How Long Is The Average Car?

The average car is around 14.7 feet or 4500 mm. Of course, different vehicles of different makes will be of varying lengths. The average midsize sedan will be within the 14-foot range, and a smaller car like a Mini Cooper would be around 10 feet long. Car length can affect purchasing decisions. For instance, if you are making a car purchase and have a limited parking space or cargo requirements, your car’s length will matter a great deal.

The dimensions of your car are essential when it comes to things like parallel parking as well. If your vehicle is long and you live in Manhattan, you may have difficulty when it comes to parking on the street. Or if you live in an area with small streets or sharp turns, like the French Quarter in New Orleans, knowing the size of your car could be a reasonably helpful bit of information.

Regardless, each make of car fits within a general length. On average, you will find that standard cars and trucks range from 10-feet to 18-feet in length. Interestingly, car sizes have increased and decreased over the years due to consumer demand and regional concerns. For instance, if you live in a rural farm community, you are more likely to find large trucks that can run up to 18-feet than small coupes that can get as short as 10-feet.

Why A Vehicle's Length Matters

The immediate answer that comes to mind when you ask why a vehicle’s length matters are safety. A longer car typically means a bigger car (wider, taller.) It’s believed that a larger car provides more protection and that a smaller car is more dangerous. With modern technology, including developments in construction, materials, and engineering, smaller cars are typically just as safe (and in some cases safer) than larger cars.

For decades, cars in America were getting bigger. In the 1970s, most trucks were used for agricultural purposes. By 2006 more than 50% of the vehicle purchases were light trucks. Many people claimed safety as their chief concern for purchasing larger vehicles. As gas prices increased in recent years, people began to shift back to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.

So, car size matters as it regards fuel efficiency, and as we stated earlier, regional concerns affect buyer choice when it comes to car length and other dimensions. Fuel efficiency is the biggest deciding factor when it comes to overall car purchases in the U.S. today. Outside of those concerns, size has little to do with purchase decisions. It very often comes down to personal taste.

Average Car Length By Type

Based on what we have just read, it is somewhat funny that a car’s length would come into question outside of commercial interests. We mean that the length of a limousine is of particular concern to people who drive them for a living. That said, every class of car has a general length. Let’s take a look at the averages in all major car classes.

Below you will find a small list of vehicle classes and their average length. We assume you already have an idea of the various types of cars and that you know each one’s basic size. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it will give you a nice comparison chart that you can follow. Keep in mind that various circumstances affect car lengths like modifications and customizations.

Size Class (Length in Feet)

Mini Cars: 10.5

Small Car: 13.8

Mid-Sized: 14.8

Full-Sized: 15.7

Small SUV: 14.4

Large SUV: 16.7

Small Pickup: 16.3

Large Pickup: 18.4

How To Find Out How Long A Car Is

Now that we have a general understanding of car length, we should look at how you can find your car’s exact length. There are various reasons you might want this information. It could be that you are calculating gas mileage for a road trip, looking to sell your car, or planning a move and need to think about parking space or maybe even towing or shipping costs. Whatever the reason, there are a few basic ways to find out the length of your car.

The easiest way to get the exact length of your car is by using a VIN decoder. You can find them by merely entering a VIN decoder into a web browser. There are several free ones available. All you must do is enter your Vehicle Identification Number into the VIN decoder, and it will give you the results. Can’t find your VIN? It’s printed on your registration, your insurance paperwork, the driver's side dashboard of your car, and on the driver’s side doorpost.

Any online auto shop will be able to tell you the length of your car. Just enter your license plate number. The results will populate for your specific vehicle. You will be able to look up the dimensions of your car along with all kinds of other information. It is a quick and useful way to find out the length of your car.

If your car was modified with aftermarket parts, that could affect the length. In that case, you can measure your car by hand. For instance, if a different bumper was added to your vehicle, it may be longer or shorter than the VIN decoder’s results. Just use a yardstick or tape measure. Measure underneath to get the most accurate and easy reading.

In Conclusion

Every car class has a different average length. We have given you a good starting point from which to find out the length of your vehicle. If you have specific needs for the measurement, like commercial or parking measurements, you want to be as comprehensive as you can be. It might be a good idea to use all three measurement methods listed here - the VIN decoder for factory standards, the online auto shop for your car’s listings, and the manual measurements for accuracy and aftermarket modifications. If you have any other questions about car lengths, we advise consulting the professionals at your local dealership.