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The ultimate guide of UK driving statistics

Are you searching for data about the driving landscape in the UK? Do you want to know how many car trips happen in the country or how much time drivers spend in their cars in general? How about the most common new registered or used cars and their colours? The ratio of alternative fuel cars on the road or the demographics of UK residents holding a driving licence?

Interested in what people in Great Britain think about drink driving or using a phone while driving or perhaps what they consider the worst parking sin in the world? And how about how much parking costs in London or the average parking space size in the UK? The number of potholes filled, the amount of vehicle crimes, the ratio of manual versus automatic cars, projected per cent of miles to be travelled by zero-emission vehicles… We have all the data.

Buckle up and start (learning about) driving!

Travelling by and driving a car

Learn how many car trips UK residents make, how many of them hold a driving licence, how many hours they spend in their cars and how many miles they drive.

  • 26 percent of British drivers have been making one or two short car trips per week in the last 10 years, while 29 percent claimed it to be three-nine short trips, 11 percent to be 10 or even more (Department for Transport, 2018)
  • In 2018, English residents made 580 trips on average by car, travelled 5,009 miles and spent an average of 22 minutes per car driving trip (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • The most common purpose of car trips by English residents in 2018 was leisure (30 percent), followed by shopping (20 percent), commuting (15 percent), other escort (12 percent) and personal business (10 percent), in the top five (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • The number of trips undertaken by car drivers of England reduced by 13 percent between 2002 and 2019 (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • The average length of a car trip, taken by residents of England in Great Britain, is unchanged between 2002 and 2019, at 8.4 miles per trip (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • On average, English residents spent just over an hour a day travelling in 2019, including 35 minutes by car, as a driver or passenger (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • 356.5 billion vehicle miles (bvm) were driven on Great Britain’s roads in 2019, an increase of 2 percent compared to the previous year (Department of Transport, 2020)
  • The newest cars in Great Britain do an average of 10,377 miles in each of the first three years after they are registered, an equivalent of 28 miles per day (RAC Foundation, 2020)
  • New diesel cars cover an average of 12,496 miles in each of their first three years, 67 percent more than new petrol cars which do an average of 7,490 miles per year, and pure battery electric cars are driven an average of 9,435 miles per year (RAC Foundation, 2020)
  • 34 percent of households in urban conurbations and 45 percent in London did not have a car in 2018, compared to 21 percent in urban cities and towns, 14 percent in rural towns and 7 percent in the most rural areas, while half of households living the most rural areas have more than one car or van (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • Privately-kept cars in the UK accounted for 89 percent of all cars at the end of 2019 (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • In 2019, 75 percent of English residents aged 17 and over held a driving licence (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Between 2002 and 2019 the number of licence holders in England increased by over two and half times, to 32.7 million individuals (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • In March 2020, the number of driving licences registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the whole of Great Britain was 49,575,788, out of which 41,178,424 were Full Driving Entitlement Licenses and 8,397,364 were Provisional Entitlement Licenses (Department for Transport, 2020)

Driving demographics

Learn about the households in Great Britain owning a car, which part of the UK has the highest number of cars and vans per head of population, how many men and women have driving licences and how old is the oldest citizen with a driving licence.

