Figures - Traffic

The number of passenger cars in the Netherlands is still rising. There were 8.2 million cars at the beginning of 2017, an increase of one million over ten years. The number of motorcycles and mopeds has risen continually as well: over the past decade, by nearly 500 thousand to 1.8 million in 2017. The number of commercial vehicles has remained basically unchanged.

In 2015, over 53 percent of commercial vans were registered in the name of construction companies, wholesalers and retailers. The number of vans registered by companies in these sectors has declined relative to 2009. By contrast, the number of registrations in the name of rental and other business support services went up in 2015.

Over the past few years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of vehicles with a moped number plate, such as (light) mopeds and microcars, in comparison with other motor vehicles such as cars and motorcycles. This is mainly attributable to the growing popularity of the light moped. Since 2012, there have been more light mopeds than mopeds on Dutch roads. There were approximately 200 thousand more light moped than mopeds at the beginning of 2017.

Changes in population, car ownership and mileage in the period 2005-2015, by age group. Population aged 18 to 29 years: +8%, cars per 1,000 inhabitants -8%, mileage (km) per inhabitant -11%. Population aged 30 to 49 years: -11%, cars per 1,000 inhabitants +3%, mileage (km) per inhabitant -1%. Population aged 50 to 64 years: +13%, cars per 1,000 inhabitants +12%, mileage (km) per inhabitant +6%. Population aged 65 to 74 years: +39%, cars per 1,000 inhabitants +21%, mileage (km) per inhabitant +20%. Population aged 75 or older: +24%, cars per 1,000 inhabitants +36%, mileage (km) per inhabitant +39%.

In 2015, private cars covered a total distance of 91 billion kilometres, a 6 percent rise compared with 2005. Between 2005 and 2015, the sharpest increase in travel distance was on account of drivers aged 65 and over: up 68 percent to a total of 14.2 billion km. On the other hand, young road users (18 to 29 years) travelled fewer kilometres: down 4 percent to a total of 10.6 billion km.

The average total distance covered by electric cars was 16.3 thousand km in 2015, while plug-in hybrids covered 17.4 thousand km. Most of these cars were company cars: 85 percent of plug-in hybrids were used for commercial purposes. Likewise, cars powered by natural gas and diesel were often used as company cars. These accounted for the longest distance on average with over 26 thousand and 23 thousand km respectively per year. The least popular cars were those on LPG and petrol.

The average number of vehicles per hour on national trunk roads varies widely per region. In the Utrecht region with national trunk roads A1, A2, A12, A27 and A28, average hourly traffic intensity in 2016 was 4,286 passenger cars, freight vehicles, buses and motorcycles. This makes Utrecht the Netherlands’ busiest region. Traffic intensity is 16 times higher than around Delfzijl, the region with the lowest number of road users.

The most popular car models among Dutch drivers under the age of 30 are the Volkswagen Golf and the Volkswagen Polo. The over-65s also like Volkswagen, but even more popular are the Renault Megane Scenic and the Toyota Yaris.

Eighty percent in the Dutch population aged 17 and over hold a driving licence. Ninety percent of people between 50 and 59 have a driving licence, the highest percentage among all age groups. In the youngest (under 30 years) and the oldest age groups (75 years and over), fewer people hold a licence.

The number of passengers flying to or from Dutch airports has grown steadily for several years.
In 2016, nearly 70.3 million passengers checked in and out at Dutch airports, up from 48.6 million in 2006. Low-cost carriers have contributed to the growth in air traffic across Europe.


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Explanation of symbols

empty cell Not applicable
. Data not available
* Provisional figure
** Revised provisional figure (but not definite)
2016-2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 Average for 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/’17 Crop year, financial year, school year, etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2014/’15-2016/’17 Crop year, financial year, etc., 2014/’15 to 2016/’17 inclusive

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

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