Home > Auto Loans > The Most Car-Hungry States in America

Comments 0 Comments
Advertiser Disclosure


People in Wyoming really like cars. Or trucks. Or whatever it is they’re getting when they take out auto loans.

Because even though Wyoming is the least populated state (including the District of Columbia), its residents take out the most auto loans in the country, proportionate to its population. In the third quarter, consumers took out 20,547 auto loans, or 0.03526 loans per person, according to the Experian-Oliver Wyman Market Intelligence reports and population estimates from the Census Bureau. Year after year, Wyoming is consistently No. 1 on this list.

There’s no strong geographic or population trend among the kinds of states that make up the most car-hungry states. Looking at the last three years of data, many of the same states show up in the top 10, though Michigan is a new addition, when compared to third-quarter data from 2013 and 2012.

The Most Car-Hungry States in America

To come up with this list, we looked at the number of auto loans originated by state (and D.C.) in the third quarters of 2014, 2013 and 2012 and divided that number by the most recent population estimate that would have been available that quarter. (So 2014 loan numbers are divided by the 2013 U.S. census bureau population estimate, and so on.) Here’s how the most car-hungry states rank.

10. Texas (#9 in Q3 2013)
Auto loans originated in Q3 2014: 767,876
2013 population estimate: 26,448,193
Loans per person: 0.02903

9. Michigan (#13 in 2013)
Auto loans originated in Q3 2014: 293,891
2013 population estimate: 9,895,622
Loans per person: 0.02970

8. Iowa (#11 in 2013)
Auto loans originated in Q3 2014: 91,934
2013 population estimate: 3,090,416
Loans per person: 0.02975

7. South Dakota (#8 in 2013)
Auto loans originated in Q3 2014: 25,677
2013 population estimate: 844,877
Loans per person: 0.03039

6. Utah (#5 in 2013)
Auto loans originated in Q3 2014: 91,568
2013 population estimate: 2,900,872
Loans per person: 0.03157

5. North Dakota (#4 in 2013)
Auto loans originated in Q3 2014: 23,076
2013 population estimate: 723,393
Loans per person: 0.03190

4. Maine (#6 in 2013)
Auto loans originated in Q3 2014: 43,614
2013 population estimate: 1,328,302
Loans per person: 0.03283

3. New Hampshire (#2 in 2013)
Auto loans originated in Q3 2014: 44,676
2013 population estimate: 1,323,459
Loans per person: 0.03376

2. Vermont (#3 in 2013)
Auto loans originated in Q3 2014: 21,780
2013 population estimate: 626,630
Loans per person: 0.03476

1. Wyoming (#1 in 2013)
Auto loans originated in Q3 2014: 20,547
2013 population estimate: 582,658
Loans per person: 0.03526

Nebraska and Oklahoma dropped out of the top 10 this year after holding spots 10 and 7 in 2013, respectively. On average, there were 0.02539 auto loans originated per person in the U.S. last quarter, the fewest of which were opened in the District of Columbia (its 8,316 new loans equaled 0.01286 loans per resident).

There are many things to consider before you decide to take out a car loan, like whether you should get a new car or used car, how much you can afford to make in monthly payments, how much money you can put down on the loan and the interest rate you will qualify for. Many things impact interest rates, but your credit score has significant influence on the rate you get and, ultimately, how much you pay for the vehicle. Before you go car shopping, make sure you have an idea of where you stand. You can check two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com, with updates every 30 days to see how your credit behavior affects your score.

More on Auto Loans:

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team