How many cars are there in the world? & which country has most cars?


Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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Ever wondered how many cars currently exist in the world? Wonder no more. See Naijauto's expert guide right here with our list of the countries with most cars and the total number of cars on earth!


It is obvious that the automobile is one of the most widely used means of transportation in the world, and with its numbers on a daily rise, it's not too difficult envisioning a future where almost the entirety of the earth's population makes use of a vehicle or more per head.

With this in mind, the question "How many cars are there in the world?" is sure to be asked frequently. Read on to find out!


Cars are a vital resource for business and leisure

Cars are affordable these days 

As time goes by, more and more people will be able to afford automobiles due to the quickly expanding economies of threshold countries like China or India and the resultant improvement of the standard of living for the local human population.

And because of the huge populations of these countries, it simply means the level of growth will presumably escalate even much more significantly.  In Nigeria, more people can increasingly afford a car. The catch is that Nigerians prefer cars that are perfect for Nigerian roads.

How many cars in the world?

For the first time, in the middle of the year 2010, there was an estimate of more than 1 billion registered motor vehicles on the roads worldwide. With more than 100 million cars produced yearly, this quantity has done nothing but considerably increasing with time. 

Currently, statistics show that there is a general estimation of about 1.42 billion operational cars worldwide, including 1.06 billion passenger cars and 363 million commercial vehicles. Of course, not all these cars on the market will be sold or used.

The automotive world power that is the 'USA'

The American Automotive Policy Council attested to the fact that the local automotive industry is the largest sector with regards to manufacturing in the United States.

A report from the organization dated 2018 shows that the automakers in the country have made export transactions worth over $692 billion in vehicles and parts over the past five years. 

America's automotive industry provides employment for millions of its citizens. Brands like FCA US, Ford, and General Motors, which are the top three auto brands that drive the US automotive industry, employ about two-thirds of all autoworkers.


The USA is one of the countries with the highest per capita vehicles numbers

>>> Read also - 8 Nigerian Celebrities that love cars so much more than just money

BRICS Countries

Accounting for the largest share of the growth in the car market due to their developing economies are the following countries which form the BRICS: (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). But featuring predominantly even among the BRICS countries is China, the world's second-largest economy, the fastest-growing economy, and the largest car market. 

Forging ahead, we shall dissect and also try to get an insight into the economic leaps with regards to the developmental growth of the automotive businesses pertaining to these countries under BRICS. 

1. B- Brazil

With an estimated 39 million units of passenger cars in 2020 alone, Brazil is home to one of the major automobile markets worldwide.

Not only that but it is also one of the largest emerging economies in the world.

With a population of 210 million, it is not a surprise that Brazil is the 6th largest car market in the world based on new car registrations. To buttress this, there is currently a huge number of people ready and capable of adopting the use of automobiles with its expanding economic growth. 

2. R- Russia

The automobile production sector is a momentous industry in Russia with a direct employment range of 500,000 - 700,000 people, constituting 1% of the country's total workforce.

An estimation of 1,767,674 vehicles was produced in Russia in 2018, ranking 13th among car-producing nations in 2018 and accounting for 1.8% of the worldwide production.

Its leading heavy vehicle producer is the brand KamAZ, while the main local brands are light vehicle producers such as AvtoVAZ and GAZ. 

3. I- India

India is a rapidly developing country and is expected to be the world's third-largest automotive market in terms of volume by 2026.

The industry currently manufactures 26 million vehicle units, of which 4.7 million are exported.

India is currently one of the top dealers in heavy vehicles internationally. It is also the largest tractor producer, second largest bus producer, and also the third-largest heavy trucks manufacturer worldwide.  

Over a short period of time, the total exports of automobiles in India recorded a growth of 2.95%. This was achieved in the months of March to April when the overall Passenger Vehicles exports also marginally increased by 0.17% and Two-wheelers exports registered a growth of 7.30% within the year 2020. 

4. C- China

China's automotive industry has been, for a while, the largest in the world since 2008 with regards to automobile unit production measurements.

The annual automobile production in China has far exceeded that of the European Union or even the United States and Japan combined since 2009.

