For the overwhelming majority of Americans, driving is as much a part of the fabric of daily life as brushing your teeth or combing your hair. In fact, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the average American logs over 13,000 miles behind the wheel each year.

Below we provide insights on the makes and models that are most driven (and least driven) by Americans from coast to coast.

Of the top 15 vehicles from the 2015 model year, 14 were vehicles that could be best classified as trucks, large SUVs, or minivans (the lone outlier was the Chevrolet Impala). And it makes sense, as these types of vehicles are often used as both work vehicles and daily commuters.

The highest average in terms of mileage among the models we found was that of the Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD Crew Cab, which logged an average of about 18,400 miles per year. However, the most popular vehicle sold in the first five months of 2018 from this subset was the Chevrolet Tahoe, which was sold 13,548 times within our data set. Altogether, these top 15 vehicles far surpassed the national yearly average for miles driven, logging roughly 18,000 miles per year.

For vehicles at the bottom of the list, the cars fit into a few different categories:

  • Small cars: Vehicles like the Mini Cooper or Smart fortwo aren’t typically used for work or long distance commuting, as they are most often used for city driving.
  • Electric cars: Nissan LEAF unsurprisingly made this list. Given the LEAF requires a lengthy charge time between trips (roughly 75 miles), it’s not the most practical cross country cruiser.
  • Sports cars: These are cars that are clearly intended for weekend or special occasion driving. The Corvette and Porsche 911 fit nicely in this category.

Of the vehicles featured, the Chevy Corvette logged the fewest average miles driven, tallying right around 4,500 miles in a given year. The most popular choice among these lightly used vehicles was the Buick Encore, which is more so a compact SUV than it is the coupe or small sedan typically found on this list. As a group, these bottom 15 vehicles fell well below the 13,000-mile yearly average, logging a median of 7,484 miles per year.

*** Data Sources: For source data, we examined 2015 model year vehicles across 1,638,427 transactions from January 1, 2018 to May 23, 2018. A “sold” vehicle is defined as a single VIN that is no longer listed for sale in dealer or other advertising per MarketCheck data.
For major makes and models, we limited our subset of vehicles to cars only with 1,000 recorded sales in the previous five months, and isolated our analysis to 2015 model year cars. 2017/2018 model years are highly influenced by rental-fleet usage, whereas 2015 is more reflective of previous lease-turn ins and ownership.

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