  • In 2018, cars accounted for more than half of trips for all age groups except 17-20 year olds among English residents (as driver or passenger) (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • Both male and female English residents made around 60 percent of their trips by car in 2018 but men drove more than women (43 percent compared to 37 percent), a difference that increased for older age groups (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • In 2017-18, English residents living in the most rural areas relied more on car, which accounted for 76 percent of all their trips, while for residents of urban conurbations (including London residents) this was 52 percent (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • 76 percent of households in England owned at least one car in 2019, an increase of 2 percentage points since 2012 (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • 55 percent of English households in the bottom 20 percent of household income during 2019 owned at least one car, compared to the 86 percent of households in the top 20 percent of household income (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • In 1985-86, there were 8 cars for every 10 households in Great Britain, while in 2018 there were 12 cars for every 10 households in England (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • Between 2009 and 2019, the number of female registered keepers of licensed cars had increased by 17 percent, compared with an increase of only 9% in male keepers (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Women in 2019 accounted for 35 percent of registered car keepers with men accounting for 50 percent in the UK (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • For privately-kept vehicles where the keeper’s gender is recorded, 59 percent were male and 41 percent were female at the end of 2019 in the UK (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Of the English residents holding a driving licence in 2019, around 80 percent were men, a figure mostly unchanged since 2012, and around 71 percent was women (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • 18 million men and 16 million women were estimated to hold a driving licence in 2018 (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • For women holding a driving licence in England, there was an increase from 29 percent to 70 percent between 1975-76 to 2018 (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • For people aged 70 and over with a driving licence, the number rose from 15 percent to 67 between 1975-76 and 2018 (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • In March 2020, there were 620,658 people under 20 holding a driving licence in Great Britain; 5,160,510 of the driving licence holders were in their 20s, 7,130,173 in their 30s, 7,548,225 in their 40s, 8,489,509 in their 50s, 6,657,834 in the 60s and 5,571,515 were 70 or above (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • There were 121,626 citizens aged 90 or above in Great Britain holding a driving licence in March 2020, with 396 citizens aged 100 or above (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • The oldest citizen holding a valid driving licence in Great Britain was 109 years old in March 2020, being the only one at this age (Department for Transport, 2020)

Car data by type: owned, sold, new, used, by fuel type

Learn about the number of cars changing hands in the UK, from newly registered to sold, about how many petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric cars are on the road and how the demand for certain car types change over time and region in Great Britain.

