Ageing vehicles in the UK are living long enough to receive a pension

Ageing vehicles in the UK are living long enough to receive a pension

With the average age of UK vehicles now reaching 8.4 years old, it’s no wonder that progress toward net zero commitments is at risk!


A new report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) suggests that as car ownership has become more affordable over recent decades, Brits are increasingly opting to buy their own vehicle rather than use public transport or other modes like cycle-sharing schemes. This trend will only exacerbate an already large problem—an aging fleet poses a significant threat for meeting our country’s climate change goals.


The SMMT continued that they feel this is putting net zero commitments in jeopardy as older vehicles emit more CO2 than newer models and are heavier polluters due to their poorer fuel efficiency.


The rise comes at a time when many people want cleaner cars with lower emissions which makes it even harder for manufacturers who do not yet have electric or hybrid offerings available everywhere across Europe and around the world today. 


Manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover say they cannot meet demand but hope these will be able keep pace soon with production increases – maybe by 2020.


The analysis of more than ten million cars from 2008 and earlier has shown that 27.9% are over 12 years old, which is staggering considering the percentage of vehicles on our roads today! These older models not only pose a danger to themselves but also cause problems for other drivers around them. The most frightening statistic found was one in four pre-2008 automobiles with manual transmissions have had or will experience at least one transmission failure by 2020 ̵1; much sooner if they do not receive proper maintenance before this.


The new 2020 car from Toyota emits on average 112.8 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, 18% lower than a model registered in 2011 the trade association claims to be true.

You can take a look at SMMT’s used car sales data here


The same report stated that in 2020, the number of vehicles on UK roads fell to 40.4 million according to Motorparc data released by SMMT today; a first since 2009 during the global financial crisis. As new car sales were impacted by the pandemic, average age of cars is now at 8 years old as it reached an all-time high in history for van uptake which has grown and accounts for 11% of all vehicles on British roads.


In 2021, the average age for cars rose from 8 years old up to an all-time high at 8.4 years; due largely in part because new car purchases decreased during the Coronavirus pandemic as people stopped buying goods like clothes or jewelry too out of fear they might contract it themselves after handling such items without gloves on their hands. 


But in contrast to this, van demand increased greatly with 11% market share which was higher than any other year before – reflecting how our society leans more towards using these automobiles now rather than sedans.


The LCV industry is a vital part of the British economy, and it has played an important role in supplying goods during this time when we are all feeling cramped for space.


The light commercial vehicles like these in the market market saw 1.7% growth over the past year to reach 4,604,861 vehicles on British Roads by December 2021 – Many of these have been instrumental in supporting our nation as they delivered food and other necessities across Britain through difficult circumstances like those at hand due to the pandemic. 


Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, shared in a press release:

“With the pandemic putting the brakes on new vehicle uptake in 2020, the average car on our roads is now the oldest since records began some 20 years ago, as drivers held on to their existing vehicles for longer. The technology is changing, however, albeit slowly. Despite massive growth last year, just one in 80 vehicles is a plug-in electric car – while nearly 10 million petrol and diesel cars dating back to before 2008 remain on our roads. Encouraging drivers to upgrade to the newest, cleanest lowest emission cars, regardless of fuel source, is essential for the UK to meet its ambitious climate change targets.”