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UK car parc older than ever

The UK’s car parc is older than ever before, despite the boom in electric vehicles and hybrids, according to data compiled by Retro Motor.

Compiled from information held by the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA) and Department for Transport (DfT), the data gathered by Retro Motor shows that in 2019 there were 6.1 million cars over 13 years old in the UK – approximately 20 per cent of all vehicles on the road.

When analysed for a period 25 years earlier, in 1994, the data showed that there were only 1,329,000 cars of a similar age.

In 1994, the percentage of cars over 13 years old sat at 6.3 per cent, or just over one in 20 cars. Last year, the number sat at 19.1 per cent, or just under one-in-five, despite scrappage schemes and market-led incentives to get people into newer and more environmentally friendly cars.

Meanwhile, the average age of all cars on UK roads has increased from 6.7 years in 1994 to 8.3 years in 2019. There were 21.1 million cars licensed in 1994, rising to 31.8 million in 2019.

Retro Motor founder Richard Aucock said: “You have to remember that a 13-year old car in 1994 was an early 80s model with extremely high emissions and no catalytic converters, whereas cars from the mid-2000s were already starting to meet new Euro emissions legislation.

“In addition, there’s been a huge boom in the popularity of modern classics in recent years, which means that models from the 80s and 90s in particular have developed into collectors’ items.

“Throw into the mix the much-improved build quality of cars from this era and it’s easy to see why many of them remain loved and cherished by enthusiasts, rather than just be used as old bangers.”