This paper is an early output from the EPSRC/RCUK Energy Programme project, MOT (Motoring and vehicle Ownership Trends in the UK). The MOT test record dataset recently released by the Department for Transport provides the ability to estimate annual mileage figures for every individual light duty vehicle greater than 3 years old within Great Britain. Vehicle age, engine size and fuel type are also provided in the MOT dataset and these allow further estimates to be made of fuel consumption, energy use, and air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle. The use of this data permits the adoption of a new vehicle-centred approach to assessing emissions and energy use in comparison to previous road-flow and national fuel usage based approaches. The MOT dataset currently also allows a spatial attribution of each vehicle to a postcode area, through the reported location of relevant vehicle testing stations, allowing this new vehicle data to be linked with socio-demographic data in order to determine the probable location of vehicle owners and consequently potential characteristics of the drivers.
This paper provides a broad overview of the types of analyses that are made possible by this data, with a particular focus on distance driven and pollutant emissions. The analyses provided in the paper are, due to space, admittedly cursory. However, the intention is to demonstrate the very broad potential for this data, and to highlight where further drilling down into the data could be useful. The findings from the work have important implications, not just for understanding the distributional impacts of transport related policies, but also for the targeting of messaging and interventions for the reduction of car use.