20+ Compelling UK Car Ownership Statistics for 2024


Car ownership statistics UK residents have reported show more cars on UK roads than ever before. But people spend less time on the road, so car mileage is lower with each passing year. They then can use the same car for an extended number of years. Our article reveals intriguing stats and facts about the number of cars in the UK and their usage.

Car Ownership Statistics UK - Image 1

Car Ownership Statistics UK: Fascinating Facts

  • There are more than 32 million licensed cars in the UK.
  • Vehicle use in the UK has decreased by 60% in the past year.
  • Less than 1 million cars in the UK have low emissions.
  • There are 345,000 electric cars in the UK.
  • The Ford Fiesta is the most popular car in the UK, with 1.6 million registered models.
  • The most popular car color in the UK is black, with 7,116,047 cars with this shade.
  • 50% of car owners in the UK are men.
  • A UK car is parked at home at least 80% of the time.

Number of Cars

How many cars in the UK are currently on the road, and has this number changed in recent years? We’ve compiled the following list of numbers for your consideration.

#1 There were over 32 million licensed cars in the UK at the end of 2020


The number of licensed cars in the UK at the end of 2020 amounted to 32,697,408. This figure shows that the number of cars on UK roads has increased by 42.5% in the past 25 years. If this increase continues at the same pace, it’s expected the number of cars owned will reach 45 million by 2045.

#2 In 2020, there was a 0.6% decrease in the number of registered cars


Car ownership in the UK decreased in 2020, with a 0.6% drop in registered cars—the first year in the past 25 years that experienced a decrease in registered cars due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

#3 The number of all licensed vehicles exceeds 40 million in the UK

(This is Money)

The total number of licensed vehicles on UK roads in 2020 exceeded 40 million for the first time in history, including cars, commercial vehicles, vans, trucks, public transportation, and even 18,250 ambulances.

#4 Vehicle use in the UK is down by 60%

(This is Money)

Even though car ownership in the UK has reached record numbers, vehicle use is down by 60%—another consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. More drivers stayed home during the lockdown, and the switch to remote work also played a role in the decline of personal travel.

#5 The average UK household has 1.21 cars


In 2019, the number of cars per household in the UK was estimated at 1.21. But Londoners were least likely to own a car, with a family having 0.74 cars. So if we exclude the capital city, the car ownership per household in the UK would be 1.3 cars.

Types of Cars

We’ve gathered the following data on cars that use petrol and diesel, as well as electric and hybrid cars. In addition, we’ve listed stats on the most common car brands and colours found in the UK.

#6 Less than 1 million cars in the UK have low emissions

(This is Money)

Even though more than 32 million cars are on British roads, less than 1 million of these have low emissions—only 2.2% of the total number of cars. But this number is gradually increasing. According to car stats, the number of low-emission cars increased by 26% in the past year.

#7 The number of diesel cars fell by 1%

(This is Money)

As the number of low-emission cars increases, the number of diesel cars is slowly declining. Currently, there are 13,723,299 diesel cars on the UK roads, showing a 1% decrease. But the number of petrol cars rose by 1.2% to 20,657,838.

#8 There are 345,000 electric cars in the UK


Car figures show that the electric car market is rapidly developing. There are currently 345,000 pure electric cars on the UK roads and 675,000 plug-in hybrid cars. Facts on electric cars confirm an increased demand for such vehicles on a global level, and the UK is no exception.

#9 Demand for pre-owned electric vehicles grew by 44% in 2020

(Intelligent Car Leasing)

In Q1 2020, the demand for pre-owned battery electric vehicles grew by 44%. But in Q2, such demand started to decline at a decrease of 29.7%.

#10 Petrol and diesel cars still dominate British roads at 58.5% and 39.1%, respectively


The most common cars in the UK operate on petrol and diesel. Even with rising fuel prices, most Brits drive petrol cars (58.5%), followed by diesel drivers (39.1%).

#11 Superminis are the most popular car model, with more than 11 million vehicles on the road

(This is Money)

The most popular car type in the UK is the supermini, with 11,643,272 found on British roads. Second place is held by small hatchbacks at 9,291,604, followed by SUVs (4,335,230) and large family cars (3,855,987).

#12 The most popular car in the UK is the Ford Fiesta, with 1.6 million registered in the UK

(This is Money)

Car ownership statistics show that the Ford Fiesta is the most popular car in the UK, with 1.6 million registered. And statistics on stolen cars for the UK show that this is also the most commonly stolen car—so owners need to be highly cautious. There are also 1.3 million Ford Focus cars and 1.2 million Vauxhall Corsa models on UK roads.

