Vehicle stock

Historic fall in the number of cars in Belgium

Mobility
Historic fall in the number of cars in Belgium

For the first time since World War II, the number of passenger cars decreases in our country. The Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly had an impact on these figures. On 1 August 2020, there were 5,888,589 passenger cars in Belgium, compared to 5,889,210 a year earlier. This is a slight but noteworthy decrease of 0.01 %, while the number of passenger cars increased by 1.27 % per year on average these past 10 years.

Petrol supplants diesel

Over the past 5 years, the number of diesel cars has been decreasing a little faster every year. In 2020, there were 6.3 % fewer diesel cars than a year earlier. So, on 1 August, there were 2,815,755 diesel cars. Simultaneously, the number of petrol cars continues to increase (+5 % in 2020) and stands at 2,843,903 units. Petrol cars now account for 48.3 % of the passenger car fleet, against 47.8 % for diesel.

Far behind these two main engine types in Belgium, the 154,807 hybrid cars rank third and account for 2.6 % of the total. This type of engine increased fivefold over 5 years. Electric cars “only” account for 0.4 % of the fleet, despite the most significant annual increase (+56.4 %): there are 23,983 of them on our roads. Finally, we see a slight increase in cars running on gas (+0.2 %) to 14,957.

Besides passenger cars, Belgium has 16,422 buses and coaches, 910,356 commercial vehicles for the transport of goods, 52,802 tractors, 196,504 agricultural tractors and 78,469 special motor vehicles, bringing the total of the vehicle fleet to 7,143,142 units. Furthermore, 507,996 motorcycles are registered in Belgium.

Table 1
Content

Size of the vehicle fleet (2016-2020)

On 1st August of the year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Passenger vehicles 5,712,061 5,785,447 5,853,782 5,889,210 5,888,589
- petrol 2,199,038 2,335,349 2,518,942 2,709,604 2,843,903
- diesel 3,424,592 3,339,034 3,193,658 3,005,928 2,815,755
- gas 17,238 15,965 15,500 14,924 14,957
- with an electric motor 4,368 6,552 9,244 15,338 23,983
- hybrid 44,364 63,740 87,012 110,984 154,807
- not specified 22,461 24,807 29,426 32,432 35,184
Inhabitants per passenger car on 1st August (d) 1.97 1.96 1.94 1.94 1.95
N/A: Not (yet) available.
(d) Population figure on 1st January of the year
Table 2
Content

Size of the vehicle fleet (2016-2020)

On 1st August of the year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total vehicle fleet (including motorcycles) 7,301,766 7,419,405 7,533,172 7,614,082 7,651,138
Passenger vehicles 5,712,061 5,785,447 5,853,782 5,889,210 5,888,589
Buses and coaches 16,040 16,062 16,125 16,542 16,422
Lorries, delivery vans, cross-country vehicles and tank vehicles 796,930 826,742 856,096 885,487 910,356
Tractors (a) 45,749 47,478 50,230 52,694 52,802
Agricultural tractors 188,122 189,938 192,187 194,399 196,504
Specialized vehicles (b) 69,538 71,754 74,257 76,640 78,469
Motorcycles (c) 473,326 481,984 490,495 499,110 507,996
N/A: Not (yet) available.
(a) Tractors are commercial motor vehicles coupled to a semi-trailer (vehicle without front axle).
(b) Specialized vehicles are slow vehicles whose dimensions and weight exceed the established maximum limits. The maximum authorized weight in Belgium is 44 tonnes. Vehicles of this category may therefore only be used on public roads under strict conditions.
(c) All motorcycles driving 40km/h or faster. That is all motorcycles and most mopeds.
Dashboard
Content

Purpose and brief description

The vehicle fleet gives an overview of all motorised vehicles registered in Belgium on 1st August

Population

Motor vehicle / Vehicle fleet

Data collection method and sample size

Administrative data

Frequency

Annually

Timing of publication

Results available 1 month after the reference period.

Definitions

Vehicle types: passenger cars, buses and coaches, lorries, tractors, agricultural tractors, specialized vehicles, motorcycles

Fuel type: petrol, diesel, gas, electricity.

Tractors are commercial motor vehicles coupled to a semi-trailer (vehicle without front axle).

Specialized vehicles are slow vehicles whose dimensions and weight exceed the established maximum limits. The maximum authorized weight in Belgium is 44 tonnes. Vehicles of this category may therefore only be used on public roads under strict conditions.

All motorcycles driving 40km/h or faster. That is all motorcycles and most mopeds.