Variety of automobiles on UK roads registers first consecutive decline in a century


Automobile possession has declined in consecutive years for the primary time in a century, in line with new motor parc knowledge revealed by the Society of Motor Producers and Merchants (SMMT).

The variety of automobiles on the highway declined by 0.2% to 35,023,652 models in 2021, in line with the analysis, however a bumper 12 months for industrial automobile (CV) gross sales noticed the general quantity of autos improve by 0.4% to 40,506,971.

CV gross sales rose by 4.3% to 4,804,833 because the variety of heavy items automobile (HGV) additionally delivered a 2.5% uplift, with 604,035 vehicles now on the roads.

Value-of-living disaster

Whereas part provide points have stymied the movement of latest autos into the franchised automotive retail sector in current months, automotive sellers may benefit from a renewed give attention to aftersales within the new buying and selling local weather.

The SMMT’s knowledge revealed that the age of the typical automotive on UK roads is now 8.7 years, up a 12 months in a decade, with just below 1 / 4 of these on the highway – round 8.4m automobiles – now greater than 13 years outdated, having been in service since 2008.

And the UK automotive parc is prone to become older within the years to return as continued provide constraints and rising prices related to the 2030 ban on the sale of latest purely inside combustion engine (ICE) autos is met by consumers battling a cost of living crisis.

What Automobile? Editorial director, Jim Holder, has already acknowledged that he expects the UK automotive parc to say no for a 3rd consecutive 12 months in 2022

“With the price of dwelling anticipated to rise considerably over the approaching 12 months, it’s not unreasonable to anticipate automotive possession falling for the third consecutive 12 months subsequent 12 months,” he mentioned.

“For an trade that’s already grappling with semiconductor shortages, this provides to the record of issues for each producers and policymakers.”

He added: “Although plug-in automobiles signify simply one-in-50 automobiles at present on the highway, the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel models means this quantity is about to extend dramatically over the approaching years.

“With that in thoughts, it’s essential each the general public charging infrastructure, and insurance policies just like the Plug-in Automobile Grant proceed to assist consumers make the change to an electrical automotive.”

SMMT knowledge confirmed that EV use had risen by 71% to 748,349 automobiles, vans, buses and vehicles in 2021, with development in all sectors.

Practically three quarters of 1,000,000 autos on the highway at present can now be plugged in, it mentioned, together with 720,053 automobiles, 26,990 vans, 993 buses and 313 vehicles.

Plug-in autos nonetheless solely account for round one-in-50 automobiles on the highway, nonetheless, with some 20.5m petrol automobiles and 13m diesels making up 58.6% and 37.1% of the automotive parc, respectively.

Within the industrial automobile sector, some 0.6% of vans are actually plug-in electrical.

EV affordability

A 3rd (33.1%) of all plug-in automobiles are registered in London and the South East, representing 3.0% and a pair of.6% of all automobiles in every space.

The outcomes echo these revealed by the Workplace for Zero Emissions Automobiles (OZEV) final week, exhibiting the number of EV owners that have benefitted from Government grants designed to assist fund the set up of house cost factors.

Against this, simply 1.5% of automobiles within the West Midlands are plug-in electrical, 1.9% in Yorkshire and Humberside, and 0.9% within the North East.

Variations in uptake is also seen throughout the UK’s 4 nations, with plug-ins making up 2.2% of automobiles in England, 1.6% in Scotland, and 0.8% in Wales and Northern Eire.

In a current AM News Show podcast Auto Dealer manufacturers director Marc Palmer asserted that “affluence is central to automotive consumers’ EV curiosity”, including: “Affluence is (the important thing). It’s not a North/South divide or city/rural, the place individuals have gotten a spot to cost the automotive and the means to afford it, that’s the place we see essentially the most curiosity.”

SMMT knowledge confirmed that 58.8% of plug-in automobiles are registered to companies reasonably than individuals, reflecting the truth that companies obtain broader, extra beneficiant incentives to make the change than these provided to non-public shoppers.

Commenting on at present’s motor parc knowledge, SMMT chief govt Mike Hawes mentioned: “Britain’s change to electrical autos continues to assemble tempo, with a report one in 5 new automotive registrations now plug-ins.

“Nevertheless, they nonetheless signify round one in 50 automobiles on the highway, so there’s vital floor to cowl if we’re to completely decarbonise highway transport at tempo.

“The primary consecutive annual fall in automobile numbers in additional than a century exhibits how considerably the pandemic has impacted the trade, main Britons to carry onto their automobiles for longer.

“With fleet renewal important to web zero, we should construct shopper confidence within the financial system and, for drivers, confidence within the charging infrastructure to get the transition into high gear.”


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