Fewer cars for first time since war
The decline in cars on the road in 2009 marks the end of 64 year-on-year increases. It is also the first peacetime fall in vehicles on the road since 1904 – when records began.
There are currently 31,035,791 cars on the UK's streets, representing a 0.7% fall compared with 2008.
Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: 'The recession is the most obvious factor impacting on the number of cars on the road, while the scrappage incentive scheme has also removed a large number of older and more-polluting vehicles.
Cleaner cars take to the road
Analysis of the UK's current cars reveals an increase in the amount of low-CO2 vehicles on the road, with an average 1.7% reduction in emissions across the 2009 fleet compared with 2008.
The number of cars that emit less than 120g/km of CO2 has increased by 90%, and now accounts for 936,117 vehicles currently on the road.
Greener cars, but silver tops the colour chart
The SMMT's data has also revealed that silver cars continue to be the most popular, followed by blue, black and red.