  • In 2018, the cost of purchasing a motor vehicle was 9 percent less than in 1998 (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • Households in England in 2018, spent around £27 a week on average purchasing cars and vans (both new and secondhand, either outright or by loan/hire purchase), accounting for about 5 percent of total household expenditure (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • 63 percent of cars of English residents were petrol, about 35 percent were diesel in 2018, and around 1.5 percent were another fuel type, such as plug-in hybrid or electric (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • At the end of March 2020, there were 38.3 million licensed vehicles in Great Britain, a decrease of 0.2 percent compared to the end of March 2019, also being the first annual decline in the number of licensed vehicles since 1991 (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Cars made up the majority of licensed vehicles in Great Britain at the end of March 2020, with 31.7 million cars (82.6 percent) (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • 599,000 vehicles were registered for the first time in Great Britain during 2020 Q1; 30.1 percent fewer than during 2019 Q1 (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • The number of diesel cars registered for the first time in Great Britain during 2020 Q1 declined by 45 percent compared to 2019 Q1, with petrol cars declining by 34 percent, while there was a 65 percent increase in the number of alternative fuel cars registered over the same time period (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • During 2020 Q1, 33,696 ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) were registered for the first time in Great Britain, an increase of 113 percent on 2019 Q1, and ULEVs made up 5.6 percent of all new registrations (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • In 2020 Q1, out of all new alternative fuel car registrations, there were 38,000 hybrid electric (HEVs), 18,000 battery electric (BEVs), 14,000 plug-in hybrid electric (PHEVs), and less than 100 using other alternative fuel types (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • The number of battery electric cars registered for the first time in 2020 Q1 more than tripled (+203 percent) compared to 2019 Q1 (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • The number of hybrid electric cars registered for the first time increased by 37 percent in 2020 Q1 compared to 2019 Q1, with the number of plug-in hybrid electric cars increasing by 62 percent (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • In 2020 Q1, 34,115 ULEVs were registered for the first time in the United Kingdom, an increase of 113 percent on 2019 Q1 and 121 percent on 2018 Q1, accounting for 5.6 percent of all new vehicle registrations, up from 1.8 percent in 2019 Q1 (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • The UK’s used car market remained solid 2019, down just 0.1 percent, with 7.9 million transactions (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2020)
  • Sales of petrol and diesel cars had a 41.7 percent market share in the used cars segment, while zero emission, battery electric vehicles surged to 21.8 percent accounting for only 0.2 percent of the market, and alternatively fuelled vehicles (hybrid, plug-in and batter electric) accounting for 1,7 percent of all sales in 2019 (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2020)
  • Most used car transaction took part in the South East region of the UK in 2019, with 1,169,130 transactions, followed by the North West (844,059 transactions) and the West Midlands (791,112 transactions), and with London at the 7th place (675,459 transactions) (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2020)
  • The UK’s used car market declined by -8.3 percent in the first quarter of 2020, with a growth in January (up 2.9 percent) and February (4 percent) but then followed by a -30.7 percent fall in March, making it the lowest March on record, as coronavirus measures affected the market (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2020)
  • The UK used car sales halved to 1 million in the second quarter of 2020, accounting for a -48.9 percent fall (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2020)
  • Demand for pre-owned, used battery electric vehicles in the UK grew by 44.8 percent in the first but declined again in the second quarter of 2020, falling by -29.7 percent, with the sales of plug-in hybrids also dropping -56.3 percent, and the continuing decrease of petrol and diesel cars (by -49.2 percent to -48.5 percent) still presenting the majority of sales with 98.3 percent in Q2, equivalent to 1,021,963 units changing hands (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2020)
  • The top 3 regions of used car market hasn’t changed in 2020, with South East being first (151,583 transactions), North West second (111,809 transactions), West Midlands third (107,077 transactions), but London climbed up to being the fourth on the list with 103,155 transactions (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2020)
  • 42 percent of EV (electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles) users in London in 2015 were the sole user of the EV in their household, with 36 percent being the main user while letting others use it as well, 17 percent being joint users and 5 percent being occasional users with someone else being the main user (Transport for London, 2015)
  • EVs were mostly used for pleasure in London in 2015, with most people visiting friends and relatives (61 percent), doing shopping trips (59 percent) and using the EV for social or recreational purposes (55 percent), however commuting came in the fourth place at 51 percent (Transport for London, 2015)
  • Most EV users in London travelled more than 20 miles on weekdays (34 percent) or at weekends in 2015 (43 percent) (Transport for London, 2015)
  • Elderly people (60+) living in London, after participating in test drives in 2016, were likely to consider buying EV as their next car (34 percent) and information shared with them about the benefits of EVs raised that number to 47 percent (Transport for London. 2016)
  • Men were more likely to consider buying an electric car or van in the UK in 2016 but deciding not to than women (23 and 10 percent), albeit women were also more likely to report not driving or needing a car then men (18 percent and 11 percent), and so they were more likely to report not thinking about buying an electric car than men either (60 percent and 51 percent) (Department for Transport, 2016)
  • In 2017, 79 percent of the British had already bought a car with lower CO2 emissions or agreed that they were willing to do so the next time when they buy a car, which is a 72 percent increase from 2011 (Department for Transport, 2018)
  • When asked about the next planned vehicle purchase in 2019, 82 percent of people responded that they would be likely to consider a vehicle with lower CO2 emissions, and 48 percent would be likely to consider an ultra-low emission vehicle, while 48 percent of respondents in England would consider purchasing an ultra-low emission vehicle and there is 45 percent who would not (Department for Transport, 2019)

On the road

Learn about the amount of traffic that takes place in British roads, the miles travelled on motorways, the proportion of foreign vehicles roaming the country, the traffic growth differences between regions and the number of potholes in the UK.

