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Posts Tagged ‘number of cars’

The number of cars in Great Britain has hit yet another record high. In the year to the end of Q3 2013 there were 29,206,000 cars licensed with the DVLA, up from 29,080,000 three months earlier.

The total number of licensed vehicles also rose to a new record – 35,210,000 – according to the figures released by the DfT.

Alongside this data the government also gave its provisional estimate for the total traffic seen on the roads in Britain in 2013. At 306.4 billion miles this was up from the 302.6 billion seen in 2012, but still short of the all time peak of 314.1 billion miles seen in pre-recession 2007.

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So here we go again. Another set of licensing statistics from the DVLA and another record in terms of the number of vehicles: in fact there are at least two records.

For the first time ever there are 35 million vehicles – of all types – on the road, and amongst that total there are 29 million cars, another milestone.

According to the DfT’s figures:

“… a total of 1,139 new ultra-low emission vehicles was registered for the first time (in the UK), exceeding 1,000 vehicles for the first time. Of these, 980 were cars or quadricycles, up from 728 in quarter 2 2012. Average CO2 emissions from new cars fell from 129.7 g/km in quarter 1 2013 to 128.8 g/km in quarter 2 2013.”

We have speculated before on why this growth in car ownership might be taking place, but over recent years all these factors are likelyt o have played their part:

  • A rising population
  • More women in employment, hence needing their own transport to access the workplace
  • A record number of people in employment (as was confirmed just this week)
  • More people living on their own
  • The longterm change in land use which has seen the facilities we need – work, education, shops, healthcare – increasingly removed from the ‘end of the street’ to out of town locations or to larger but fewer sites.

Of course, ownership is one thing but car use is another. But research for the Foundation at the end of last year showed that prior to the recession overall mileage in all regions of the country, except London, was going up and that:

“There has been a pattern of continuing growth in non-company car use outside London for those aged 30 and over; for this group, representing around 70% of the British population, there has been no ‘peak car’ effect.”

It would seem to be a brave person who betted against the current upward trend in licensing figures continuing.

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The latest (published yesterday) DVLA figures for licensed vehicles make very interesting reading. They show that the number of vehicles on Britain’s roads has reached yet another all-time high. In fact the number of licensed vehicles has increased in every year since World War II except 1991.

The DVLA points out that the rise of the ‘female registered keeper’ has increased by more than two-thirds since 1994. This would tally with the RAC Foundation’s On the Move report published in December which highlighted the increasing number of women drivers and the growing mileage done by women, products of more females in the workplace and the trend for marrying later and having children at a later age.

It also reveals that the number of buses and coaches has fallen steadily over recent years and there are now 7% fewer than at the peak in 2008.

Another illuminating detail is the amount of used vehicles which change hands each year or in the language of the DVLA see a “transfer of keepership”. Clearly the assumption must be that the majority of these are second-hand car sales.

This is the list of summary results from the DVLA publication:

“
At the end of 2012 there were 34.5 million vehicles licensed for use on the roads in Great Britain, of which 28.7 million (83 per cent) were cars.

“Between 2011 and 2012 the total vehicle stock increased by 0.9 per cent. Since the recession of 2008-09 the annual growth in licensed vehicles has slowed but not stopped, increasing by an average of 0.5 per cent per year since 2008, compared with an average of 2.4 per cent a year between 1996 and 2007.

“2.47 million vehicles were registered for the first time in Great Britain in 2012, 3.7 per cent up on the previous year.

“The number of newly registered cars powered by diesel has continued to rise, exceeding 1 million for the first time in 2012. Just over 50 per cent of new cars were diesels, 48 per cent petrol and 1.4 per cent alternatively fuelled vehicles.

“The average CO2 emissions of cars newly registered in 2012 fell to 133 grams per kilometre. This is 3.8 per cent down on 2011 and 25 per cent lower than in 2001, when emissions-based banding of Vehicle Excise Duty for cars began.

“The number of private cars with a female registered keeper has increased by 70 per cent since 1994. In 2012, about 40 per cent of privately registered cars were registered with a female keeper.

“At the end of 2012, the most common car in Great Britain remained the Ford Focus (1.4 million), followed by the Ford Fiesta (1.3 million). The Ford Fiesta had most new registrations, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Focus.”

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The latest vehicle licensing stats have been released by the DVLA and as usual they make for interesting reading for both the pub quiz trivia question setter and the transport expert.

Here is some of what has been revealed:

  • At the end of 2011 there were 34.2 million vehicles licensed in Britain
  • 28.5 million of these were cars (up from 21.2 million in 1994)
  • Year on year the total number of vehicles rose by 0.3%
  • During 2011 2.38 million vehicles were registered for the first time (down 36,000 on the previous year)
  • At the end of 2011, the most common car in Great Britain was the Ford Focus (1.4 million) followed by the Ford Fiesta (1.3 million)
  • In total Ford accounts for 15% of all cars on the roads
  • The Ford Fiesta was the most popular new car registered during 2011
  • The proportion of new diesel cars registered has risen above 50% for the first time
  • Average emissions from all cars registered from 2001 onwards stands at 163gCO2/km down 1.5% on 2010
  • The average new car emission rate was 138 gCO2/km
  • Since 2001 average new car emissions have fallen by 21%

Most worryingly for the Treasury is the marked percentage increase in registrations of greener cars. In 2011 65% of cars fell into VED bands A to E (up to 140 gCO2/km). This is up from 55% in 2010, thus threatening the flow of money into the Exchequer’s coffers. No wonder the Chancellor made this announcement in the Budget:

“The Government will consider whether to reform VED over the medium term, to ensure that all motorists continue to make a fair contribution to the sustainability of the public finances, and to reflect continuing improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency.”

Mr Osborne also said he would be looking to introduce a monthly direct debit payment option for VED – clearly he is looking at ways to spread the pain which will inevitably follow.

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