The data on vehicles available were obtained from Housing Question 9 in the 2012 American Community Survey. The question was asked at occupied housing units. These data show the number of passenger cars, vans, and pickup or panel trucks of one-ton capacity or less kept at home and available for the use of household members. Vehicles rented or leased for one month or more, company vehicles, and police and government vehicles are included if kept at home and used for non-business purposes. Dismantled or immobile vehicles are excluded. Vehicles kept at home but used only for business purposes also are excluded.
The availability of vehicles provides information for numerous transportation programs. When the data is used in conjunction with place-of-work and journey-to-work data, the information can provide insight into vehicle travel and aid in forecasting future travel and its effect on transportation systems. The data also serve to aid in the development of emergency and evacuation planning, special transportation services, and forecasting future energy consumption and needs.
The 1996-1998 American Community Survey question provided a space for the respondent to enter the number of vehicles. Since 1999, the American Community Survey question provided seven pre-coded response categories ranging from "None" to "6 or more."
Data on vehicle availability in the 2012 American Community Survey can be compared to previous ACS and Census 2000 vehicle availability data.