The UK’s largest automotive analysis reveals that more than 35 million cars and five million commercial vehicles were in use in the UK in 2019, representing a 1.0% increase on the previous year.
Light commercial vehicles saw the biggest percentage growth, rising 2.7% on the previous year to 4,527,724 units, surging by 28% in the last decade. Passenger cars, meanwhile, increased 0.8% to 35,168,259 over the same period, as the number of heavy goods vehicles grew by 0.4% to 607,998 – the largest number delivering for Britain since 1990.
Many of these vehicles are helping to provide transport for essential workers, deliveries and emergency services. Some 25,000 ambulance and fire service vehicles, together with more than 20,000 supermarket delivery trucks and lorries3 are keeping the nation safe, supermarket shelves stocked, and the flow of food, medicine and care to vulnerable people going during the coronavirus crisis. Equally crucial to keeping the cogs turning are the garages that have kept their doors open to ensure these vehicles remain safe and operational during this time of need.
The data also reveals that the UK’s 40 million-strong fleet now includes more than three quarters of a million low, ultra-low and zero emission cars. The number of these cars grew by 26% last year, with 11,832 hybrids, 144,335 plug-in hybrids and 92,913 battery electric vehicles now in use, although this segment still makes up just 2.2% of the overall car parc. Meanwhile the number of diesel cars in use fell marginally by -0.9% to 13,723,299, accounting for 39% of the parc, while petrol cars grew by 1.2% to 20,657,838.
With more drivers opting for the latest low emission vehicle technology, average CO2 emissions continue to fall across the parc – down -19.2% since 2008 to the lowest on record.4 Manufacturer investment in new technologies, from Euro 6 petrols and diesels, to plug-ins and hybrids, mean drivers and operators can now take advantage of a diverse range of efficient models and specifications that best suit their needs.