A recent report by Forbes detailed automobile ownership statistics by state. Surprisingly, Massachusetts has one of the lowest rate of car ownership in America.
Specifically, Forbes examined the states with the lowest percentage of households that have at least one vehicle. Massachusetts finished in the bottom five at 87.9%. This equates to a ranking of 49 out of 51. Joining the Bay State in this classification were; New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and the District of Columbia.
The information provided states, “Between 2017 and 2021, personal and commercial vehicle registrations increased by 3.66%, indicating an upward trend in car ownership. Most U.S. households (91.7%) had at least one vehicle in 2021 (the latest data available), and 22.1% of households had three or more vehicles.”
What Are The Numbers Saying?
To clarify, 87.9% of households have at least one owned vehicle in Massachusetts. That is still a high percentage number. To compare, Idaho and Wyoming had the highest rate, finishing at 96.2%. In fact, Wyoming residents were also most likely to own three or more vehicles. New York and the District of Columbia were the bottom two at 71% and 64.3% respectively.
The X Factors
It is understandable that some major cities see a lower percentage of car ownership. This is due to other transportation modes, parking, and congestion. There are other indicators that factor in, however. Boston is the home city of Zipcar, the country’s leading carshare platform. In addition, other entities like Flexcar make living in urban areas more convenient (and affordable) without the hassle of owning a car. Furthermore, these metropolitan areas contain subway, bus, and bike options that allow residents to travel to every part of the city using mass transportation. In fact, the Forbes report shows that the Boston, Cambridge, and Newton regions of Massachusetts were among the five lowest metro areas for car ownership.
Lastly, the cost of car ownership has increased the past few years. “It costs $10,728 a year, or $894 a month, to own and operate a new car, according to AAA,” Forbes says. Although Massachusetts was not listed among the states with the most expensive car insurance, that cost also applies here. Forbes Advisors found that Massachusetts is the 33rd most expensive state to own a car. $2,333 is the average cost of full-coverage car insurance in the state. $386.20 is the average cost of a light repair.
Considering all of these factors paints a picture of why Massachusetts has one of the lowest rate of car ownership in America.