Cars or vans, number of

Mnemonic (reference code): CARSNO

Type: Primary variable

Definition: The number of cars or vans that are owned, or available for use, by one or more members of a household. This includes company cars and vans that are available for private use. It does not include motorbikes or scooters, or any cars or vans belonging to visitors.

The count of cars or vans in an area relates only to households. Cars or vans used by residents of communal establishments are not counted.

Responses indicating a number of cars or vans greater than 20 were treated as invalid and a value was imputed.

Applicability: Household





No cars or vans in household

01 – 20

1 to 20 car(s) or van(s) in household


No code required

Total number of categories: 22

Not applicable category (X) comprises: Household spaces with no usual residents

Source question:

Image of Scottish question H12 from 2011

Reason for asking: This information helps the Scottish Government and local authorities with transport planning, dealing with congestion and assessing the need for investment in public transport and roads.

As car ownership is the single largest component of traffic growth, this data is also used for forecasting traffic growth and planning the need for road building or other possible responses to future demand.

The data is also used to support the provision of accessible services and the development and implementation of transport policy, especially in rural areas.

In addition, data on households without access to a car can be matched with information on people with disabilities. These statistics can then be used to identify local areas where additional public transport might be required.

England & Wales (2011) and Scotland (2001) comparisons:

The question in England & Wales (2011) and the Scotland (2001) question were identical to the Scotland (2011) question.


To see which of our published standard, additional and commissioned tables use this variable please use the Table Index.