Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling


Latest UK figures from ACEA’s ‘Vehicles in use’ report show average age of 10 years

The number of passenger cars in use in the United Kingdom increased by just 0.8% between 2020 and 2021, with an average age of 10 years old, according to the latest figures from a recent report by European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).


Latest UK figures from ACEA’s ‘Vehicles in use’ report show average age of 10 years p

The average age of a passenger car in use in the UK, according to the report provided by ACEA, is 10 years. For light commercial vehicles, the average age is 9.3 years, for medium and heavy vehicles, the average age is 11 years, and for buses, the average age is 14.9 years.

The number of passenger cars in use in the UK (the figures show a 0.8 % increase in vehicles in use in the UK between 2020 and 2021)

2017 – 34,686,328

2018 – 34,887,915

2019 – 35,168,259

2020 – 36,454,665

2021 – 36,728,649

Medium and heavy commercial vehicles in use in the UK (the figures show a 1.7 % increase in commercial vehicles in use in the UK between 2020 and 2021)

2017 – 602,799

2018 – 605,393

2019 – 607,998

2020 – 727,913

2021 – 740,568

Buses vehicles in use in the UK (the figures show a 2.7 % increase in buses in use in the UK between 2020 and 2021)

2017 – 86,607

2018 – 84,391

2019 – 82,448

2020 – 79,501

2021 – 81,652

Total number of vehicles in use in the UK (the figures show a 1.1 % increase in vehicles in use in the UK between 2020 and 2021)

2017 – 39,675,562

2018 – 39,985,260

2019 – 40,386,429

2020 – 42,403,988

2021 – 42,874,124

When it comes to fuel types of passenger cars in use in the UK, the figures, according to the 2023 edition of ACEA’s ‘Vehicles in use’ report, show the following as a %:

Petrol – 58.5%

Diesel – 36.1%

Battery electric – 1.3%

Plug-in hybrid – 0.9%

Hybrid electric – 3.0%

Natural gas – 0.0%

LPG – 0.0%

Other – 0.1%

Unknown – 0.0%

To read the full report, go to


This information was presumed to be correct at the time of publication.

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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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