Monsters of the road: what should the UK do about SUVs?

They have higher emissions, hog roadspace and are more dangerous for other road users. Yet SUVs are selling better than ever. As calls for curbs increase, some people are taking matters into their own hands

By the early part of this year more than half of all new car sales in Europe were SUVs or SUV-styled cars. Between 2001 and 2022, in an outbreak of ongoing auto-obesity, the average kerb weight of cars sold in Europe increased by 21%. The International Energy Agency has said that annual CO2 emissions from the world’s 330m SUVs reached almost 1bn tonnes last year. According to the government, the transport sector is the biggest source of CO2 emissions in the UK (accounting for 34% of the total), with the “large majority” coming from road transport.