Average number of cars per household statistics: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

"I am looking for data trends regarding the average number and cost of cars per household for Scotland in the time period between 1990s – present.

Also is there any forecasting data for EV purchases/growth in Scotland up to 2030?"


With regards the first part of your request, the attached Excel file includes a table showing the average number of cars per household going back to 1996 using data from the Scottish Household Survey.

Transport Scotland does not hold information regarding the average cost of individual vehicles. However, Table 10.8 of Transport Scotland’s Scottish Transport Statistics publication presents figures for the average weekly household expenditure on the purchase of different types of vehicles. This does not extend back to the 1990s. However, the figures in the table are derived from the ‘Family Spending in the UK’ produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). They may be able to provide further information: wealth.and.assets.survey@ons.gov.uk.

With regards the second part of your request, in September 2021, Transport Scotland published a report which it commissioned from Element Energy, ‘Decarbonising the Scottish Transport Sector’. The findings show some of the changes that we might need to adopt to cut emissions from all modes of transport.

The work underpinning the report included modelling of the fleet uptake pathways for EVs across several policy scenarios. Please find this in the attached Excel file. Policy Scenario 3 (PS3) allows us to meet our 2030, 2040 and 2045 statutory emissions targets and is the primary focus of the ‘Decarbonising the Scottish Transport Sector’ report.

The research provides us with a much better understanding of the issues and the scale of the challenge to cut emissions in transport in Scotland. Transport Scotland will use the findings as a starting point to consider the actions we need to develop to reduce emissions from the transport sector.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

FOI - 202100261821 - Information Released - Household Car Numbers
FOI - 202100261821 - Information Released - Scenario Modelling


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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