Size of the vehicle fleet
Assessment made on 01 Jan 2002
ClassificationTransport (Primary theme)
DPSIR: Driving force
- TERM 032
Policy issue: The size of the privately owned vehicle fleet (cars and powered two-wheelers) is an important driving factor behind road transport demand and the environmental pressures it causes
Car ownership is growing rapidly in the EU and ACs. Higher private vehicle ownership has proven to lead to more private vehicle usage and might have the opposite effect on public transport usage.
The level of car ownership is rising rapidly, especially in countries with relatively low car ownership levels. In the EU, the number of cars grew from 393 to 460 cars per 1.000 inhabitants between 1990 and 1999. Motorcycle ownership is also increasing. Higher private vehicle ownership has proven to lead to more usage of private vehicles and might have the opposite effect on public transport usage.
In the ACs, car ownership is also growing rapidly. The number of cars per capita grew from 146 to 223 cars per 1.000 inhabitants between 1990 and 1998 in the ACs (excluding Turkey). However, car ownership in the ACs was still about a third up to a half of that of the EU in 1998. Increasing private vehicle ownership has proven to lead to more usage of private vehicles and might have the opposite effect on public transport usage. The number of trucks is strongly related to economic development. Per unit of GDP it more or less remained stable, resulting in a 50 % increase in the last decade.
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This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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