#13 There are 7,116,047 black cars in the UK

(This is Money)

Black is the most popular car color. According to UK car ownership statistics, 7,116,047 cars are black. The second most popular car color is silver at 6,382,513, followed by blue (6,073,960).

Who’s Driving?

It’s beneficial to know what portion of UK citizens are licensed drivers and how many own cars. Interestingly, there are differences in car ownership among various regions, genders, age groups, and social classes.

#14 London has seen a 10% decrease in car ownership since 2003


Car ownership in the UK over time has increased, but not so with Londoners. Between 2003 and 2019, the number of car-owning households in London fell by 10%from 0.82 cars per household to 0.74. North East England had seen the most significant increase at 28% since 2003—from 0.86 cars to 11.1 cars in 2019.

#15 There are 49,575,788 driving licenses issued in the UK

(Intelligent Car Leasing)

The total number of driving licenses in the UK, as of March 2020, was 49,575,788—out of which included 41,178,424 with full entitlement licenses and 8,397,364 with provisional entitlement licenses.

#16 Men account for 50% of registered car owners

(Intelligent Car Leasing)

Who owns a vehicle in the UK? Some 50% of all car owners are male, while 35% are female. Companies and corporations own the remaining 15%. It’s also been documented that men drive more than women—43% of men drive compared to 37% of women.

#17 Rural residents (76%) are more reliant on a car than urban residents

(Intelligent Car Leasing)

A rural resident is more likely to be a car owner than someone living in an urban area—76% of rural residents make car trips, while 52% of urban residents drive.

#18 Young people are less likely to be car owners

(Daily Mail, Intack)

Car ownership in UK history reveals that the number of car owners among the younger generation is declining. There’s a 31.5% decrease in young car owners, as they are more likely to use bicycles, electric scooters, or public transportation. The number of driving licenses among 17- to 20-year-olds is also low at 29%.

#19 People living in areas with high house prices are less likely to own a car

(Daily Mail)

Car ownership UK statistics reveal that those living in areas where the average house price is £325,000 are less likely to own a car, whereas those living where the average cost of a house is £215,000 are more likely to become car owners. These numbers show that vehicle ownership is heavily affected by financial status.

A Few More Interesting Facts

Before ending these statistics depicting vehicle ownership in the UK, we thought to present more compelling facts.

#20 BMW owners are in the top bracket for disposable monthly income


UK car imports statistics show that BMW car owners are the most commonly encountered on British roads, especially those in the top financial bracket. Some 19.8% of BMW owners had more than £1,000 in disposable income each month, while 7.8% had even more money to spare. Nissan owners have the lowest disposable income at 33.4%, with less than £125 in monthly disposable income.

#21 Among Land Rover owners, 16.3% are farmers


Land Rover is the vehicle of choice for many farmers—16.3% of all Land Rover owners are employed in agriculture and farming. Car stats also show that 4% of all Land Rovers are found in Northern Scotland, twice as many as in any other part of the country.

#22 More than half (53%) of car owners have access to one car


Some 53% of all those who have access to a car have only one. Some have access to two or three vehicles in the same household. But only 1% stated that they had access to five or more cars.

#23 The average new car in the UK puts on 10,377 miles per year in the first three years of ownership

(Intelligent Car Leasing)

Data on UK car ownership by year shows that the average new car in the UK goes through 10,377 miles/year during the first three years of its operation—an average of 28 miles a day. A new diesel car covers 12,496 miles per year; a petrol car does an average of 7,490 miles a year, while an electric car goes through 9,435 miles per year.

#24 The average UK car is parked at home 80% of the time

(Intelligent Car Leasing)

One of the interesting facts about cars states that the average car in the UK is parked at home 80% of the time. But 16% of the time, it’s parked elsewhere. So it’s only used 4% of the time.

Wrap Up

Car ownership has reached unprecedented heights in the UK. More cars than ever are present on UK roads, but people spend less time driving due to the ever-growing expenses for maintaining a vehicle. So it’s always good to be aware of the latest trends as to what kind of cars people drive and who is most likely to drive them to get a clear picture of the vehicle ownership situation in the UK.


Is car ownership declining in the UK?

The past 25 years have witnessed a 42.5% increase in the number of cars registered in the UK. And even though young people are opting for other means of transportation, the overall car number hasn’t declined.

What is the most commonly owned car in the UK?

The Ford Fiesta is the most commonly owned car in the UK at 1.6 million.

How much of the population owns a car?

The latest car ownership statistics UK households report show that 77% of all households have at least one car, while 81% of the population has access to a car.

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