  • Since 1994, cars have accounted for around four-fifths of all motor vehicle traffic in the UK (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Car traffic in 2019 was over 20 times higher, whereas lorry traffic was around twice as high and bus traffic was similar to the 1949 level in Great Britain (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • 2 billion vehicle miles (bvm) were reported in 2019 in Great Britain, the highest annual estimate ever of car traffic, with a 2.2 percent increase since 2018 (Department of Transport, 2020)
  • Car traffic was rising from 44 percent in 1949 to 78 percent in 2019 in the UK (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Car traffic has shown the most marked increase on motorways, rising by 53 percent between 1994 and 2019 (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Distance travelled by car and taxis in the UK increased by 29.8 percent to 278.2 billion vehicle miles between 1994 and 2019 (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Van traffic has been seeing the fastest growth (in percentage terms) of any motor vehicle, more than doubling to reach a record high of 55.5 billion vehicle miles, accounting for 16 percent of all motor vehicle traffic in 2019 compared to 10 percent in 1994 (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Van traffic grew by 2 percent to 55.5 bvm from 2018 to 2019, reaching a new peak in Great Britain (Department of Transport, 2020)
  • Between 2012 and 2019, growth in car traffic outstripped population growth in the UK, indicating an increase in average car driver distance (car traffic per capita grew by 8.1 percent in this time period) (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • In 2019, 0.3 percent of all traffic on British roads was estimated to be accounted for by foreign registered vehicles, with the South East region having the highest proportion of them (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • In 2019, 62 percent of the motor vehicle miles travelled were on motorways and “A” roads, despite comprising only 13 percent of the road network by length (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • On an average day in 2019, 75 times more vehicles travelled along a typical stretch of motorway than a typical stretch of rural minor road (“B” roads, “C” roads and unclassified roads) in the UK (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • In 2019, the busiest areas in Great Britain were the South East region with traffic levels of 58 billion vehicle miles, the Hampshire authority with traffic levels of 10 billion vehicle miles and the M25 motorway section with an average daily flow of 216 thousand vehicles per day (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • 86 percent of Great Britain’s traffic was on England’s roads in 2019 (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Over the last 25 years, traffic growth has been fastest in Wales and slowest in Scotland in the UK, with 2019 figures 42 percent and 35 percent higher respectively (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • On average between 2015 and 2019 in the UK, motor vehicle flow was lowest in January on all road types, and it was the highest on motorways in August, while on urban and rural roads, flow was highest on average in June (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Road transport accounted for 25 percent of the UK’s CO2 emissions in 2018 (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • CO2 emissions from road transport fell by 3,1 percent between 2000 and 2018, despite a 20,7 percent rise in vehicle miles travelled over the same period (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Overall, around 51 percent (55 percent in 2019) of the local road network in 2019-20 was reported to be in good condition in England and Wales (with 15 or more years of life remaining), equivalent to 104,839 miles (Asphalt Industry Alliance, 2020)
  • 21 percent of roads in England (excluding London), 20 percent of roads in London and 20 percent of roads in Wales were reported as being in poor structural condition (with less than 5 years’ life remaining) in 2019-20 (Asphalt Industry Alliance, 2020)
  • Around 1.5 million potholes were filled in 2019-20 (until at the time of reporting), the equivalent of one pothole being repaired every 21 seconds in England (including London) and Wales (Asphalt Industry Alliance, 2020)
  • The total cost of filling in potholes in England and Wales was estimated at £86.4 million in 2019-20 (until at the time of reporting), down from the £97.8 million reported in the previous year (Asphalt Industry Alliance, 2020)
  • The total paid in road user compensation claims – 69 percent of which relate specifically to potholes – in England (excluding London) and Wales was £8.1 million, and with a further £14.7 million spent on staff costs, the overall total spent addressing claims was £22.8 million in 2019-20 (until at the time of reporting) (Asphalt Industry Alliance, 2020)
  • 44 percent of people age 18+ in England believed in 2019 that congestion on motorways is a serious problem, compared to 68 percent who believe that congestion in towns and cities is a serious problem (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • In 2019, 72 percent expressed concern about damage to the countryside in the UK as a result of road building (Department for Transport, 2020)

Safety

Learn about the road accidents in the UK, the country’s opinion on drinking limits for driving or using a phone in the driver seat, the number of vehicle crimes, and when and how they occur in the different regions of Great Britain.

