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New car buying and old car reliability pushes UK parc to new high


March 12, 2014: Cars on the road approach 32 million, thanks to 436k boost in 2013. Built-in-Britain cars second only to made-in-Germany for popularity. Ford takes top spot for UK's favourite model. March of the monochrome sees colour drain from UK roads.

Rising new car registrations and longer lasting cars combined to push up the UK car parc by more than 436,000 units, according to a new study by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The SMMT's 'Motorparc' study is the UK's biggest automotive census and is compiled annually covering 31,917,885 cars on UK roads.

The 1.4% rise in the 2013 parc marked the fastest rate of growth for 10 years. This saw the number of older cars rise at a pace as ever increasing reliability and economic factors combined. Cars older than 12 years rose 11.3% against 2012 with 2.06 million more cars recorded in the latest census. Compared with a decade ago, the average age of a car increased by a full year (to 7.7 years old), as the trend grew longer for cars remaining on the road.

"With more cars bought and less scrapped in recent years, the total number on UK roads reached an all-time high last year," said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. "Major investment by manufacturers in advanced production techniques, supported by longer vehicle warranties, has seen car reliability enhanced still further. Additionally, spreading the cost of regular maintenance through service packages makes car ownership more affordable, so it is not surprising that people are running cars for longer."