The number of cars on Britain's roads year-on-year has fallen for the first time in 64 years - with the recession and changes in legislation being blamed.
There were 31,035,791 cars registered on Britain’s roads in 2009, marking a year-on-year decline of 0.7 per cent according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The UK’s total car fleet had grown for the 64 years since the end of the Second World War.
The recession is the main reason for the decline, according to analysts. At the worst stage for car manufacturers in March last year, monthly registrations were down a massive 31 per cent on 2008 figures.
Paul Everitt, the chief executive of SMMT, said: “The recession is the most obvious factor impacting on the number of cars on the road.”
Scrappage has also been blamed, as the 10-month, £400m initiative put 400,000 old cars onto the scrapheap that may have otherwise been sold on.
Also, changes to the rules on off-road notification and licensing have meant unlicensed cars are now removed from the DVLA database.
The SMMT reported that the luxury segment had suffered the most with a year-on-year decline of 6.0 per cent.