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Car ownership rises fastest in Eastern England

Kwik Fit | Tuesday 12th January 2016 11:30am

  • 7% increase in cars licensed in eastern England over the past five years
  • 30.23 million cars now registered in Britain (Q3 2015)
  • London sees largest drop over last five years

New analysis by Kwik Fit of the nation’s car ownership has revealed that it is growing fastest in the East of England1. The region saw the number of cars licenced per thousand head of population increase by 7% over the last five years. This growth is the fastest of any region and compares with a national increase of 2%.

The number of licensed cars in Britain rose from 28.47 million in 2011 to 30.23 million in the third quarter of 2015 (the most recent data), an increase of 6%. Taking the rise in the national population over same period into account, the number of cars per thousand head of population has risen by 2%, from 471 to 482, ie just under one car for every two people.

The South East is the region with highest number of cars for its population, with 561 cars per thousand people, closely followed by the South West, with 558 per thousand.

London saw the number of licensed cars in the capital rise by almost 100,000 over the last five years, however the increase in the city’s population meant the number of cars per thousand people fell by 5%.

Region Number of cars licensed in region Cars per thousand people
2011 2015 change % 2011 2015 change
North East 1,040,093 1,092,168 52,075 5% 399.0 417.1 5%
North West 3,006,498 3,147,340 140,842 5% 433.5 441.2 2%
Yorkshire and Humberside 2,248,944 2,353,374 104,430 5% 424.2 439.1 3%
East Midlands 2,166,482 2,321,586 155,104 7% 483.4 500.6 4%
West Midlands 2,823,847 2,938,616 114,769 4% 517.6 514.3 -1%
East of England 2,944,286 3,260,909 316,623 11% 504.9 541.8 7%
London 2,542,734 2,639,077 96,343 4% 324.9 309.1 -5%
South East 4,605,886 4,979,071 373,185 8% 540.4 561.1 4%
South West 2,789,068 3,024,436 235,368 8% 528.9 557.7 5%
England 24,167,838 25,756,577 1,588,739 7% 462.7 474.2 2%
Wales 1,437,547 1,506,405 68,858 5% 478.2 487.2 2%
Scotland 2,264,384 2,406,022 141,638 6% 433.6 449.9 4%
Great Britain 28,467,289 30,234,038 1,766,749 6% 470.8 481.8 2%

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, says: “The new car industry has seen a strong period of growth over recent years, but our analysis shows that there have been some clear differences in the regional trends. Over the last five years the increase in the number of cars licenced in eastern England has been three times that for London, while the South West and South East have seen 8% increases.

“Although London has seen the greatest fall in the number of cars per thousand people, it’s also notable that the West Midlands, for many years the traditional heart of the British motoring industry, also saw a drop in the number of cars per thousand people over the last five years. However, the region can take heart from the fact that its figure is still well above the national average.”

For the latest news and updates from Kwik Fit, customers can follow the company on Twitter at @kwik_fit.

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Note to editors

1 Analysis carried out by Kwik Fit of the latest Vehicle Licensing Statistics, issued December 2015.
(https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/vehicles-statistics).

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