Road Block?

23 December 2002 #SMMT News

By the end of 2001 there were 27,790,025 cars on Britain’s roads, according to figures from SMMT’s Motor Industry of Great Britain, World Automotive Statistics. But the total ‘car parc’ isn’t rising as quickly as some predict.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan explained, ‘Over the last week there has been discussion about huge growth in the number of cars on roads. But the truth is that it is not rising that fast. In 20 years’ time, we expect about 32 million cars to be on the road, despite a new car market that averages about 2.3 million units each year. Although congestion is clearly a problem, if measures are handled sensibly in the short to medium term there needn’t be gridlock in 20 years’ time.’

Note to editors:

In 2001, 1.85 million cars were taken off British roads, equivalent to removing 6.5 per cent of the total car parc. This rose from 5.4 per cent in 1997. By 2010 the industry expects to the figure to have risen to 7.5 per cent of the parc as environmental legislation gets tougher.

A selection of other car parc statistics taken from

SMMT Motor Industry of Great Britain World Automotive Statistics 2002

  • There were just 1,807,067 cars on the road back in 1946
  • Of 27.8 million cars on the road today, 3.6 million are diesel
  • There are 5.4 million more cars on Italy’s roads than Britain’s
  • About 90 per cent or 24.9 million cars in Britain are privately owned
  • 1.8 million cars in the UK are more than 15 years old
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