Automotive possession within the UK fell for a second 12 months in a row in 2021, the primary time the nation has recorded consecutive yearly downturns in additional than a century.
The info, launched as we speak by the Society of Motor Producers and Merchants (SMMT), revealed that the variety of vehicles owned in 2021 fell 0.2% to 35,023,652. The earlier recorded consecutive decline was between 1915 and 1918.
The SMMT put the downward development right down to the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic and a worldwide scarcity of key parts for automotive manufacturing, equivalent to semiconductors.
The SMMT additionally famous that the common age of UK vehicles has hit a report excessive of 8.7 years, which it says serves as proof of “the higher reliability of latest autos”.
Round 8.4 million vehicles – slightly below 1 / 4 of these on the highway – are greater than 13 years previous.
Regardless of the downturn in automotive possession, the general variety of autos on UK roads elevated to 40,506,971, up 0.4%. This was right down to a bumper 12 months for gentle business autos, with possession rising by 4.3% to 4,804,833.
Plug-in automotive (battery-EVs, plug-in hybrids and range-extender) possession was additionally up, with the 720,053 now on UK roads, accounting for round one in 50 all vehicles in operation.
These along with 26,990 plug-in vans, 993 electrical buses and 313 electrical vehicles meant the sector elevated by 71% final 12 months.
Round 58% of plug-ins are owned by companies, relatively than folks. This, the SMMT stated, reveals that companies obtain higher and “extra beneficiant” incentives to make the swap than these supplied to non-public people.
That is mirrored within the general information, which reveals that ICE vehicles nonetheless make up 95.7% of autos on the highway: 20.5 million petrol (58.6%) and 13 million diesel (37.1%).
SMMT chief government Mike Hawes stated: “Britain’s swap to electrical autos continues to assemble tempo, with a report one in 5 new automotive registrations now plug-ins. Nonetheless, they nonetheless signify round one in 50 vehicles on the highway, so there’s important floor to cowl if we’re to totally decarbonise highway transport at tempo.
“The primary consecutive annual fall in automobile numbers in additional than a century reveals how considerably the pandemic has impacted the business, main Britons to carry onto their vehicles for longer.
“With fleet renewal important to net-zero, we should construct client confidence within the economic system and, for drivers, confidence within the charging infrastructure to get the transition into prime gear.”