  • In 2018, there were 10,115 people killed or seriously injured in a road accident involving a car (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Per mile travelled in Great Britain, the risk of being killed or seriously injured in a road accident has fallen almost every year from a peak of 165 deaths per billion vehicle miles (bvm) in 1949 to 4.9 deaths per bvm in 2018 (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Belief in Great Britain that “If someone has drunk any alcohol they should not drive” has remained consistently high for the last decade, at about four fifths of adults (85 percent in 2017), however about three quarters of adults believe that “Most people don’t know how much alcohol they can drink before being over the legal drink drive limit”, and whilst those who agree rose to a peak of 81 percent in 2015, this share fell to 71 percent in 2017 (Department for Transport, 2018)
  • In 2019, 59 percent of people from England said they know their drinking limit and 15 percent thought that other people know the same (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • 81 percent of people in England believed in 2019 that someone shouldn’t drive if they have drunk any alcohol (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • In 2017, 90 percent of adults in Great Britain disagreed that it is safe to drive while using a hand-held mobile phone, a percentage that has remained consistent for a decade, but when the statement specifically included the danger of hands-free phones, the percentage agreeing fell considerably, to 53 percent — when the statement was about banning all use of mobiles while driving, including hands-free, the percentage agreeing fell further, to 41 percent (Department for Transport, 2018)
  • 91 percent of adults in Great Britain agreed in 2017 that “People should drive within the speed limit” (Department for Transport, 2018)
  • The belief in the efficacy of speed cameras has been increasing steadily in Great Britain since 2007, with 60 percent agreeing in 2017 that they save lives (Department for Transport, 2018)
  • In 2019, 59 percent of people in England agreed that speed cameras help to save lives (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • 40 percent of English residents said in 2019 that it is safe to exceed the speed limit slightly, compared to the 39 percent who feel it is unsafe (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • 82 percent of people in England believed in 2019 that it is not safe to speed even slightly in residential streets, with 8 percent of people thinking this is safe (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • In 2019, 4 percent of respondents from England felt it is safe to use an application on a mobile whilst driving, 6 percent felt it is safe to talk on a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving and less than 0,5 percent feel it is safe to send a text message whilst driving (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • In 2019, 62 percent of English residents surveyed felt that the use of mobile phones whilst driving, even using hands-free kits, is dangerous, and 75 percent of them felt that the law on mobile phone use whilst driving is not being properly enforced (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • There were 375,001 vehicle crimes in 2019 across the UK (Click4reg & Data.police.uk, 2019)
  • The areas of the UK with the highest vehicle crime statistics in 2019 were in the area of the Metropolitan Police (98,177 crimes committed, 25 percent out of the total), West Midlands Police (27,265 committed, 7 percent of total), West Yorkshire Police (18,422 committed, 5 percent of total), Greater Manchester Police (15,600 committed, 4 percent of total) and Thames Valley Police (15,367 committed, 4 percent of total) (Click4reg & Data.police.uk, 2019)
