Which Countries Have The Oldest And Youngest Cars In Europe?

Tanya Taylor
Discover which European countries have the oldest and youngest cars, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). Their annual report gives us an extensive overview of European vehicle use and ownership.
What countries have the youngest cars in Europe? Photo: Annika Palmari | Unsplash

The ACEA represents the 14 major European car manufacturers, including BMW Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Volkswagen, and Volvo. The statistics come from the 27 EU member states and EFTA countries – Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and the UK. The data is crucial to ensure the EU meets its climate ambitions.

Average Car Age

The ACEA report states that the average age of cars in Europe is 12 years. Greece has the oldest cars, with an average age of 17 years, followed by Estonia, with an average of 16.8 years. Luxembourg gained the title for the country with the youngest cars, which are 7.6 years old on average. 

The average age for light commercial vehicles in Europe is also 12 years. Spain and Italy have the oldest fleets, between 13.5 and 14 years, while Austria has the youngest Light commercial vehicles, with an average age of 6.2. 

Large commercial vehicles, such as freight trucks, are 14.2 years old on average. Greece has the oldest ones on the road, 22.7 years, while Austria and Denmark have the youngest. The average bus in the EU is 12.7 years old. Romania has the oldest ones, with an average age of over 20. 

Fuel Type

An electric car. Photo: myenergi | Unsplash

Chargeable cars, such as battery and hybrid models, only account for 1.5 percent of European passenger cars. Most cars, 51.1 percent, run on petrol, and 41.9 percent are diesel. Most light commercial vehicles, 91 percent, run on diesel, and only 0.6 percent are electric. 

Trucks and large commercial vehicles in Europe are 96.4 percent diesel, 0.5 petrol, and only 0.1 percent have zero emissions. Most buses (92.5 percent) in the EU run on diesel, while 1.3 percent are battery and 1.8 percent are hybrid. The Netherlands is the leader in battery-powered public transport, which accounts for 14.5 percent of its fleet. 

Motorization Rates

There are 250 million cars and 29.5 million vans in the EU. Most of the vans are in France, Italy, and Spain. Additionally, 6.4 million medium and heavy vehicles are in circulation, and Poland has the largest fleet. You will find more than half of the 714.008 buses in Europe in France.

The EU average car density is 567 and 83 commercial vehicles per 1000 inhabitants. Luxembourg has the highest car density with 696 cars to 1000 inhabitants, and Italy is second with 666. Latvia has the lowest density with 353 vehicles per 1000 inhabitants – 43 percent of households don’t have a car.   

A fleet of vans parked up. Photo: Markus Winkler | Unsplash

Environmental Impact

Old cars produce more CO2 emissions per mile than newer or electric ones. Unfortunately, this is offset by the massive carbon footprint of car manufacturers. The ACEA aims to resolve this problem by implementing carbon-neutral production in the next 20 years.

The European Commission, European Parliament, and Council have agreed to ensure that all new cars and vans registered from 2035 are zero emission.


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