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UK records a whole year of fewer vehicles licensed for the road – AA 

UK records a whole year of fewer vehicles licensed for the road – AA 

For only the second time since the second world war, the number of licensed vehicles on UK roads declined over a whole year as covid lockdowns led to hundreds of thousands owners taking their cars off the road. This has been revealed in new vehicles licensing statistics released today by the Department for Transport*. 

Not since 1991 has there been four consecutive quarters where there was a year-on-year decline of licensed vehicles. 

It comes as a result of owners applying for their vehicles to be given a Statutory Of Road Notification (SORN). 

In December, there were 192,000 fewer cars licensed to be on the road after the number of SORN-declared cars rose by 259,000**. 

Overall, the number of road-legal vehicles dropped by 101,000 after sorns rose by 421,000. 

"Today's Government statistics are yet another indication of just how much the coronavirus epidemic has disrupted travel in the UK. Stuck in their homes for months on end, many car owners took the opportunity to save money by declaring that they had taken their vehicles off the road during the lockdowns", says Jack Cousens, the AA's head of roads policy. 

"Even today, with lockdown rapidly easing and a new relaxation of restrictions due on Monday, car travel during the working week remains at least 10% below pre-pandemic levels***. The AA expects travel to pick up with the staycation but the true test of 'long covid' for UK travel will come after the August bank holiday and a full return to work."

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