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9309.0 - Motor Vehicle Census, Australia, Mar 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/11/2004   
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MOTOR VEHICLE CENSUS

1 This publication presents statistics relating to vehicles which were registered with a motor vehicle registration authority at 31 March 2004.

2 Motor Vehicle Censuses (MVC) have been conducted periodically from 1971 on each of the following dates:

2004, 31 March1993, 30 June
2003, 31 March1991, 30 September
2002, 31 March1988, 30 September
2001, 31 March1985, 30 September
1999, 31 October1982, 30 September
1998, 31 October1979, 30 September
1997, 31 October1976, 30 September
1996, 31 October1971, 30 September
1995, 30 May
SCOPE

3 Vehicles on register are defined as those vehicles registered at the date of the census, or had registration expire less than one month before that date.


4 Motor vehicle registration statistics are derived from data made available by various state and territory motor vehicle registration authorities and reflect the information as recorded in registration documents.


5 Considerable effort has been made in recent years, both by motor vehicle registration authorities and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), to improve data quality. This has been done through the introduction of improved processing and classification systems and the incorporation of additional internal checking based on make and model. While these have improved data accuracy, there remains some variation in the reporting from different state and territory registries and hence care should still be taken when comparing data across jurisdictions.


6 For vehicles manufactured during or after 1990, the statistics in this publication are based on procedures using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), adopted by state and territory motor vehicle registration authorities. The VIN system allows accurate identification of the make and model of a vehicle, which can then be used to better identify the vehicle type. Vehicles manufactured earlier than 1990 generally do not have a VIN.


7 The estimated proportion of motor vehicles, excluding motorcycles, taken off the register since the previous MVC is referred to as the attrition rate. The attrition rates in the following table have been calculated using new motor vehicle sales data.

ESTIMATED ATTRITION(a), State/territory - Census years

1999
2003
2004
no.
%
no.
%
no.
%

NSW
282,221
7.3
191,566
4.7
190,371
4.5
Vic.
122,121
3.7
143,986
4.1
176,347
4.7
Qld
58,933
2.6
57,080
2.3
82,470
3.0
SA
44,848
4.3
40,480
3.7
43,885
3.9
WA
55,228
4.1
42,040
2.9
43,908
2.9
Tas.
7,566
2.3
11,306
3.3
6,214
1.7
NT
7,077
6.6
6,927
6.4
6,335
5.6
ACT
11,410
5.6
9,057
4.2
12,771
5.6
Aust.
589,404
4.7
502,442
3.8
562,401
4.0

(a) For more details on calculation of attrition rate refer to Glossary.


8 The Motor Vehicle Census includes all vehicles registered with a state, territory or other government motor vehicle registry for unrestricted use on public roads with the following exceptions:

  • recreational vehicles such as trail bikes and sand dune buggies intended for off-road use in most states and territories (in Victoria and Queensland these vehicles must be registered and are thus included in the statistics);
  • consular vehicles; and
  • vehicles registered by the defence forces.


STATISTICAL GEOGRAPHY

9 The ABS uses geographic concordances to enable the conversion of data from one type of geographic region to another. These geographic concordances are generally used to convert data for 'non-standard areas' to data for standard areas used by the ABS.


10 The only geographic data available from the MVC are postcode of owner and state of registration. Consequently, conversion factors have been used to concord postcode estimates to estimates for statistical local areas (SLA). SLA estimates are then aggregated to form statistical divisions (SD). The concordances were calculated according to the SLA boundaries as at 1 July 2003 as explained in the Detailed Main Structure of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 2003, (cat. no. 1216.0).


11 The geographic concordances used for this MVC were based on the distribution of the estimated resident population (ERP) across Australia. For the purposes of this publication, it is assumed that motor vehicles are distributed between SLAs in the same manner as the ERP.


12 When analysing the data the following limitations of the concordance methodology need to be taken into account:

  • in applying the concordances it is assumed that the particular characteristics of any data item are uniformly distributed across a postcode. Therefore concorded data may not truly reflect the distribution of the characteristics of the population.
  • there were some instances where the postcode of the vehicle's owner was in a different state to that in which the vehicle was registered. For example, the postcode of the owner of the vehicle was in Sydney (a postcode of 2000), yet the vehicle was registered in Qld (a postcode of 4000). Data for these postcodes have been included in an 'out of state/unspecified' category for each state.
  • some official postcodes (P.O. boxes, competition postcodes) do not correspond to residential areas but still have been reported under the postcode of owner field. Data for these and other 'invalid' postcodes have been included in an 'out of state/unspecified' category for each state and territory.

13 While care was taken in producing concordances, the ABS does not guarantee the accuracy of concorded data.



RELATED PUBLICATIONS

14 Users may also wish to refer to the following publications and products which contain information relating to motor vehicles in Australia:

  • Directory of Transport Statistics, 2000 cat. no. 1132.0 (irregular)
  • Sales of New Motor Vehicles, Australia, (Electronic Publication) cat. no. 9314.0 or 9314.0.55.001 (issued monthly)
  • Survey of Motor Vehicle use, Australia cat. no. 9208.0 (issued annually since 1998)
  • Freight Movements, Australia cat. no. 9220.0 (irregular)


ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

15 As well as the statistics included in this publication, the ABS has other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

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