The annual growth of UK's car parc looks set to reach 3%, boosted by the healthy September new car registrations and the likelihood of 2001 being among the best years for the automotive market.
The latest statistics on the UK's vehicle population calculated by automotive data experts Polk from DVLA records show that there were 415,430 or 1.58% more cars in use at the end of June than at the end of December 2000.
Polk says that if the same rate of increase is repeated for the second-half year the annual growth rate of the UK car population will be 3.15%. That rate of growth currently represents nearly a million more cars on the roads a year. The total car population at the end of June stood at 26,742,967.
The rate at which cars were scrapped in the first half-year stood at 68% of new sales, or 31.4% of new registrations added to the UK's car population, rather than simply replacing it.
Around a third of the cars on the road are up to three years old, a further third of all cars are up to 10 years old, and nearly a third more are over ten years old – nearly 1% fewer at the end of June, however, than six months earlier.
The requirement for manufacturers and importers to declare their pre-registrations of cars that have yet to find final customers came into effect from this year. Polk says, however, without quite the same level of overt 'market boosting' from manufacturers, the relative buoyancy of genuine retail purchases this year created some growth in the proportion of the parc that is under one year old: 9.3 per cent at the end of June 2001 compared to 8.8 per cent in December 2000.
National parc by make, all ages, June 2001
Ford 5,554,796 (20.8%)
Vauxhall 3,715,326 (13.9%)
Rover 2,005,127 (7.5%)
Peugeot 1,887,902 (7.1%)
Volkswagen 1,588,706 (5.9%)
Renault 1,481,930 (5.5%)
Nissan 1,347,255 (5.0%)
Citroen 878,189 (3.3%)
Fiat 836,993 (3.1%)
Toyota 827,321 (3.1%)
The Polk report highights the understandable concern felt by some manufacturers about the potential cost of the EC's End of Life Vehicles Directive which will make them responsible for the cost of recyling/disposing of their cars.
“The prominence of Rover illustrates perfectly the particular anxieties for some manufacturers raised by the ELV Directive. The policy penalises firms such as Volvo, whose cars last longer than average and whose numbers on the road are consequently disproportionate to new sales. Another example of a firm penalised by past dominance is MG Rover. The Phoenix consortium acquired very large ELV liabilities when it bought Rover from BMW for its notional £10 price – but without the volume of new sales enjoyed by its competitors with comparable own-brand vehicle populations,” Polk says.
For cars in the UK more than 10 years old, Polk's research shows that 4.6% (350,324 units) are Volvo and 5.5% (422,087 units) Rover. Ford and Vauxhall top the list with 24.4% (1,856,320 units) and 13.5% (1,029,660 units) respectively. (October 16, 2001)