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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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ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This publication presents statistics relating to vehicles which were registered at 31 March 2005 with a motor vehicle registration authority. Motor vehicle registration statistics are compiled from data made available by various state and territory motor vehicle registration authorities and reflect the information as recorded in registration documents.


Estimates of the size and composition of the vehicle fleet were first published in 1921. However, it is only since 1971 that a Motor Vehicle Census (MVC) has been conducted on a more regular basis. The MVC has not been conducted in each and every year since 1971 and the census dates have varied over those years. Therefore, care should be taken when attempting to compare movements over the years.


Statistics are provided on vehicle types comprising passenger vehicles, campervans, light commercial vehicles, all types of trucks, buses and motorcycles.


Vehicle characteristic information includes make of vehicle, year of manufacture, type of fuel that the vehicle was manufactured to use; and for trucks, Gross Vehicle Mass or Gross Combination Mass. The size of the motor vehicle fleet is also compared with the estimated resident population.



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.



SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


TOTAL NUMBER OF VEHICLES ON REGISTER

There were 13.9 million motor vehicles, including motorcycles, registered in Australia at 31 March 2005. This represents an increase of 11.6% since the 2001 Motor Vehicle Census (MVC), when there were 12.5 million vehicles registered in Australia. The average annual growth over this time was 2.8%.

Type of vehicle - Census years 2001 and 2005

2001
2005
Change
Average annual growth
no.
no.
%
%

Passenger vehicles
9 835 884
10 896 410
10.8
2.6
Campervans
33 586
40 693
21.2
4.9
Light commercial vehicles
1 769 583
2 030 254
14.7
3.5
Rigid trucks
338 411
368 520
8.9
2.2
Articulated trucks
62 597
69 723
11.4
2.7
Non-freight carrying trucks
18 204
19 962
9.7
2.3
Buses
67 572
72 620
7.5
1.8
Motorcycles
350 930
421 923
20.2
4.7
Total motor vehicles
12 476 767
13 920 105
11.6
2.8


The passenger vehicle fleet has grown from 9.8 million in 2001 to 10.9 million in 2005, an increase of 10.8%. Campervans (21.2%) and motorcycles (20.2%) were the vehicle types showing the largest growth over this time.


Light commercial vehicles rose by 14.7%, while articulated trucks rose by 11.4% and rigid trucks rose by 8.9%. Buses had the smallest growth over the same period increasing by 7.5%.

Percentage change in type of vehicle - Census years 2001 and 2005
Graph: Percentage change in type of vehicle - Census years 2001 and 2005




STATES AND TERRITORIES

New South Wales had the largest share of the Australian fleet with 4.2 million vehicles (30.0% of the total) registered, followed by Victoria with 3.6 million (26.2%) and Queensland with 2.8 million (19.9%). The Northern Territory had the smallest share with 0.1 million vehicles (0.8%) registered. These shares are comparable with the distribution of the population across states and territories.


From 2001 to 2005, one state experienced growth above the national average of 11.6%. The motor vehicle fleet in Queensland showed the largest growth with a 17.5% increase since 2001, an average annual growth of 4.1%. South Australia showed the smallest growth in fleet size since 2001 (5.8%), an average annual increase of 1.4%.

Percentage change in motor vehicle registrations - Census years 2001 and 2005
Graph: Percentage change in motor vehicle registrations - Census years 2001 and 2005




VEHICLES AND RESIDENT POPULATION

There were 686 motor vehicles per 1,000 resident population in Australia in 2005. This compares to 645 vehicles per 1,000 residents in 2001, representing an increase of 41 vehicles per 1,000 residents over this time.


Western Australia had the highest rate of all states and territories with 763 vehicles per 1,000 residents in 2005, while the Northern Territory had the lowest rate with 544 vehicles per 1,000 residents.

Motor vehicles by state/territory of registration
Graph: Motor vehicles by state/territory of registration




AVERAGE AGE OF THE FLEET

The average age of all vehicles registered in Australia at 31 March 2005 was 10.2 years. This is slightly younger than the 10.5 years recorded in the 2001 MVC. Just over one-quarter (27.0%) of the total Australian fleet in 2005 was more than 15 years old, i.e. manufactured before 1991.


Campervans were the oldest vehicles registered with an average age of 18.9 years, while motorcycles were the youngest vehicle type with an average age of 9.6 years.


The average age of passenger vehicles dropped slightly from 10.1 years in 2001 to 9.9 years in 2005, with 25.1% of passenger vehicles manufactured before 1991.

