The volume of traffic in the UK rose by 1.1% or 3.4 billion vehicle miles between 2006 and 2007, according to new figures.
Statistics from the Department for Transport show that UK traffic covered 319 billion miles in 2007, up 15% on 1997.
Cars make up 79% of traffic, but light van traffic is growing faster than the overall rate, up 4.6% on 2006 and 40% on 1997.
Heavy goods traffic increased by 0.8% on 2006.
Foreign traffic accounted for one of every 215 miles driven in the UK in 2007.
The statistics show that the average speed of traffic is decreasing, with fewer cars breaking speed limits. In 1997 70% of cars broke the 30mph speed limit, but last year fewer than half did so.
However, on motorways 54% exceeded the 70mph speed limit and 18% travelled at 80mph or faster.
Overall, average traffic speed fell from 55.4mph to 55mph, a drop of 0.8%.
Rush hour generally lasts from 6.30am to 9.30am in the 10 biggest urban areas.