The number of cars on UK roads has fallen for the first time in 64 years, bucking the upward trend which has traced a year-on-year rise in the total number of vehicles since the Second World War. According to analysis by the SMMT this is the first peacetime decline since vehicle records began in 1904.
Growth in the total number of UK vehicles has slowed during recent years and now sits at 31,035,791 cars, representing a 0.7% fall compared to 2008.
“The recession is the most obvious factor impacting on the number of cars on the road,” comments SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt. “The Scrappage Incentive Scheme has also removed a large number of older and more polluting vehicles. Alongside these economic factors, tough enforcement has helped remove unlicenced vehicles from UK roads.”
In the last three years, the number of vehicles which emit less than 120g/km of CO2 has risen dramatically, by over 90%, and now accounts for 936,117 vehicles on the road.
In terms of choice, silver cars continue to be most popular amongst consumers, topping the colour charts for the second consecutive year after knocking blue off the top spot. Blue and black cars now follow closely behind in the rankings, with red falling out of favour in fourth position.
The “Motorparc database” is produced annually by SMMT and provides a detailed reporting service specifying make and model of every vehicle currently in use on UK roads.