It seems that Portugal has more cars per capita than any other country but I doubt they have more cars in total than America. America has a bigger population and has more cars in total that are out on the road at any given time. Americans are also the biggest gas guzzlers in the world with cars such as gas guzzling SUVs being very popular in America.
United States is 19th by car ownership per person in the world, following other industrialized countries (Luxembourg is highest, followed by Iceland and New Zealand). Owning the cars of course doesn’t necessarily mean using them heavily. US doesn’t have the highest consumption of oil per capita either (which would be a good measure of gasoline consumption) – it is behind or at about same level as Canada, many Arabian peninsula nations, Benelux countries, and Singapore. I wasn’t able to find anything like total miles driven, which I think would be the best indicator. But based on the rankings I listed above, I’d say on a per capita basis US is one of the top nations but not #1 by car use. Of course, if you count the total over the whole population, we’ll probably take the top spot due to population: ours is exceeded only by those of India and China, neither of which rank high by car or oil use.
Sources include: The Economist Pocket World in Figures 2010
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