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    Mobility policy

    The car is, and will remain Germans‘ favorite mode of transport

    Even if the focus is currently on alternative mobility offerings, the car remains indispensable in rural areas. As confirmed by statistics.

    Even if the focus is currently on alternative mobility offerings, the car remains indispensable in rural areas. As confirmed by statistics.

    The car remains indispensable in rural areas

    The car is still by far the most important mode of transport in Germany. In 2019, people traveled some 937 billion passenger kilometers – 79% of total passenger traffic. In 2020, there was a significant drop in overall passenger transport due to corona, yet this decline was considerably greater in public transport than among passenger cars, to the extent that the amount of cars in total transport in 2020 was actually well over 80%.

    Especially in rural areas, owning a car continues to be indispensable for many people. According to the latest edition of the study "Mobility in Germany" commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, the level of motorization in small towns and villages is 607 cars per 1,000 inhabitants, well above the national average (527 cars per 1,000 inhabitants), and this figure has also increased by 22% since 2002.

    In addition, it can be observed that older people travel by car much more frequently today than they did ten or twenty years ago. This also applies to urban areas.

    In contrast, a decline in car use can be witnessed in young city dwellers. Among metropolitan households consisting of under-35s without children, the share of carless households has increased from 47% to 54% since 2002. These people are very pragmatic in their choice of vehicle: They use public transport, bicycles, and car sharing. This does not necessarily mean, however, that they will not own a car later on in life – after starting a family, for instance.

    Contact person

    Dr. Michael Niedenthal

    Head of Transport Policy Department

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