The sales of new cars in Ireland has dropped by 10% according to a report from SIMI and it is reported that Ireland has a car fleet with an average age of nine years.

This ageing fleet has many downsides, the main one being the worry of having so many cars that may not be reliable on our roads.  Not only does an older car be more prone to breakdowns, more worrying is that many older cars don’t have the safety features that more modern cars would automatically come with.

Compare with Europe

The 2017 edition of ACEA’s ‘Vehicles in Use’ Report provides an extensive overview of the European motor vehicle fleet. Per country, the data gathered by the governing body of the European Automotive Industry (ACEA) shows the number of vehicles in use for each segment (passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, medium and heavy commercial vehicles, as well as buses) and how those numbers have developed over recent years.

The Report, also provides interesting statistics per vehicle segment for each country, such as:

  • Average age, as well as the year of first registration
  • Fuel type
  • Number of vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants

In addition, the ‘Vehicles in Use’ survey looks at the number of cars per household in various countries, their average ownership period, the share of used cars, as well as the average distance travelled (both for petrol and diesel cars).

Report’s findings in brief

The EU passenger car fleet grew by 4.5% over the last five years; the number of vehicles on the road went from 241 to 252 million.

Over 31 million vans are in circulation throughout the European Union. Counting some 6 million vehicles, France has the largest van fleet, followed by Spain and the UK.

There are more than 6 million trucks on the EU’s roads. With almost 1 million trucks, Poland has the largest fleet in the EU, followed closely by Italy.

725,000 buses are in operation throughout the European Union.

Cars are on average 10.7 years old in the EU. Poland, Latvia and Lithuania have the oldest fleets, while the youngest cars can be found in Luxembourg and Belgium.

The average age of vans in the EU is close to 11 years (10.7 years). Among the EU’s five big automobile markets, Spain has the oldest light commercial vehicle fleet.Trucks are on average 11.7 years old in the European Union. Greek trucks are the oldest ones, with an average age of 18.7 years.

Despite an increase in registrations in recent years, alternatively-powered passenger cars make up only 3% of the total EU car fleet.

Diesel-powered light commercial vehicles are dominant in all EU countries except for Greece: 88% of the EU van fleet runs on diesel.

Nearly all trucks in the European Union run on diesel: 95.5%.

The EU counts 494 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. The highest number of cars per inhabitant in the EU can be found in Luxembourg, while Romania has the lowest car density.

There are 74 commercial vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants in the EU, Portugal has the highest number per inhabitant.

In Hungary, nearly half of all households do not have a car. By contrast, 29% of French families have two cars.

Some interesting statistics on what is happening across Europe.  With many factors affecting car ownership including fuel consumption, government legislation and the environment we wonder what this report will look like in a couple of years.