Only Berlin bucks trend as record numbers of cars hit the road in Germany

DPA/The Local
DPA/The Local - [email protected]
Only Berlin bucks trend as record numbers of cars hit the road in Germany
Parked cars by Königssee in Bavaria. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Kilian Pfeiffer

Despite political talk of a green transition for transport, Germans are in fact driving more and more personal vehicles on the country's roads, according to new figures from the Federal Statistical Office.


Last year saw a record figure of 583 passenger cars per 1,000 inhabitants, the Wiesbaden-based agency said on Tuesday.

Over the past ten years, passenger car use has consistently increased, with Berlin being the only exception. In 2012, there were still 342 cars per 1,000 inhabitants in the capital, compared to 338 last year.

As of January 1st 2023, there were a record 48.8 million passenger cars registered in Germany, according to figures from the Federal Motor Transport Authority.

Calculations show that more than three-quarters (78 percent) of private households owned at least one car last year. The proportion of households with two cars increased from 24.5 to 27 percent over the ten-year period, and the proportion of households with three or more cars increased from 4.1 to 6.2 percent.


The highest passenger car density was found in Saarland in 2022 (660 cars per 1,000 inhabitants), followed by Rhineland-Palatinate (634) and Bavaria (625). The lowest density was in the city-states of Berlin (338), Hamburg (439), and Bremen (443).

In a comparison of the 27 EU states, Germany was ranked 8th in terms of passenger car density, as it was in the previous year.

The highest number of cars per population was found in Poland (687), Luxembourg (681), and Italy (675) at beginning of 2022. The lowest passenger car density was in Romania (400). In all EU states, passenger car density increased over the ten-year period.

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