Indicator Fact Sheet

Size and composition of the vehicle fleet

Indicator Fact Sheet
Prod-ID: IND-141-en
  Also known as: TERM 032
This is an old version, kept for reference only.

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This page was archived on 26 Aug 2017 with reason: A new version has been published

Assessment made on  01 Sep 2004

Generic metadata



DPSIR: Driving force


Indicator codes
  • 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


Key assessment

Passenger transport vehicles

The entire vehicle fleet in the EEA area has grown during the last decade. Especially the vehicle fleets in the EU10 and CC4 have grown rapidly since the fall of the Iron Curtain, 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 dramatically in recent decades. In the EEA area it grew from 312 to 392 cars per 1 000 inhabitants between 1991 and 2001, an average of 2.3 % per year. Car ownership is thus growing even faster than per capita income (on average 1.8 % per annum over the same period). The average number of passenger cars per capita increased strongly in the EU10 and CC4 between 1991 and 2001 by 58 % and 90 % respectively, following economic growth. Despite this increase, the car ownership level in the EU10 and CC4 remains considerably lower compared to the EU15 and EFTA countries. The average motorisation level in the EU10 and CC4 expressed by the number of cars per 1 000 inhabitants was 285 and 100 respectively in the year 2001, which is somewhat higher than half and almost one fifth of the EU15 average (489) respectively.

Goods vehicles

The number of trucks per unit of GDP (truck intensity) is much higher in the EU10 and CC4 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, according to a pilot survey conducted by Eurostat (Eurostat, 1999), the EU10 and CC4 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. Typically dedicated 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 EU10 and CC4.

For more information, see the attached .pdf file.



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