Report – Vehicles in use, Europe 2023

Report – Vehicles in use, Europe 2023

ACEA — 2023-01-17

News from Brussels

The 2023 edition of ACEA’s ‘Vehicles in use’ report provides an extensive overview of the motor vehicle fleet on the road in the European Union – covering passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, medium and heavy commercial vehicles, and buses.

Per country, the Vehicles in use report shows the number of motor vehicles in use for each vehicle type and how the fleet has evolved in the last decade.

It also provides valuable insights per vehicle segment for each European country, such as the average age (as well as the year of first registration), the share of each fuel type, and the number of vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants.

This 2023 edition covers the 27 member states of the European Union, plus the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), as well as the United Kingdom.

Fleet size

  • In 2021, the EU passenger car fleet grew by 1.2% compared to 2020, with nearly 250m cars on the road in total. With the exception of Slovenia (-4.1%), all EU countries expanded their car fleet, with the highest growth seen in Slovakia (+8.2%).
  • 29.5m vans are in circulation throughout the European Union, half of which can be found in three countries: France (6.3m vans), Italy (4.3m) and Spain (3.9m).
  • There are more than 6.4m medium and heavy commercial vehicles on EU roads, up 3.2% compared to 2020. With more than 1.2m trucks, Poland has the largest truck fleet by far.
  • 714,008 buses are in operation across the European Union, almost half of which can be found in three countries alone: Poland (126,547), Italy (100,199) and France (94,523).

Average age

  • EU cars are now on average 12 years old. Greece and Estonia have the oldest car fleets, with vehicles 17 years old. The newest cars can be found in Luxembourg (7.6 years).
  • The average age of light commercial vehicles in the EU is 12 years. Of the EU’s four major markets, Italy has the oldest van fleet (14 years), followed closely by Spain (13.6 years).
  • Trucks are on average 14.2 years old in the European Union. With an average age of 22.7 years, Greece has the oldest truck fleet, while the newest ones can be found in Austria (6.6 years) and Denmark (7.5 years).
  • Buses on EU roads are on average 12.7 years old. Aged more than 20 years, Romanian buses are the oldest in the region. Only eight countries in the European Union have a bus fleet that is less than 10 years old.

Fuel type

  • Despite the strong increase in sales seen in recent years, electrically-chargeable cars (battery electric and plug-in hybrid) still make up only 1.5% of the total EU car fleet. In the EU, only three countries have a share of battery electric cars higher than 2%.
  • Diesel-powered light commercial vehicles are still dominant in the EU with 91% of the fleet running on diesel and just 0.6% of vans being battery electric.
  • 96.4% of all trucks in the European Union run on diesel, while petrol fuels 0.5% of the fleet. Only 0.1% of trucks on EU roads have a zero-emission powertrain.
  • Diesel buses account for 92.5% of the EU fleet, with only 1.3% being battery electric and 1.8% hybrid electric. However, significant shares of electric buses can be found in the Netherlands (14.5%) and Luxembourg (7.8%).

Motorisation rates

  • The European Union counts 567 passenger cars and 83 commercial vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants.
  • Luxembourg has the highest car density in the EU (698 per 1,000 people), while Cyprus has the highest density of commercial vehicles (135 per 1,000 inhabitants). By contrast, the lowest density of cars can be found in Romania (396). Lithuania has the lowest density of commercial vehicles (49).
  • In Latvia, nearly 43% of all households do not own a car, while almost 32% of French families have two passenger cars.

"The 2023 edition of ACEA’s ‘Vehicles in use’ report provides an extensive overview of the motor vehicle fleet on the road in the European Union."