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In the 5 years between 31 March 2005 and 31 March 2010, the passenger vehicle fleet has grown 12.6% from 10.9 million to 12.3 million. Motor cycles and light commercial vehicles were the vehicle types showing the largest growth over this time with increases of 56.5% and 21.2% respectively. Campervans rose by 19.2%, buses rose by 18.9% and articulated trucks by 18.2%. Rigid trucks and non-freight carrying trucks had increases of 17.0% and 12.9% respectively over the same period.
STATES AND TERRITORIES
New South Wales had the largest share of the Australian fleet at 31 March 2010 with 4.7 million vehicles or 29.1% of all registered vehicles. Victoria had the second largest share with 4.1 million (25.6%) and Queensland had 3.4 million vehicles (20.9%). The Northern Territory had the smallest share with 0.1 million (0.8%) registered vehicles. These shares are comparable with the distribution of the population across states and territories.
From 31 March 2005 to 31 March 2010, three states experienced growth above the national average of 15.4%. Registrations in Northern Territory at 31 March 2010 were 22.7% above those at 31 March 2005, an average annual growth rate of 4.2%. In the same five year period, registrations in Western Australia increased 22.3% (an average annual growth rate of 4.1%) and Queensland registrations rose 21.4%, with an average annual increase of 3.9%. South Australia's growth in fleet size between 31 March 2005 and 31 March 2010 of 11.5% was the smallest. In this state, the average annual growth was 2.2%.
VEHICLES AND RESIDENT POPULATION
There were 721.1 motor vehicles per 1,000 resident population in Australia at 31 March 2010. This compares with 686.3 vehicles per 1,000 residents at the end of March 2005, an increase of 34.8 vehicles per 1,000 residents over this time.
Western Australia had the highest rate of all states and territories with 818.0 vehicles per 1,000 residents at 31 March 2010, while the Northern Territory had the lowest rate with 589.4 vehicles per 1,000 residents. New South Wales, which had both the largest vehicle fleet and the largest population at 31 March 2010, averaged 648.3 vehicles per 1,000 residents, the second lowest of all states or territories.
AVERAGE AGE OF THE FLEET
At 31 March 2010, the average age of all vehicles registered in Australia was 10.0 years. This is older than the 9.9 years recorded in the 2009 MVC, but younger than the 10.2 years recorded in the 2005 MVC. Over this five year period, all vehicle types except buses recorded a drop in the average age. Campervans and motorcycles showed the largest decreases in average age, dropping 0.9 and 0.8 years respectively, while buses increased 0.1 years over this five year period.
At 31 March 2010, campervans were the oldest vehicles registered with an average age of 18.0 years, while motor cycles were the youngest vehicle type with an average age of 8.8 years.
The average age of passenger vehicles has dropped from 9.9 years at 31 March 2005 to 9.7 years at 31 March 2010.
Tasmania had the oldest fleet with an average age of 11.9 years at 31 March 2010, with 30.2% of vehicles manufactured before 1995. This was followed by South Australia with an average age of 11.1 years and 25.4% manufactured before 1995. Northern Territory had the youngest fleet in Australia with an average age of 8.8 years and 16.8% of vehicles manufactured before 1995.
TYPE OF FUEL
At the 31 March 2010 MVC snapshot, 13.3 million vehicles in Australia (83.0% of the total vehicle fleet) were registered with a petrol fuel type. This compares with the 12.2 million vehicles registered at the 31 March 2005 snapshot 5 years earlier, when 87.5% of registrations fell into this category.
When comparing 31 March 2010 with 31 March 2005 snapshots, the number of vehicles registered with diesel fuel has increased by 57.4%. The number of vehicles registered with diesel fuel at 31 March 2010 accounted for 13.8% (or 2.2 million vehicles) of the total fleet. Five years earlier, 10.1% of vehicles were registered with diesel fuel.
Greater numbers of passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles registered with diesel were the major contributors to this increase. Overall passenger vehicle registrations increased by 12.6% between the 2005 and 2010 MVC snapshots, yet the number of passenger vehicles registered with diesel fuel increased by 91.5%.
At 31 March 2010, there were 958,393 light commercial vehicles registered with diesel fuel. This is 43.2% of all vehicle registrations in the diesel category. For light commercial vehicles, the number of registrations with diesel fuel at 31 March 2010 was 64.3% higher than at 31 March 2005.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FLEET
Passenger vehicles accounted for 76.4% of all vehicles registered in Australia at 31 March 2010. Since 31 March 2005, all states and territories have recorded increases in registrations of this vehicle type, with Western Australia showing the largest percentage growth (18.3%) and South Australia the smallest (9.0%).
In the Australian Capital Territory, passenger vehicles accounted for 84.0% of all registrations. This was the highest proportion of any state/territory. The Northern Territory had the smallest proportion with 62.5%.
A total of 6.2 million passenger vehicles were either Toyota, Holden or Ford. These three makes accounted for 19.9%, 16.8% and 13.8% of the total passenger vehicle fleet registered at 31 March 2010.
Light commercial vehicles
Light commercial vehicles accounted for 15.3% of all vehicles registered in Australia at 31 March 2010, the second highest proportion behind passenger vehicles. Since 31 March 2005, all states and territories have recorded increases in registrations of this vehicle type, with Queensland showing the largest percentage growth (30.4%) and New South Wales the smallest (14.8%).
While Queensland accounted for the third highest number of vehicle registrations of all states, it had the second highest number of light commercial vehicles registered in Australia (26.0%) behind New South Wales (26.7%). Victoria had 25.6% of all vehicles registered in Australia (behind New South Wales, 29.1%) but only 22.2% of total light commercial vehicles.
Rigid trucks accounted for 2.7% of the total number of vehicles registered at 31 March 2010. Registrations of rigid trucks with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) greater than 20 tonnes have increased by 29.8% since 31 March 2005, while registrations of rigid trucks with a GVM of 20 tonnes or less have increased by 14.3% over the same period.
At 31 March 2010, 82,436 articulated trucks were registered in Australia. While this is 18.2% higher than the number of registrations five years earlier, the growth has been exclusively in articulated trucks in the larger gross combination mass (GCM) categories. Over this period, the number of registrations of articulated trucks with a GCM up to and including 60 tonnes has dropped by 2.3% and the number of articulated trucks with GCM over 60 tonnes has increased by 49.3%. This has resulted in an articulated truck fleet where the proportion of registrations with GCM over 60 tonnes has increased from 39.8% at 31 March 2005 to 50.2% at 31 March 2010.
Victoria had the largest number of articulated trucks on register. It was also the state with the highest number of registrations with a GCM greater than 60 tonnes (13,019). This is 55.0% greater than the number of registrations in this category at 31 March 2005. At 31 March 2010, 82.8% of Northern Territory articulated trucks had a GCM greater than 60 tonnes (855). Western Australia had the lowest proportion of articulated trucks with a GCM greater than 60 tonnes, with only 1.4% of vehicles in this class (170).
Motor cycles accounted for 4.1% of all vehicles registered in Australia at 31 March 2010, up from 3.0% in 2005.
Between 31 March 2005 and 31 March 2010, motor cycle registrations increased by 56.5% and had the largest increase of any vehicle type.
Increases in registrations over this five year period have been observed in all states and territories, with Western Australia recording the largest percentage increase (77.0%), followed by the Northern Territory (74.8%). The smallest percentage increase was in Victoria where registrations of motor cycles at 31 March 2010 were 45.4% above those recorded 5 years earlier.
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