1 ROADS TASK FORCE Thematic Analysis
How many cars are there in London and who owns them?
This paper forms one of a series of thematic analyses, produced to contribute to the Roads Task Force Evidence Base. The primary topic for this analysis paper is “who owns and who does not own a car” and how this has changed over time. In practice there is no simple answer to this question. However, what we can say is which groups are more or less likely to own a car, and what the factors are that influence car ownership rates.
• There are 2.6m cars registered in London. 54 per cent of London households have at least one car.
• The proportion of households with one or more cars appears to have declined slightly over the last few years, so in 2005/06 around 57 per cent had at least one car.
• Londoners are more likely to own a car if they live in outer London, live in an area with poor access to public transport, have a higher income, have a child in the house, and are of Western European nationality.
• Personal car ownership increases with age to a peak of 58 per cent amongst 55-59 year olds, after which it declines again.
• Car ownership is higher amongst men than women (46 per cent compared to 34 per cent). This gap is greater in lower income households.
• Up to household incomes of £75k, household car access rises as income increases, flattening off after that point.
• People in households with at least one child are nearly a third more likely to own a car than those without.
• Car ownership (households with access to a car) varies substantially across London: at a borough level it ranges from 26 per cent in Islington to 75 per cent in Richmond Upon Thames, outer London boroughs generally seeing higher levels than inner London boroughs.
To analyse whether there has been any change in the levels of car ownership, this paper uses the last 7 years of the London Travel Demand Survey (LTDS), from 2005/06 to 2011/12. When looking at how car ownership rates vary between groups within the London population, this paper uses the most recent wave of LTDS, 2011/12. This paper also makes use of statistical analysis of the factors which influence levels of car ownership, undertaken to develop TfL’s Car Ownership Model for London. 2 ROADS TASK FORCE Thematic Analysis