Britain’s car buyers becoming greener

  • Engine size and emissions fell in 2009
  • 34.3 million vehicles in Britain
  • Lowest total of new registrations since 1995
Cars are getting greener, and have smaller-capacity engines
Cars are getting greener, and have smaller-capacity engines
Britain’s new car buyers are becoming greener, according to Government statistics.

Cleaner and greener buying habits
Figures from the Department for Transport reveal there is a distinct trend towards smaller, greener engines. Not only did the average engine size of new cars bought in 2009 drop by 3.6% from the 2008 figure, but their average CO2 emissions also fell by more than 5%.

Diesel in decline
This was despite statistics that showed, for the first time in a decade, there was a year-on-year decline in the proportion of cars powered by diesel. Just 41% of new cars bought in 2009 had diesel engines, although that is still more than twice the proportion recorded in 2001.

Fewer vehicles registered
The figures also show that, overall, there were fewer new vehicles registered in Britain in 2009 than at any time in the previous 15 years, and the total number of registered vehicles grew by the smallest amount in almost 20 years.

There were 2.4 million vehicles registered for the first time in Great Britain in 2009 – a drop of over 300,000 (11.3%) from the previous year. However, the scrappage scheme helped to ensure that car registrations fell at slower rate than those of other types of vehicles.

Ford Fiesta tops the sales chart
The Ford Fiesta was the biggest selling new car last year, but over the course of those 12 months, it lost its position as the most common car on our roads. That honour now goes to the Focus – 1.29 million of which are registered in the UK, compared with 1.24 million Fiestas.


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