Size of the vehicle fleet

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-141-en
Also known as: TERM 032
Created 15 Nov 2008 Published 15 Nov 2008 Last modified 28 Jun 2016, 05:51 PM
Note: new version is available!
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The level of car ownership is growing rapidly in the EEA area, especially in countries with relatively low car ownership levels, like the new member states (EU12). Increasing private vehicle ownership has proven to lead to increased usage of private vehicles and might have the opposite effect on public transport usage in the future. The number of buses-coaches per capita has remained constant in the period 1995 to 2007. The number of trucks per unit of GDP (truck intensity) has remained constant in the period 1995 to 2007 and is generally higher in the new member states (EU12) than in the older ones (EU15).

Key messages

The level of car ownership is growing rapidly in the EEA area, especially in countries with relatively low car ownership levels, like the new member states (EU12). Increasing private vehicle ownership has proven to lead to increased usage of private vehicles and might have the opposite effect on public transport usage in the future. The number of buses-coaches per capita has remained constant in the period 1995 to 2007.
The number of trucks per unit of GDP (truck intensity) has remained constant in the period 1995 to 2007 and is generally higher in the new member states (EU12) than in the older ones (EU15).

Is the vehicle fleet expanding?

TERM32 Vehicle ownership and truck intensity

Note: TREMOVE results refer to 30 EEA member countries (that is EU-27 plus Norway, Switzerland, Turkey) and Croatia.

Data source:

Vehicle stock, 1995-2007 from TREMOVE v2.52. Population and GDP data, 1995-2007 from Eurostat

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TERM32 Passenger car ownership

Note: TREMOVE results refer to 30 EEA member countries (that is EU-27 plus Norway, Switzerland, Turkey) and Croatia.

Data source:

Vehicle stock, 1995-2007 from TREMOVE v2.52. Population and GDP data, 1995-2007 from Eurostat

Downloads and more info

TERM32 Trucks per unit of GDP

Note: TREMOVE results refer to 30 EEA member countries (that is EU-27 plus Norway, Switzerland, Turkey) and Croatia.

Data source:

Vehicle stock, 1995-2007 from TREMOVE v2.52. Population and GDP data, 1995-2007 from Eurostat

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TERM32 Dieselisation

Note: TREMOVE results refer to 30 EEA member countries (that is EU-27 plus Norway, Switzerland, Turkey) and Croatia.

Data source:

Vehicle stock, 1995-2007 from TREMOVE v2.52. Population and GDP data, 1995-2007 from Eurostat

Downloads and more info

Passenger transport vehicles

The entire vehicle fleet in the EEA area has grown in the period 1995 to 2007. Especially the vehicle fleets in the new EU member states have grown rapidly, reflecting significant changes in the structure of both passenger transport (from rail to private cars) and freight transport (from rail to trucks).

Car ownership has increased considerably over the same period. In the EEA31 area it grew from 355 to 408 cars per 1 000 inhabitants between 1995 and 2007, an average of 1.3 % per year. The average number of passenger cars per capita increased particularly strongly in the new member states of the EU, following economic growth. Despite this increase, the car ownership level in the new member states remains considerably lower compared to the EU15 and EFTA countries.

The main factors underlying the growth of PCs per capita in the EEA area are (a) decreasing number of persons per household, (b) increasing number of cars per household and (c) increases in the average travel distance, lower accessibility and flexibility by public transport and changes in lifestyle patterns.

The strong growth is slowing down in most EU countries, as the number of cars per capita is already relatively high. This can be explained by the fact that households may need one or two cars, but generally not more. In contrast, countries with lower numbers of cars per capita show rapid increases in vehicle ownership. The latter applies to the new member states, but also to a couple of EU15 countries.

The average level of powered two-wheeler (including motorcycles) ownership in the EEA area increased significantly by more than 22 % between 1995 and 2007, while there is a slight increase of 2 % in the number of buses and coaches per 1 000 inhabitants over the same period.

Freight transport vehicles

The number of trucks per unit of GDP (truck intensity) is considerably higher in the new member states than in the EU15. The trend in 'own account' transport (i.e. operations in which a company transports its own goods from one place to another) in the EU15 has been declining over the years. On the other hand, the new member states have a relatively higher share of road freight transport carried out as 'own account' and consequently a lower share of 'hire or reward' transport (i.e. when the transport operator is not the owner of the goods) compared to EU15 Member States. 'Hire or reward' transport companies will be better organised to pick up different loads at ends of their route, reducing the amount of empty running. This means that a higher 'own account' share will require more trucks for the same amount of transport, which could explain the higher truck intensity in the new member states.

The high number of trucks per unit of GDP observed in the Baltic States and the newest EU member states (Bulgaria and Romania) are related to low GDP levels and relatively high (road) freight transport intensity. Malta and Cyprus also show relatively high numbers of trucks per unit of GDP, which could be explained by the absence of alternative inland freight transport modes (there are no railways on these islands).

Indicator specification and metadata

Indicator definition

Vehicle ownership is defined as the number of road vehicles (passenger cars and two-wheelers) per number of inhabitants. The number of buses and coaches per number of inhabitants has also been included. The indicator can be extended to include other vehicles specified by passenger transport mode (i.e. coaches, rail, maritime, air), although these are not privately owned.

Freight transport intensity is defined as number of vehicles per unit of GDP specified by freight transport mode (road, rail, inland, maritime).
The share of diesel cars in the entire passenger car fleet is defined as the number of diesel vehicles per total number of passenger cars.

Units

Vehicle ownership is expressed as the number of vehicles per 1 000 inhabitants. Freight transport intensity is expressed as the number of heavy duty trucks per million Euro of GDP in constant 2010 prices. Dieselisation is expressed as the percentage of diesel vehicles in the entire passenger car fleet.


Policy context and targets

Context description

The level of vehicle ownership is closely related to car use and thus volume of mobility. Especially in urban areas, it is also related to traffic congestion and the higher concentration of air pollutants in the atmosphere.

Targets

There are no specific objectives or targets related to the size and composition of the vehicle fleet. Policy objectives are rather set with respect to the average age and environmental performance of the fleet.

Related policy documents

No related policy documents have been specified

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

For passenger transport, vehicle ownership is calculated by dividing the total number of vehicles in each vehicle category (i.e. passenger cars, buses and coaches, two-wheelers) by the number of inhabitants in each country or country group. For freight transport, truck intensity is calculated by dividing the total number of trucks (i.e. light and heavy duty vehicles, freight trains) by the total GDP in each country or country group. The share of diesel passenger cars in the passenger car fleet is calculated by dividing the number of diesel passenger cars by total passenger car fleet.

Methodology for gap filling

Data gaps are filled either by interpolation, should data between reported data be missing, or by using the first (or last) reported value.

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sets uncertainty

Data are considered reliable as they are derived from official statistics (DG MOVE, Eurostat, AMECO).

Rationale uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sources

Generic metadata

Topics:

Transport Transport (Primary topic)

Tags:
transport
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Efficiency indicator (Type C - Are we improving?)
Indicator codes
  • TERM 032
Geographic coverage:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Diana Vedlugaite

EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year
Filed under:
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100