Car or van ownership


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1. Main facts and figures

  • 19% of people had no access to a car or van in 2014/18, the same figure as in 2002/06
  • in every period from 2002/06 to 2014/18, White people were more likely to live in a household with access to a car or van than any other ethnic group
  • in every period from 2002/06 to 2014/18, Black people were more than twice as likely as White people to live in a household with no access to a car or van
Things you need to know

This data comes from the National Transport Survey (NTS).

The information is collected over a series of overlapping 5-year periods. The average for each 5-year period is then calculated. This increases the reliability of the data. However, tests for significant differences between ethnic groups have not been carried out. As a result, figures have only been supplied where there are relatively large differences between ethnic groups or modes of transport.

Since 2013, the NTS has only surveyed people in England, whereas previously it also included Scotland and Wales. To ensure the data is consistent, responses from people in Scotland and Wales from before 2013 have been excluded.

In the 2014/18 period, the number of respondents in each ethnic group was:

  • Asian: 4677
  • Black: 1905
  • Mixed: 613
  • White: 59489
  • Other: 760

Because of the smaller number of respondents from the Mixed and Other ethnic groups, any generalisations based on their figures should be used with caution.

People from ethnic minority groups are more likely than White people to live in urban areas, where fewer people own and drive cars. (The 2011 Census found that 98% of Black and Asian people lived in urban areas, compared to 80% of White people.)

The data for ‘All ethnic groups’ includes people who did not give their ethnicity. In the period 2014/18, 34 people (0.05%) did not give their ethnicity.

What the data measures

This data measures the percentage of people in England aged 17 and over who live in households with no access to a car or van. The data is broken down by ethnicity.

The data comes from the Department for Transport’s National Travel Survey.

The ethnic categories used in this data

For this data, the number of people surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions about specific ethnic categories. Therefore, the data is broken down into the following 5 broad groups:

  • Asian/Asian British
  • Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
  • Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
  • White
  • Other ethnic group

2. By ethnicity

Percentage of people with no access to a car or van, by ethnicity over time
Time All Asian Black Mixed White Other
% % % % % %
2002/06 19 23 40 39 18 37
2003/07 19 23 42 38 18 38
2004/08 19 22 42 35 18 38
2005/09 19 22 41 35 18 41
2006/10 19 22 41 33 18 38
2007/11 19 24 42 36 18 38
2008/12 20 25 43 36 18 40
2009/13 20 24 43 36 18 38
2010/14 20 24 43 36 18 34
2011/15 19 24 42 35 18 37
2012/16 19 22 41 30 18 35
2013/17 19 21 41 30 18 35
2014/18 19 21 41 31 17 34

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Car or van ownership By ethnicity Summary

This data shows that:

  • between 2014 and 2018, 19% of people lived in a household with no access to a car or van
  • of all the ethnic groups, Black people were most likely to have no access to a car or van, at 41%
  • this compares with 34% of people from the Other ethnic group, 31% of people with a Mixed ethnicity, 21% of Asian people and 17% of White people
  • figures for car or van access have remained broadly similar since 2002/06 for most ethnic groups
  • there has been a fall in access for people with a Mixed ethnicity, but the number of people surveyed is too small to be sure this is a trend

3. Methodology

National Travel Survey respondents complete both a:

  • face-to-face interview
  • 7-day travel diary

This allows the Department for Transport to link travel patterns with individual characteristics.

The survey includes around 16,000 people in 7,000 households in England every year. It covers travel by people in all age groups, including children.

Weighting: Weighting adjusts the results of a survey to make them more reliable and more representative of the general population.

For example, if 25% of a survey's respondents are women, it won't reflect the views of the general population.

National Travel Survey responses are weighted to take account of different population demographics. They’re also weighted to take into account people who didn’t respond or didn’t complete their travel diary in full.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Values of fewer than 100 people or 300 trips (before weighting is applied) have been suppressed. ‘Suppression’ means the figures have not been included in the data, because the numbers involved are too small to draw any meaningful conclusions.

For example, in the latest 5-year period, there were only 613 and 760 individuals in the 'Mixed' and 'Other' ethnic groups, so the data does not support more detailed breakdowns as these estimates would be unreliable.

Where the size of the ethnic group population is small enough that an individual’s identity could be revealed, some other figures have also been excluded.

Where the size of the ethnic group population is small enough that an individual’s identity could be revealed, some other figures have also been excluded.


Figures are rounded to the nearest whole percentage. The percentages calculated in the tables are based on unrounded figures.

Related publications

Previous National Travel Survey reports are available.

Quality and methodology information

4. Data sources


Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics


Department for Transport

Publication frequency


Purpose of data source

The National Travel Survey is designed to:

  • track long-term trends in personal travel
  • inform the development of policy

It is the main source of data on personal travel patterns by residents of England.

The survey collects information on how, why, when and where people travel. It also covers factors affecting people's travel habits (such as whether they have a car and driving licence).

5. Download the data

Car or van ownership - Spreadsheet (csv) 10 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value, numerator, denominator, sample size