  • West Midlands Police (93 percent), Cambridgeshire Constabulary (89 percent), Merseyside Police (88 percent), South Yorkshire Police (88 percent) and Sussex Police (88 percent) are the constabularies where they struggle to solve vehicle crimes the most (Click4reg & Data.police.uk, 2019)
  • The areas of the UK with the highest vehicle crime solve rate are Lancashire Constabulary (1 percent), Avon and Somerset Constabulary (3 percent), Lincolnshire Police (3 percent), Metropolitan Police (3 percent), Gwent Police (55 percent) (Click4reg & Data.police.uk, 2019)
  • Out of the 375,001 vehicle crimes in 2019 across the UK, in 217,237 cases no suspects were identified, which is 58 percent of all vehicle crimes, while 19 percent (70,174 cases) are still under investigation and in 0.2 percent of the cases the offender was given community sentence, caution or sent to prison (Click4reg & Data.police.uk, 2019)
  • In 2019, most vehicle crimes took place in January in the UK (41, 029 cases), followed by March (40,700 cases), October (38,657 cases), May (38,520 cases) and April (38,009 cases) (Click4reg & Data.police.uk, 2019)
  • Over 150,000 vehicles were stolen in Great Britain in the year 2018-19, 10,000 more than the year before and 56 percent higher than in 2014-15 (RAC, 2020)
  • The largest increase in stolen vehicle numbers in 2019 were in the Metropolitan Police (up 9,635 to 30,773 thefts, a 46 percent increase) and West Midlands (up 5,677 to 10,372 thefts, a 121 percent increase) areas (RAC, 2020)
  • Suffolk reported a more than doubling in the number of stolen vehicles (up 172 percent from 347 to 945 thefts) and so did Surrey (up 133 percent from 661 to 1543 thefts) in 2019 (RAC, 2020)
  • Lincolnshire, the City of London and Police Scotland were the only areas of the UK that recorded a reduction in car thefts in 2019, with reductions of 28, 29 and 473 thefts respectively (RAC, 2020)
  • Between January and October 2019, more than 14,300 premium cars were stolen across the UK (Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Lotus, Maserati, Mercedes, Mini, Porsche, Tesla, TVR and Volvo), which is more than double the amount stolen over the same period in 2015 (6,600) (Direct Line, 2019)
  • 67,700 premium cars have been stolen since 2014, the equivalent of one every 38 minutes (Direct Line, 2019)
  • Owners are most likely to realise their vehicle has been stolen in the early morning (49 percent) with the crime occurring between midnight and 9am, 23 percent realise the theft between 6am and 9am, while 19 percent of crimes are reported between 6pm and midnight (Direct Line, 2019)
  • Car theft is more likely to happen on a weekday than at weekends, as 7 percent more crimes are reported from Monday to Friday (Direct Line, 2019)
  • 65 percent of all vehicles are stolen from the owner’s address, a figure that rises up to 71 percent for premium vehicles (Direct Line, 2019)
  • 31,812 abandoned cars were removed by councils in 2016 and 2017 in the UK, equivalent to one car every 30 minutes, and a 577 percent rise between 2012 and 2016 (Confused, 2018)
  • People are most likely to spot abandoned cars in rural areas in the UK, with 23 percent saying that they have come across one on the side of a B-road (Confused, 2018)
  • Councils in the South East received the highest number of reports on abandoned cars and removed a total of 6,264 vehicles, from 61,268 reports, costing them £128,078 in total, while Coventy, in the West Midlands, earned the number one place with the local council removing more vehicles here than any other in 2016 and 2017 (Confused, 2018)
  • The number one reason for abandoning a car in the UK is that it had broken down and owners or drivers were unable to afford to have it towed (30 percent) (Confused, 2018)
  • In 2017, there were 1,390,185 end-of-life vehicles (vehicles that have ended their useful service and are then processed as waste) in the UK with 94.1 percent of them reused or recovered and 86.5 reused or recycled (Eurostat, 2020)

