest percentage recorded in the United States in 2022.

On January 22, CNBC reported that China exported 5 million vehicles in 2023 becoming the country with the highest car exports in the world. Primary supply comes from state-owned companies like SAIC and Dongfeng. The United States, on the other hand, is the fourth largest exporter of cars. Leaders in the auto industry are wary of Chinese automakers, especially due to their profitable and rapid introduction of new models. BYD Auto, a leading automotive company in China, toppled Tesla's position to become the largest seller of electric vehicles (EVs) in 2023. The company received almost $4.3 billion from the Chinese government between 2015 and 2020. Due to this, its EVs are priced considerably low, for instance, the BYD Seagull starts at almost $11,400.


The US continues to impose tariffs on Chinese imports to curb competition from Chinese automakers. On May 14, Reuters reported that Biden announced quadrupling EV duties to over 100% from 25% and increasing duties on semiconductors to 50%. These new policies will impact imported Chinese goods worth $18 billion including aluminum, semiconductors, electric vehicles, minerals, solar cells, and cranes. In 2023, the United States imported commodities worth $427 billion from China and only exported $148 billion worth of goods to the country. You can also take a look at the best electric cars of 2024.

How Are Automakers in the US Combating Competition from China

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) are among the leading automotive companies in the United States. You can also take a look at the best fuel-efficient cars under $30k.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is a multinational automobile maker headquartered in Michigan, United States. The company sells SUVs, trucks, vans, electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and cars with a strong emphasis on expanding its EV line. On April 4, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) announced that by 2030, the company expects to launch hybrid powertrains across its Ford Blue lineup in North America. The company also aims to transform its Oakville Assembly Plant, from a gas vehicle assembly to an EV manufacturing unit. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) intends to launch three-row electric vehicles at the assembly by 2027. To back its position in the EV market, in the first quarter of 2024, the company witnessed an 86% rise in electric vehicle sales. Hybrid sales, on the other hand, grew by 42% compared to 12 months ago.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) is another prominent automotive player in the United States and a major exporter to China, delivering 441,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2024 and 2.1 million vehicles in 2023. The company owns some of the leading automotive brands including Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, OnStar, and ACDelco. Its electric vehicle segment is constantly expanding. The company's new Chevy Silverado EV RST is fully electric with an estimated range of 400 miles, higher than most of its competitors, and accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under 4.5 seconds. General Motors Company's (NYSE:GM) Silverado EV 4WT, an extension of the RST, offers an estimated 450 miles of range and a maximum towing capability of 10,000 lbs.

Now that we have studied the car ownership industry in the US, let's discuss the 30 countries with the lowest car ownership rates in the world. You can also read our piece on the cheap cars that will make you look rich.

An auto warehouse filled with newly acquired used cars.

Our Methodology

In order to compile a list of the countries with the lowest car ownership rates in the world, we sourced our data from the Insider Monkey Global Vehicle Motorization Index. We commenced our research by consulting The International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) to acquire 2015 data for the total number of vehicles in 140 countries. We then acquired the 2015 country-wise population from the World Bank to tabulate the cars per capita and GDP per capita from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to assess the correlation between GDP per capita and cars per capita for each country. We used the relationship to estimate the number of cars in 2015 for all the missing countries. We then acquired the 2020 data for total registered cars from OICA for 62 countries and calculated a global average growth rate from 2015 to 2020. Assuming constant growth rates from 2015 to 2024, we calculated the expected number of cars in 2024. To view our index methodology which highlights all our sources and calculations, you can take a look at the Insider Monkey Global Vehicle Motorization Index.

The country with the lowest car ownership rate is Ethiopia.

1. Ethiopia

Cars per Capita (2024): 0.0018

Cars per 1,000 People (2024): 2

Total Number of Registered Cars (2024): 227,582

Ethiopia ranks first on our list of the countries with the lowest car ownership rate. It has only 2 cars per 1,000 inhabitants and over 227,000 total registered cars.

You can see the rest of the rankings here.

You can also check out the list of the 25 Countries that own the most cars per capita here.

If you are looking for an AI stock that is as promising as Microsoft but that trades at less than 5 times its earnings, check out our report about the cheapest AI stock. READ NEXT: Michael Burry Is Selling These Stocks and A New Dawn Is Coming to US Stocks.

Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.