It also became the world's largest new car market in 2009 as well as having the largest number of car vehicles in the world with 360 million motor vehicles in 2019 including 270 million cars. 

A total fleet of 80 million cars and commercial vehicles were manufactured in 2011, led by China, with 18.4 million motor vehicles also produced.

While most of the cars manufactured in China are sold within China, a large amount of these automobiles is exported worldwide too. In fact, exports reached up to 814,300 units in 2011. Its top local manufacturers are Dongfeng, SAIC Motor, Chang'an, and FAW. 


China is growing fast in car ownership and production

5. S- South Africa

The current titleholder of automobile superpowers in Africa is South Africa which produces more than half a million vehicles annually of all types. Manufactured cars licensed by foreign brands are the norm and are more common in South Africa, although locally made trucks and military vehicles are also in existence. 

The automotive industry is the largest manufacturing sector in South Africa’s economy so it's no surprise that vehicle and component production accounted for 33% of South Africa's production output in 2016, while the contribution of the broader automotive industry that was converted to GDP was 7.4%; This spanned out to 4.7% for manufacturing and 2.7% for retail.

However, even though the new vehicle market generated approximately 233 billion Rands in 2016, new vehicle sales registered a decrease for the third successive year. This was blamed on the increase in rates and decreased pace in the domestic economy, coupled with above-average inflationary pressures in the new vehicle market. 

>>> You might also be interested in - 7 reasons why do Nigerian celebrities love Toyota cars so much?

Countries with the highest number of cars sold

While it is difficult to accurately decipher how many cars each country has, it is more accurate to estimate by the number of cars sold yearly. This is a report of cars sold in 2019 by factorywarrantylist.

Countries with the highest number of cars in 2019
1 China 23,754,875
2. United States 17,175,893
3. Japan 5,271,985
4. Germany 3,436,112
5. India 3,382,453
6. France 2,633,231
7. Brazil 2,567,254
8. United Kingdom 2,366,976
9. Canada 1,985,053
10. Italy 1,909,997
11. Russia 1,800,602
12. South Korea 1,545,597
13. Mexico 1,421,395
14. Spain 1,322,112
15. Australia 1,153,214
16. Indonesia 1,151,309
17. Thailand 1,039,126
18. Iran 959,322
19. Argentina 802,992
20. Turkey 620,943

So, closer home, African carmakers might not be as prolific in car production, but they are making progress by the day. Nigerian-made cars are increasing every year, with Innoson motors being the biggest local producer. The IYI is a concept Nigerian made car that is recently trending. 

Countries with the highest number of cars in Africa
1 Soth Africa 250,000
2 Morocco 110,000
3 Egypt 100,000
4 Tunisia 100,000
5 Nigeria 70,000
6 Kenya 10,000

>>> By the way, check out Top 7 most influential Nigerians in the auto industry. Number 6 will shock you!


Nigerians are a big car buying people

Top 15 Biggest Car Manufacturers in the World (1999 - 2017)


The automobile is one of the most important economic goods in the world. One of every twenty people who are gainfully employed is engaged in the motor vehicle industry in the European communities.

With respect to consumption, few goods other than food, clothing, and shelter are consumed by as many people as are automobiles. In fact, there is one passenger car in use per four members of the population in Western Europe right now, and that will only spread and increase even, per head, as we progress in technology and economic development worldwide.

So to answer, "How many cars are there in the world?" We would say that though the figures point at 1.4 billion, the jury is still out as numbers change rapidly every day. brings you with the world of car knowledge. Stay tuned with us for the latest car news, tips & advice, Reviews, and Prices.

>>> Are you looking to buy a car? Check out our Cars for sale at cheap prices!

>>> Should you be searching for a way to sell your car, then is here to help facilitate the process, check out here!

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Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Car buying & selling

Joshua, or KK as friends call him, is a Filmmaker, Writer and Director. A Christian, Joshua is a product of Nigeria’s foremost film school, the National Film Institute, Jos, where he majored in Writing/Directing. Joshua began his writing career at age 18 when an older brother gave him a four page outline of a children novel. Joshua intends to keep writing and directing. His screen name is sometimes Joshua Kalu Ephraim (Writing), and sometimes Joshua KK (directing).

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