More cars, fewer freight vehicles


The number of cars has increased sharply this century: from over 6.3 million in 2000 to nearly 8 million in 2015, a 25 percent increase. Motorcycle and moped numbers also increased, but freight vehicle numbers fell. The Netherlands now has 10.8 million motor vehicles according to the latest publication Transport and mobility, released by Statistics Netherlands today.


More cars but fewer young car owners

Population growth is not the only reason why car numbers increased. There are more car owners among older people and women who are more often in possession of a driver’s license than before. It is just as common for women as it is for men to have driver’s licenses. Moreover women’s participation in the work force has increased. And having a car is considered quite normal, with over 50 percent of all households owning one car, and nearly a quarter owning two or more. Nearly 50 percent of all adults have a car.

Car ownership among young people is becoming less popular, a trend observed elsewhere in Europe as well. One in five under-25’s owns a car. Young people tend to live more in cities, where bicycles and public transport are good alternatives.

Far more mopeds

Moped numbers increased by almost 60 percent. Currently 1 in 25 Dutch adults owns a moped, compared to 1 in 38 in 2000. The total number of mopeds has grown recently due to the popularity of light mopeds. Freight vehicles have declined in number since 2009 because of the economic downturn and increasing competition by road haulage from Eastern European countries. There are also fewer buses on the road.


Developments in motor vehicle numbers (2000=100)






Transport and mobility 2015