ANN ARBOR – While the rate of ownership of cars and light trucks has steadily declined since its peak a decade ago, it is starting to climb, says a University of Michigan researcher.
In his ninth report in a series examining recent changes in various aspects of motorization in the U.S., Michael Sivak of the U-M Transportation Research Institute found that vehicle-ownership rates per person and per household are up, on average, 1.4 percent since 2012-2013.
However, both rates are down, on average, 4.4 percent from their peak in 2006.
“Whether the recent increase in vehicle ownership represents the beginning of a new long-term trend, it is too early to tell,” said Sivak, a research professor at UMTRI.
Sivak said the vehicle ownership rate per person for 2015 is about the same as it was in 2000, while the rate per household for 2015 is about the same as it was in 1993.
In addition, the report looked at distance-driven rates per person and per household, both of which peaked in 2004. While the two rates for 2015 are down, on average, 7.8 percent from their peak, both have risen, on average, 2.1 percent since 2013.
The rate per person for 2015 is about the same as it was in 1997, while the rate per household for 2015 is about the same as it was in 1994.
Sivak’s report used data from 1984 to 2015 from the Federal Highway Administration, ProQuest and the U.S. Census Bureau.