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9309.0 - Motor Vehicle Census, Australia, Mar 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/11/2005   
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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 2005.

2 Motor Vehicle Censuses (MVC) have been conducted periodically from 1971 on each of the following dates: 31 March 2005, 31 March 2004, 31 March 2003, 31 March 2002, 31 March 2001, 31 October 1999, 31 October 1998, 31 October 1997, 31 October 1996, 31 May 1995, 30 June 1993, 30 September 1991, 30 September 1988, 30 September 1985, 30 September 1982, 30 September 1979, 30 September 1976, 30 September 1971.


SCOPE

3 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.

4 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.

5 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.

6 Vintage and veteran vehicles are excluded from vehicle counts in the published data, but are available for consultancy data requests. These vehicles are identified using a unique insurance code, with the following exceptions:
  • in New South Wales this insurance code is not provided and therefore it is not possible to separately identify these vehicles. Therefore veteran and vintage vehicles are included in the number of registered vehicles for New South Wales.
  • while Victoria does provide an insurance code for these vehicles, this insurance code also applies to tractors, motorcycles and self propelled farm machinery owned by primary producers and used solely in connection with the business of a primary producer. These records are deemed out of scope. (Note that tractors and motorcycles not used solely in connection with the business of a primary producer have a different insurance code which deems them in scope.) Therefore, the number of veteran and vintage vehicles cannot be obtained for Victoria.

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

Between 1999 and 2001(b)
Between 2001 and 2002
Between 2002 and 2003
Between 2003 and 2004
Between 2004 and 2005
no.
%
no.
%
no.
%
no.
%
no.
%

NSW
333 193
6.0
177 095
4.5
191 566
4.7
196 609
4.7
294 187
6.8
Vic.
255 474
5.2
129 975
3.8
143 986
4.1
179 738
4.9
220 563
5.9
Qld
157 728
4.6
52 067
2.2
57 080
2.3
88 012
3.3
92 123
3.3
SA
50 400
3.3
37 331
3.5
40 480
3.7
44 813
4.0
52 125
4.6
WA
74 660
3.8
37 304
2.7
42 040
2.9
46 330
3.1
53 440
3.5
Tas.
18 984
4.0
10 648
3.2
11 306
3.3
6 768
1.9
9 323
2.6
NT
11 257
7.3
6 178
5.8
6 927
6.4
6 320
5.8
7 320
6.4
ACT
15 782
5.3
9 164
4.4
9 057
4.2
12 849
5.8
18 017
7.8
Aust.
917 478
5.0
459 762
3.6
502 442
3.8
581 439
4.2
747 098
5.2

(a) These estimates exclude motorcycles. For more details on the calculation of attrition rates refer to the Glossary.
(b) Between 31 October 1999 and 31 March 2001.
Sales of New Motor Vehicles, Australia (cat. no. 9314.0)

DATA QUALITY

8 Considerable effort is made, 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.

9 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.


STATISTICAL GEOGRAPHY

10 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.

11 The only geographic data available from the MVC are postcode of owner and state or territory of registration. Consequently, conversion factors have been used to concord postcode estimates to estimates for statistical divisions (SD). The concordances were calculated according to the SLA boundaries as at 1 July 2004 as explained in the Detailed Main Structure of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 2004, (cat. no. 1216.0).

12 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.

13 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 or territory 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 and territory.
  • 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.

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


RELATED PUBLICATIONS

15 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

16 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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