The number of cars on England’s roads rose to 25.8m in the third quarter of 2015, a year-on-year increase of almost 600,000 (circa 2.5%).
DfT stats also show that since 2011, the number of cars has increased by about 1.6m in England, 142,000 in Scotland and 69,000 in Wales.
The largest rise has been in south-east England, with 373,200 more cars over the five year period, while in terms of overall numbers the East of England (3.3m) has moved ahead of the North West (3.2m).
The figures correlate with a rise in new car production. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders told the BBC that during 2015 production hit a seven-year high with 2.63m new cars manufactured, a 6.3% year-on-year increase.
The 2014 National Travel Survey confirmed that the car dominates UK travel, accounting for 64% of all journeys made and 78% of the distance travelled each year by an individual.
Statistics also released this week highlight an almost two-fold increase in the number of electric cars on UK roads in 2015.
According to Go Ultra Low, 28,188 electric cars were registered – a 94% year-on-year increase from 2014. The figure is also more than the combined total of electric cars sold every year since 2010.
The Government figures also show that in the first three quarters of 2015, the total number of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV) registered for the first time was 22,444, already eclipsing the 2014 figure of 15,869.