Household car fleet

Parc Auto is the annual reference study for more than 30 years on the French household car fleet conducted by Kantar TNS between March and April 2020 through two questionnaires with 10,000 households representative of the French population, which provides information on both the motorization rate of the vehicle fleet and their characteristics, equipment level, usage behaviour and user profile.

Parc Auto is the annual benchmark study on the French household car fleet Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Sofres) which includes two questionnaires ("Your household and the car" and "You and the car") with 10,000 households representing the French population.

Motorization rate and fleet size

The number of vehicles available to households is estimated at 36.09 million on 1 January 2020.  It is continuing the growth that began four years ago, fuelled in particular by an increase in the multi-car rate (proportion of households with at least two cars) of 6 points in five years, while the rate of households owning a car has fallen by 4 points.

The rate of car ownership, estimated at 86%, is still on the rise (+0.2 points in 2019) after a decline observed between 2011 and 2015. Car ownership peaks among heads of household aged between 55 and 64 and among the most affluent households.

The smaller the agglomeration, the higher the rate of car ownership and multiple car ownership. Multi-motorisation has increased over the past 10 years in all areas but has remained stable since 2016.

For non-motorised households, the reasons given are essentially that they do not have a driving licence and that they have no real need.

Vehicle characteristics

For the first time in 10 years, the average age of the fleet has decreased, while remaining stable overall since 2015.  With the success of the conversion premium, the weight of the fleet of vehicles aged between 5 and 10 years has fallen by 3 points since 2017, while that of vehicles aged over 10 years has remained stable (33%).

The share of new vehicles remains stable. Second-hand vehicles (20.9 million) account for 58% of the fleet and 64% of cars purchased in 2019. The average age of petrol vehicles continues to fall and is now lower than that of diesel vehicles (8.6 years versus 9.2 years).

Among the range levels, the share of the 4x4 SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) segment continues to increase in 2019 (+2 points). Its weight in the fleet has increased from 2% to 15% in 9 years. This increase has led to a significant drop in the weight of the M2 (medium saloon) and H (large saloon) segments.

Despite a drop of 2 points compared to 2018, French brands still account for a large majority of the French car fleet, with a weight of 62% However, Renault has seen a 5-point drop since 2012 (22% of the fleet in 2019).

Use behaviours

The average annual mileage per vehicle has remained stable in 2019, at around 11,870 km, since 2016. At the same time, the share of vehicles being used daily drops from 42% to 35%. For so-called "commuting" trips, most households make a daily round trip (35%). These trips average 34 km per journey, or 36 minutes.

The annual mileage of vehicles over 10 years old has begun to fall slightly since 2017 (-130 km over 2 years), while that of vehicles 10 years old or less has remained stable at around 13,000 km since 2016.

Reason for using the vehicle

The main reasons for using the vehicle are shopping (89%) and leisure (77%).

The reasons given by women correspond to short distance journeys: 95% of women declare using their vehicle for 'shopping' and 65% for 'going out', compared to 84% and 52% respectively for men. Men are more likely to declare using their vehicle for reasons corresponding to longer distances, such as going on holiday (57% compared to 49% for women).

Road users profiles

The share of female primary vehicle users increases slightly each year from 2013 (43.4% in 2019, 41.5% in 2013).

Nearly a quarter of the main users are aged 65 or over, although this category accounts for only 18% of the kilometres travelled.

Nearly 4 out of 10 vehicles are used by occasional drivers, but around 70% of them do less than a quarter of the total mileage of the vehicle: the car remains a very 'personal' asset that is difficult to share.

Young people aged 18 to 24 represent 4% of the main users (compared to 10% of the population). With the ageing of the population, people aged 65 and over are the most represented among the main users (25%). The proportion of licence holders tends to increase among those aged 75 and over (90% in 2019 compared with 81% in 2012) but remains stable for the other age groups. The 18-21 age group has the lowest proportion of licence holders (65%), while the 75+ age group has the lowest proportion of people driving among licence holders (80%).