Estimated average vehicle age(a), Type of vehicle
Graph: Estimated average vehicle age (a), Type of vehicle



Tasmania had the oldest fleet with an average age of 12.0 years and with 37.0% of vehicles manufactured before 1991. This was followed by South Australia with an average age of 11.4 years and 33.0% manufactured before 1991. The youngest fleets in Australia belonged to New South Wales and the Northern Territory, each with an average age of 9.3 years and less than one-quarter of vehicles in each fleet manufactured before 1991 (22.0% and 22.6% respectively).



TYPE OF FUEL

In 2005, there were 10.6 million vehicles registered in Australia (76.4% of the total vehicle fleet) that had been manufactured to use unleaded petrol, while 1.6 million vehicles (11.2%) had been manufactured to use leaded petrol. In contrast, in 2001, there were 8.2 million vehicles (65.6%) manufactured to use unleaded petrol and 2.9 million vehicles (23.3%) manufactured to use leaded petrol. This represents an increase of 29.9% in unleaded petrol vehicles and a decrease of 46.5% in leaded petrol vehicles since 2001.


In 2005, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of vehicles (83.8%) manufactured to use unleaded petrol. Consistent with their older fleet, Tasmania had the highest proportion of vehicles (18.1%) manufactured to use leaded petrol.


Passenger vehicles comprised 86.4% of motor vehicles that were manufactured to use unleaded petrol and 73.2% of vehicles manufactured to use leaded petrol.


The number of vehicles manufactured to use diesel fuel made up 10.1% (or 1.4million vehicles) of the total fleet, representing an increase of 29.6% since the 2001 MVC. Diesel vehicles were most prominent in the Northern Territory with 24.4% of the fleet manufactured to use this fuel type. The Australian Capital Territory had the smallest proportion of diesel vehicles with 4.2%.


Light commercial vehicles made up 41.3% of vehicles manufactured to use diesel fuel, while rigid and articulated trucks accounted for 22.6% and 4.8% respectively. Passenger vehicles manufactured to use diesel fuel increased by 40.9% since the 2001 MVC, and represented 24.9% of all diesel vehicles in 2005.

Motor vehicle fleet, Type of fuel(a)
Graph: Motor vehicle fleet, Type of fuel (a)




CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FLEET

Passenger vehicles

Passenger vehicles accounted for 78.3% of all vehicles registered in Australia in 2005. The state/territory with the largest proportion of passenger vehicles was the Australian Capital Territory with 85.9%, while the Northern Territory had the smallest share with 65.0%.


All states and territories showed increases since 2001, with passenger vehicles registered in Queensland showing the largest increase (16.5%) and those registered in South Australia and the Northern Territory showing the smallest (5.2%).


A total of 6.0 million passenger vehicles were either Holden, Toyota or Ford. Respectively, these three makes accounted for 18.8%, 18.5% and 17.5% of the total passenger vehicle fleet registered at 31 March 2005.


Kia recorded the highest growth of all passenger vehicle makes since 2001, with an average annual growth of 30.9%. Other makes that recorded high average annual growths were Lexus (20.9%), Renault (18.4%), Audi (13.3%), Peugeot (10.6%), and Jeep (10.6%). These high average annual growths should be considered in terms of the low number of vehicles from which they were derived.


Trucks

Rigid trucks accounted for 2.6% of all vehicles registered in Australia in 2005. The number of registrations for the heaviest rigid trucks (those with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) greater than 20 tonnes) has increased by 19.4% since 2002, while registrations for rigid trucks with a GVM of less than 20 tonnes increased only 5.8% over the same period.


Articulated trucks accounted for 0.5% of all vehicles on register in 2005. Articulated trucks with a gross combination mass (GCM) greater than 60 tonnes increased by 46.2% since 2002, while those with a GCM of up to 60 tonnes decreased in number (6.5%).


Victoria had the largest share (8,398) of articulated trucks with a GCM greater than 60 tonnes, closely followed by Queensland with 7,893. Northern Territory had the highest percentage (79.5%) of articulated trucks with a GCM greater than 60 tonnes, compared to all articulated trucks for that state, followed by Queensland (52.3%).


Motorcycles

Motorcycles accounted for 3.0% of all vehicles registered in Australia in 2005, up slightly from 2.8% in 2001.


Australian motorcycle registrations increased across all states and territories between 2001 and 2005 except for the Northern Territory where the number of registrations decreased 5.5%. Queensland (31.0%) and New South Wales (24.5%) recorded the largest increases while South Australia (9.8%) recorded the smallest increase over this time.

Motorcycle fleet, State/territory of registration
Graph: Motorcycle fleet, State/territory of registration


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