Almost One Registered Vehicle Per Driver Skip to content

Almost One Registered Vehicle Per Driver

By Larissa Kyzer

Route 1 Iceland
Photo: Golli.

There have never been more vehicles registered in Iceland than there are now, RÚV reports. In fact, the number of vehicles registered by the Icelandic Transportation Authority increased by 12,494 only last year, which means that there are now .9 cars for every Icelander. If only considering Icelanders old enough to hold a driver’s license (i.e. individuals over 17 years of age), the figure is slightly higher: almost one passenger vehicle per eligible driver in the country.

All total, there were 311,118 vehicles registered in Iceland at the end of 2018. Of these, 267,386 were passenger cars, 3,196 were coaches or passenger buses, 28,054 were delivery vans, and 12,482 were semi-trucks. According to the most recent census numbers, there are 348,450 Icelanders living in the country today; 272,559 are seventeen years or older.

In the past 35 years, the average number of passenger cars in Iceland has increased faster per year than the average number of people in in Iceland. From 1983 – 2018, the number of passenger cars has increased by an average of 3% a year, while the number of people has increased by just over 1%. In just the last five years, however, the number of vehicles in the country has increased by 4.6%. The highest jump was seen among coaches and passenger buses. From 2014 – 2018, the number of coaches in Iceland increased by 8.7% a year.

Although the number of registered vehicles has never been higher in Iceland, new vehicle registrations were down in 2018. Last year, there were 24,602 new cars registered in Iceland. This is roughly 5,000 fewer vehicles than were newly registered in 2017. This is a fairly significant change: since 2009, new registrations have increased every year, except for in 2012.

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