More cars than ever, thanks to the older generation

Monday, 16 February 2015

by: Qurius

Since 1 January, the Netherlands has a record number of cars on the roads, more than 7.9 million. The growth is mainly due to the older generation.

This transpires from the most recent figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS). That the meter reads so high is mainly due to older people. Last year, about half of those over 65 had a car. In 2000, this was only about one-third. “The average age of a person buying a new car is about 54, or perhaps even 55,” explains Clem Dickmann, director of the research institute for the automotive industry, Aumacon.  

“Young people hardly ever buy a new car.” The Bovag, RAI and the Central Bureau for Mobility Information announced earlier this year that in 2014 sales of new cars in the Netherlands decreased by 6.9 percent to 387,835. Dickmann: “Relatively more people buy a second hand car rather than a new one from a dealer. This also means that our fleet is aging. In addition to an increase in grey cars on our roads we've also noticed more grey heads of hair in these cars.'' 


According to Dickmann, the Dutch fleet is ‘rather unimaginative’. The most popular car on the Dutch roads is the relatively small Volkswagen Golf. “You often see that people progress to a smaller car, and families are becoming smaller.” The Golf is a popular lease car too. “In the past, the Volkswagen Passat was the car to have as a company lease car, now you see that this is being replaced by the smaller Golf or Polo.” 

According to Aumacon's director Dickmann the ‘large car’ is no longer the ‘tangible evidence of your success in life’. “In the past, people were brand loyal, now they are more loyal to their own wallets.”