9309.0.55.003 - Microdata: Census of Motor Vehicles, Australia, 2015 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/09/2015   
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SURVEY METHODOLOGY

SCOPE AND COVERAGE

The 2015 Motor Vehicle Census (MVC) includes all motor vehicles that are registered with an Australian state or territory motor vehicle registration authority (MVR) for unrestricted use on public roads as at the census date, 31 January.

The scope of the MVC excludes:

  • recreational vehicles such as trail bikes, quad bikes, and sand dune buggies intended for off-road use;
  • veteran and vintage vehicles registered for restricted use only;
  • consular vehicles; and
  • vehicles registered by the defence forces.

Data provided to the ABS includes road-registered caravans, trailers, tractors, plant and equipment. These particular vehicle types are out of scope and hence are not included in the Motor Vehicle Census publication. From 2013, data for road registered caravans, trailers, tractors, plant and equipment are available in TableBuilder product 9309.0.55.003 Microdata: Census of Motor Vehicles, Australia.

Coverage currently extends to data collected by all eight Australian states and territories.

Vehicles whose registration has lapsed up to 30 days prior to the MVC snapshot date are deemed to be in scope. This is because payments may be processed by motor vehicle registries within this time and the vehicle treated as being continuously registered.

In Victoria and Queensland, recreational vehicles such as trail bikes, quad bikes, and sand dune buggies are required to be registered. These are included in the MVC as these vehicles are not able to be discretely identified and removed. In these states, trail bikes are included in motor cycles while other off-road vehicles could be included in various vehicle types depending on how the MVR coded the body type.

Veteran and vintage vehicles with restricted use are included in the count of registered vehicles for New South Wales as there are no distinguishing identifiers in the data supplied by the MVR to enable them to be extracted from the count. Where possible, data on most Victorian veteran and vintage vehicles are excluded from the files loaded by the ABS. Veteran and vintage vehicles with restricted use for all other states and territories are excluded in the count of registered vehicles.

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.

DATA COLLECTION METHODOLOGY

The 2015 Motor Vehicle Census is a count of all in-scope vehicles registered with a state or territory motor vehicle registration authority at 31 January 2015. All records are compared to previous MVC data for vehicles that match (on-going registrations) and details are updated for these vehicles where applicable.

The unmatched records (new vehicle registrations) undergo editing of individual data items. The editing of on-going registrations is limited as these records have been edited in previous years. Aggregate data is checked across time, states and vehicle types to ensure coherency.

DATA QUALITY

The primary use of the MVC is as a frame for the Survey of Motor Vehicle Use (SMVU). Editing of the data is designed to maximise data quality to the level required for the SMVU. The size of the fleet (over 18 million vehicles) dictates that quality assurance of each record is not possible. Therefore, while the data are made available at a detailed level, the ABS is unable to guarantee that it is necessarily sufficient for all purposes for which it may be used. There is also some variation in the reporting from different state and territory registries and care should be taken when comparing data across jurisdictions.

The information provided to the ABS and included in the estimates for any month may be revised or corrected in later months. Where corrections are made to original data they will be identified by the annotation (r) revised.


STATISTICAL GEOGRAPHY

Geographic data available from the MVC are postcode of owner and state or territory of registration.

If analysis of regional data based on postcodes is being undertaken, the following considerations need to be taken into account:
  • there are some instances where the postcode of the vehicle's owner is in a different state or territory from that in which the vehicle is registered. For example, the postcode of the owner of the vehicle could be in Sydney, yet the vehicle could be registered in Queensland;
  • some official postcodes (PO boxes, competition postcodes) do not correspond to residential areas;
  • some postcodes could be invalid.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

This publication draws extensively on information provided freely by the state and territory motor vehicle registration authorities. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated. Without it, many of the transport statistics published by the ABS would not be available.