The Malta Independent 23 July 2019, Tuesday

Malta has third highest number of cars per 1,000 inhabitants in the EU

Albert Galea Saturday, 7 July 2018, 11:00 Last update: about 2 years ago

Malta registered the third highest number of cars per 1000 inhabitants in the European Union in 2016, new data from Eurostat shows.  The report, titled ‘Passenger Cars in Europe’, deals with personal transportation around the EU, using data from each nation to calculate the density of the car population in comparison to the nation’s population, the age distribution and fuel type of the vehicles and also the amount of new registrations in each country.

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With 615 passenger cars per 1000 inhabitants, Malta only ranks below Italy (625 cars) and Luxembourg (662 cars) out of all European countries. 

While this is a marginal improvement on the statistics of 2015, wherein Malta had 634 passengers per 1000 inhabitants, the data still makes for grim reading when compared with the EU average which stands at 505 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. 

The rate of registration of cars showed a continued increase in the amount of new cars being put into Maltese roads.  Indeed in 2016 there were 16,712 car registrations, which equates to an average of 45 cars let out into Maltese roads everyday throughout the year.

This amount of registrations permitted a net increase in the amount of cars in Malta, with the number of cars on the island increasing by 7,541 from 2015 to reach a total of 282,921 cars.

The preference for these newly-registered vehicles lies with petrol-engine cars; 66.9% of new registrations fall into this category.  This figure is very similar to the one for the previous year with the share of petrol-engine cars then standing at 68%.  Malta is the third highest country in this regard as well, only sitting behind the Netherlands and Estonia respectively.

Conversely, only 87 cars that run on alternative energy were registered throughout 2016; a number which is just 0.0052% of all the new registrations, and which is a decrease on registrations in both 2014 and 2015.

The same document also showed that Malta has a very high share of cars which are 20 years or older with 22.7% of all cars falling into this age bracket.  Indeed, only Poland (33.7%) and Estonia (27.6%) have a higher rate in this regard than Malta.

These statistics continue to support groups and NGOs campaigning for a transportation strategy that involves alternative means of transport in Malta, and further confirm the Maltese trend of car-dependence in personal transportation.

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