UK Vehicle Numbers Hit Record High
UK Roads Now Supporting 35 Million Vehicles
The total number of vehicles on UK roads has hit a record high, the Department for Transport has revealed. As such – based on data from the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - there were 35 million licensed vehicles as of June 30th 2013. This represented a 1.3% rise compared to the second quarter of 2012. Of these, 29.1 million were cars which, once again, was a new high. These figures were boosted by relatively strong new sales in the second part of 2013 (April to June). In fact, 670,000 vehicles were registered for the first time which represented a 10.8% rise compared to 2012. Within this, 546,000 were cars which equated to a 12.9% increase. Models such as the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Vauxhall Corsa and Vauxhall Astra were particularly popular. There have now been several consecutive rises of which the latest was the largest. Furthermore, it seems that more buyers are choosing environmentally friendly machines. As such, 1,139 ultra-low emission vehicles were registered in the second quarter of 2013 which was the first time the figure exceeded 1,000. Among these, 980 were cars or quadricycles compared to 728 in 2012. This helped the average new vehicle carbon emission figure fall from 129.7g/km in quarter one, to 128.8g/km in quarter 2. Average emissions have, in fact, fallen by 44g/km since 2003. That equates to approximately 25%.
Coach, HGV, And Motorbikes Numbers Fall
But some vehicles are now less common than in the past. As such, the number of registered buses and coaches (as of June 30th 2013) was 1.1% lower than the same period the previous year. Furthermore, the number of heavy goods vehicles fell 0.4%. This – the Department for Transport has suggested – might have been because the: “prevailing economic situation has a noticeable influence on trends in the number of licensed vehicles - especially commercial vehicles”. A slow economy, after all, ensures that there are fewer businesses delivering goods so less vehicles are required. The numbers should, therefore, recover at some point in line with the economy. Also, the number of motorbikes fell 0.3% over the year. Worryingly for those who sell such vehicles, new registrations have been falling for some time. After all, 55,000 were registered new in the second quarter of 2001 compared to 30,000 in 2013 (Q2). Perhaps the rise of other vehicles has made their use too risky for all but the most hard-core fans.