The DVLA has issued its annual update on the total number of vehicles licensed on UK roads in 2021. This confirms the trend we’ve seen over previous years; we have more vehicles and they are getting older.

In 2021 the total number of vehicles rose to 40.3m, of which cars were just under 33m (up 192k on 2020).

Around 1.68 million new cars were registered, up just slightly on the 1.66m in 2021. However, this is still much lower than the average pre-COVID which was closer to 2.4m. As we’ve said before this means circa 1.4m fewer new cars were registered in the last two years than we might have expected.

The average age of a car rose from 8.5 to 8.8 years. Staggeringly the average bus is now aged 11.5 years (up 4 months on 2020).

EVs represented 1.15% of the total cars on the road by the end of 2021 with PHEVs just 0.95%. These represented significant gains on previous years, but arguably are still a relatively small percentage of the total. Overall diesel was down 36% and petrol down 10% year on year.