There were 58 newly licensed vehicles added to Malta's roads in the final three months of last year, according to figures supplied by the National Office of Statistics.

The overall stock of licensed motor vehicles in the country increased by a net average of 20 per day on the previous quarter, the NSO said. 

It means that by the end of December last year, there were 402,427 licenced vehicles- for a population of more than 500,000 people. 

The statistics show that the island's love for the car has not diminished, despite traffic problems and concerns over pollution caused by vehicle emissions.

Most of the stock of vehicles were passenger cars (76.6 per cent), followed by commercial motor vehicles (13.9 per cent), and motorcycles/quads and all-terrain vehicles (8.3 per cent). Buses and minibuses amounted to less than 1 per cent.

Electric cars

The uptake of electric vehicles remains low, amid government promises to invest more on initiatives such as installing more charging pillars.

As at the end of last year, electric and hybrid motor vehicles accounted for 1.5 per cent of the overall stock. While the number is tiny, it is growing. When compared to the previous quarter, increases of 15.6%, 10.5% and 8% were registered in the hybrid(electric/diesel), hybrid (electric/petrol) and electric motor vehicles respectively

The majority of motor vehicles - some 59.3 per cent - are petrol powered, while 38.8 per cent were diesel-powered vehicles.

Newly licensed motor vehicles put on the road during the period under review amounted to 5,373, while some  7,946 motor vehicles were taken off the road due to a restriction.

Of these, 38.3 per cent were garaged, 32.8 per cent were put up for resale, while scrapped motor vehicles amounted to 27 per cent. 

Motor vehicles that had their restriction end during the quarter under review totalled 4,156. The majority were recorded as being resold (59 per cent) or garaged (40.2 per cent). 

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