 

Parking

Learn about the number of parking spaces in the UK, the average hours a driver spends searching for a parking spot in a year, where people park and how much it costs for them all over the country, where the UK stands on the global scale when it comes to parking prices and how much UK and London drivers pay annually in parking fines.

  • 57 percent of parking acts at the end of a trip take place away from home in the UK, an average of 39 million every day (RAC Foundation, 2012)
  • Most parking takes place during the working week in the UK with the most popular reason being for work (28 percent), while shopping, social and recreational reasons total 27 percent of weekday parking (RAC Foundation, 2012)
  • The average car spends about 80 percent of the time parked at home in Great Britain, is parked elsewhere for about 16 percent of the time, and is thus only actually in use (i.e. moving) for the remaining 3-4 percent of the time (RAC Foundation, 2012)
  • Overall, 25 percent of vehicles are parked on-street overnight in the UK, but this rises to 60 percent at the highest densities (RAC Foundation, 2012)
  • For destination parking, nearly 70 percent of all parking acts are for less than 3 hours, and nearly 90 percent are for less than 8.5 hours (RAC Foundation, 2012)
  • The highest overall demand for parking spaces is at 12pm, when the non-workplace parking demands add about 44 percent to the base demand due to workplace parking in the UK (RAC Foundation, 2012)
  • The average annual parking cost in the UK (excluding any charges for residential parking) is about £42 per vehicle, and, with an average of 1.14 cars per household, this translates to about £47 per household per year (RAC Foundation, 2012)
  • In 2009-10, 7.1 million on-street penalty charge notices (PCNs) were issued in the UK, with a further 1.8 million tickets for off-street parking (RAC Foundation, 2012)
  • In 2018, 9 percent of household vehicles were parked in a garage overnight in England, 63 percent on private property (but not garaged), 25 percent on the street and 2 percent in other places (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • People in the most rural areas of England were more likely to park their vehicles on private property than people in urban conurbations in 2019 (89 percent compared to 65 percent) (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • In the first 3 months after extending the eligibility criteria for applying for a Blue Badge (designed to help people with disabilities or health conditions park closer to their destination), 12,299 new badges, around 130 a day were granted to people who “cannot walk as part of a journey without considerable psychological distress or the risk of serious harm, as well as to people with a non-visible disability” (RAC Foundation, 2020)
  • There were 2.29 million valid Blue Badges held in England at 31 March 2019 which is 4.1 percent of the population in England (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • It is estimated that there are between 17,000 and 20,000 nonresidential car parks in Great Britain, including those run by councils, commercial parking companies, shops, hospitals, businesses, railway stations and airports, providing between 3 and 4 million spaces (RAC Foundation, 2012)
  • London is in the top 10 of most expensive cities in the world for 2-hour off-street parking at the 7th place with an average of £13.22 (New York being the most expensive at £27.30), and is the most expensive city for 2-hour off-street parking in Europe, while the second most expensive for on-street parking (£8.99), only preceded by Amsterdam (£11.42) (Parkopedia, 2019 (Figures converted from US Dollar to Pound sterling September 2020)
  • In London, off-street parking is 47 percent more expensive than on-street parking (Parkopedia, 2019)
  • Based on the average daily off-street parking prices, London takes the first place both globally and in Europe (£35.91), holding the same position for monthly off-street parking prices at an average of £527.45 (Parkopedia, 2019) (Figures converted from US Dollar to Pound sterling September 2020)
  • UK drivers spend an average of 44 hours a year searching for parking, at a cost of £733 each in wasted time, fuel and emissions, a total of £23.3 billion across the country (Intrix, 2017)
  • London drivers spend 67 hours a year searching for a parking spot, costing them £1,104 each in wasted time, fuel and emissions and the city as a whole £4.3 billion (Intrix, 2017)
  • The amount of parking fines is £39 per driver per year or £1.2 billion for all drivers in the UK, with Londoners paying the most in fines (£284m) (Intrix, 2017)
  • British drivers add an extra 45 hours a year when paying for parking to avoid penalty charge, equalling to an estimated £6.7 billion a year or £209 overpayment per driver (Intrix, 2017)
  • In 2017, UK drivers paid £1.2 billion annually in parking fines (Intrix, 2017)

Fun with cars

Learn about the UK’s favourite new and used car colours, the ratio of manual and automatic vehicles, the most popular car models, the worst parking sin according to the British and the average parking space size in Great Britain.

