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Number of vehicles on British roads up 2.3% in Q4

The data form the DfT shows that recent increases in vehicle numbers have been driven largely by cars and vans.

The numbers of licensed cars increased by 2.2% between December 2014 and December 2015, the fastest year-on-year increase since December 2004.

Van numbers were up 4.7% over the same period. This year-on-year increase is the highest since June 2005.

Motorcycle numbers rose by 1.2% over the last year, and are now 3.5% lower than the peak December figure in 2009.

Since the end of 1995, the number of licensed cars in Great Britain has increased by 41%, while the number of vans has increased by 71% and the number of motorcycles by 75%.

The number of HGVs in December 2015 was 2.0% up on December 2014, but remained 5.4% below the peak in 2007. However, the DfT added there is some evidence of hauliers using fewer, larger HGVs (and more large vans), and so it said this reduction in numbers does not necessarily indicate a fall in road freight carrying capacity.

The DfT also reported that 3.21 million vehicles were registered for the first time in Great Britain during 2015, the first year since 2005 that new registrations have exceeded 3 million.

In the year to the end of December 2015, 29,963 new ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) were registered for the first time in the United Kingdom. This represented 0.9% of all new registrations, compared with 0.5% one year previously.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.