Photo description: Single-family homes with spacious parking area.

Car ownership

There were over 8 million passenger car registrations in the Netherlands at the start of 2017. With a population of over 17 million, this means 481 passenger cars for every thousand inhabitants; less than the EU average of 505 cars per thousand inhabitants. Which country has the largest number of ‘young’ passenger cars? Which country has the highest diesel car sales?

meetlat-16-autobezit_ENG RO HU L V HR SK IE BG L T UK P T SE GR FR NL ES CZ BE EU SI EE A T DE PL C Y FI M T I T L U 481 505 C ar o w n e r s h i p per 1,000 i n h a b i t a n t s , 2017

With 662 cars per thousand inhabitants, Luxembourg has the highest car ownership rate in the EU, followed by Italy (625) and Malta (615). The country with the lowest rate is Romania with only 261 cars per thousand inhabitants. Other countries with low car ownership are Latvia and Hungary with fewer than 350 cars per thousand inhabitants.

Most young cars in Ireland

The youngest car fleet is found in Ireland: 24.6 percent of all cars on Irish roads are no more than two years old. Denmark (23.3 percent) and Luxembourg (23.1 percent) also have relatively high shares of cars under two years of age. With 15.1 percent, the Netherlands ranks eighth among the 24 EU countries for which this information is available.

In just over half of the EU countries, more than 50 percent of the car fleet is over ten years old. This is the case for 40.5 percent of the Dutch car fleet.

25% of cars less than 2 years old in Ireland
15% of cars less than 2 years old in the Netherlands

Few new diesel cars in the Netherlands

In 2018, over 15 million new passenger cars were sold in the European Union. Slightly more than one-third were diesel-powered vehicles. In Bulgaria, Ireland, Portugal and Italy, more than half of all new cars sold were diesel-driven. The share of diesels was smallest in the Netherlands: 12.9 percent, down from 24.8 percent five years previously (2013).

Out of all new cars sold in the European Union in 2018, 2 percent were plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). In the Netherlands, PEVs accounted for 6.7 percent of all new cars sold, the largest share in the EU after Sweden (8 percent). Poland had the lowest share of new PEVs: 0.2 percent.


Eurostat – Passenger cars


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