  • Grey was the UK’s favourite new car colour in 2019 after taking top spot for the first time in 2018, with 60.7 percent of new cars registered in grey, black or white in 2019 (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2020)
  • The least popular colours for new car registrations were maroon, cream and pink, combined taking less than 1 percent of all registrations in 2019 (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2020)
  • The average car on the road in the UK is black from the Supermini segment and 8 years old (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2019)
  • 77 percent of cars of English residents were manual and 23 percent were automatic in 2018 (Department for Transport, 2019)
  • Volkswagen became the most common make for new car registrations in Great Britain during 2020 Q1, replacing Ford after nearly a decade, accounting for 9.2 percent of registrations, followed by Ford (9 percent), BMW (7.1 percent), Mercedes-Benz (7 percent) and Audi (6.3 percent) (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Ford Fiesta remained the most common new car registration in 2020 Q1, with 16,000 registered for the first time, followed by Volkswagen Golf (15,000) and Ford Focus (14,000) (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • At the end of March 2020, the most common licensed car was Ford Fiesta, with 1.5 million cars licenced, followed by Ford Focus with 1.2 million and Vauxhall Corsa with 1.1 million (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • For the year ending March 2020, the most common generic model of ULEV registered for the first time in the UK was the Tesla Model 3 with 16,014 vehicles, followed by the BMW 3 Series with 6,823 vehicles and the Nissan Leaf with 6,485 vehicles (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • Black was the most popular colour for used cars in the UK in 2019, equivalent to 1.6 million sales, followed by silver and blue, while pink was the faster growing colour, up to 14.2 percent but covering only 5,098 sales (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2020)
  • Black, silver/aluminium and blue held the three first places for used car colours in the UK in both the first and second quarter of 2020, with bronze showing a rise in demand in Q1 2020, an increase of 1.6 percent (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2020)
  • Ford Fiesta was the most popular used car model in the UK in 2019, with 351,767 transactions, followed by Vauxhall Corsa (299,791 transactions) and Ford Focus (293,276 transactions) (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2020)
  • Ford Fiesta remained the most popular used car model in the UK in the first and second quarter of 2020 but the second place was acquired by Vauxhall Corsa in the first quarter, then by Volkswagen Golf in the second, as Ford Focus remained in the third position (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2020)
  • The top three EV makes London residents had access to in 2015 was Nissan (20 percent), BMW (15 percent) and Toyota (13 percent) (Transport for London, 2015)
  • The East Dorset District Council area of England had the highest number of cars and vans per head of population at a time in 2011, out of 348 English and Welsh local authorities: for every thousand people living in East Dorset, there were 694 cars, compared to the average of 487 cars and vans per thousand people as a whole — Hackney had the fewest at 170 (RAC Foundation, 2012)
  • On average, across all road types in Great Britain, June is the busiest month, Friday is the busiest day of the week, 4pm to 6pm are the busiest hours in the weekdays and 11am to 1pm are the busiest hours at the weekends (Department for Transport, 2020)
  • The amount spent on fuel is about £1,600 per vehicle in the UK (RAC Foundation, 2012)
  • Almost two thirds of British drivers (64 percent) said they felt stressed trying to find a parking spot, 16 percent got into an argument with another driver over parking, 38 percent missed an appointment and almost one in three (26 percent) abandoned a trip due to issues finding a space (Intrix, 2017)
  • 46 percent of people in the UK said taking up two spaces is the worst parking “sin” (Intrix, 2017)
  • The average UK parking bay size is 2.4m wide by 4.8m long (The Automobile Association, 2019)
  • There are 129 modern car models that are too long to fit in the average UK parking space, pointing to the problem that today’s parking spaces were designed and haven’t changed since the 1970s, while cars grew bigger (The Automobile Association, 2019)
  • One of the most common cars in the UK, a Ford Mondeo, with its 4,87m in lengths, overhangs the average UK parking space in 2019 by 7.1 cm, while a Mitsubishi L200 Warrior / Barbarian (5.29m in length) overhangs with 48.5cm, (The Automobile Association, 2019)
  • Britain’s widest cars will overhang a parallel parking space in 2019, even with their mirrors tucked in, such as a Volvo XC90 overhanging in a parallel space parking with 12cm or a Land Rover Discovery Sport with 27cm (The Automobile Association, 2019)

Forecast

Learn how traffic levels, the length of an average car journey, the CO2 emissions, the average fuels cost and car ownership will change by 2050.

  • Traffic levels in the UK are forecast to rise by between 17 percent and 51 percent by 2050, with vehicle miles ranging from 340 to 430 billion vehicle miles between 2015 and 2050 (Department for Transport, 2018)
  • Car traffic in the UK is forecast to grow by 11 percent to 43 percent and motorway traffic by 33 to 63 percent, from 2015 to 2015 (Department for Transport, 2018)
  • By 2050, on the Strategic Road Network in the UK, an additional one to two vehicles are forecast for every three cars currently using the roads (Department for Transport, 2018)
  • The average car journey that took 17 minutes in 2015 could increase to 20 minutes in 2050 (Department for Transport, 2018)
  • Despite a 17 percent to 50 percent increase in traffic, tailpipe CO2 emissions from road vehicles are expected to reduce by between 17 percent to 76 percent by 2050 (Department for Transport, 2018)
  • By 2050, 25 percent of miles could be travelled by ZEVs, while according to another forecast scenario, by 2040, it is assumed that 100 percent sales of cars and LGVs (large goods vehicles) will be zero emission, resulting in around 97 percent of miles to be travelled by ZEVs by 2050 (Department for Transport, 2018)
  • The average fuel costs (across petrol, diesel and electric) could decline by approximately 63 percent by 2050 for cars, and by 53 percent for LGVs (Department for Transport, 2018)
  • Car ownership in England and Wales is forecast to grow from approximately 29 million in 2015 to between 38 million and 42 million in 2050, equalling a growth of between 30 percent and 45 percent over 35 years (Department for Transport, 2018)

This entry was posted in Fun Car Stuff on by Marc Murphy