ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication presents estimates from the 2005 Survey of Motor Vehicle Use (SMVU). It contains statistics on passenger vehicle, motor cycle, truck and bus use for characteristics such as distance travelled, tonne-kilometres and fuel consumption.
The data were collected in four quarterly sample surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) over the period 1 November 2004 to 31 October 2005.
COMPARISONS WITH PREVIOUS SURVEY RESULTS
This survey has been designed to provide a measure of total distance travelled and tonne-kilometres for each state/territory of registration by type of vehicle. While comparisons are made between 2005 survey results and earlier iterations of the SMVU, the survey has not been designed to provide accurate estimates of change.
Care should be taken in drawing inferences from changes in data over time as movements may be subject to high relative standard errors and the resulting estimates of movements may not be considered statistically significant. See Explanatory Notes paragraph 14.
Additional information about the reliability of the level and movement estimates is given in the Technical Note.
REVIEW OF 2003 SMVU ESTIMATES
Following compilation of the 2004 estimates, the results for 2003 were reviewed to investigate concerns regarding coherence. As a result, the ABS decided not to publish the 2003 estimates in the 2004 publication and indicated to users that an investigation would occur and advise of the outcome at a later date.
The review did not indicate any systemic quality concern with the 2003 stratification and estimation process. For this reason, the ABS does not consider it necessary to re-release the 2003 SMVU estimates. The official 2003 estimates are those contained in the publication Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, 2003 (cat. no. 9208.0). For the information of users, summary tables of the 2003 post-stratified estimates are presented in Review of 2003 SMVU Estimates.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
NUMBER OF VEHICLES
In the 12 months ended 31 October 2005 there were an estimated 13.9 million vehicles registered in Australia.
Passenger vehicles (78.9%) made up the largest group of registered vehicles in 2005, followed by freight vehicles (17.4%). The remainder (3.6%) comprised buses, motor cycles and non-freight carrying trucks. Of the freight vehicles, 82.1% were light commercial vehicles, 15.1% were rigid trucks and 2.8% were articulated trucks.
The 13.9 million vehicles represented an increase of 1.5 million vehicles (12.5%) compared with the 12 months ended 31 October 2001.
Motor vehicles in Australia travelled an estimated 206,383 million kilometres in the 12 months ended 31 October 2005. While the number of vehicles increased by 12.5% compared with the 12 months ended 31 October 2001, the distance travelled by these vehicles has only increased by 8.5% over this time.
The state/territory proportion of total kilometres travelled is closely related to the number of registered vehicles in each state/territory. New South Wales had the largest share of total kilometres travelled (30.9%) and the largest number of registered vehicles.
Proportion of vehicles and total kilometres travelled, State/territory of registration-Year ended 31 October 2005
Australian registered motor vehicles each travelled an average of 14,800 kilometres in the 12 months ended 31 October 2005. Queensland (16,100 kilometres) and New South Wales (15,200 kilometres) were above the national average, while vehicles registered in South Australia travelled the least number of average kilometres (13,100).
Average kilometres travelled, Motor vehicles by state/territory of registration - Year ended 31 October 2005
Passenger vehicles accounted for 75.1% of the total distance travelled in the 12 months ended 31 October 2005. This represents a slight decrease compared with the proportion travelled by passenger vehicles in the 12 months ended 31 October 2001 (75.7%).
Personal and other use accounted for 52.5% of the total kilometres travelled by passenger vehicles in Australia during 2005. Travel to and from work (27.4%) and business use (20.0%) accounted for the remaining kilometres travelled by passenger vehicles.
Freight carrying vehicles accounted for 47,743 million kilometres travelled (23.1%) in the 12 months ended 31 October 2005. Of this, light commercial vehicles accounted for 70.7% of the kilometres travelled, rigid trucks for 16.1%, and articulated trucks for 13.2%.
Freight vehicles in Australia travelled an estimated 164,394 million tonne-kilometres in the 12 months ended 31 October 2005. This is an increase of 31,972 million tonne-kilometres (24.1%) travelled since the 12 months ended 31 October 2001. An increase in tonne-kilometres was reported in all freight vehicle types.
Total tonne-kilometres travelled, Type of vehicle - Years ended 31 October 2001 and 31 October 2005
Articulated trucks accounted for 77.2% of the total freight vehicle tonne-kilometres travelled in the 12 months ended 31 October 2005. Rigid trucks accounted for 18.3% and light commercial vehicles for 4.4%. Articulated trucks each travelled an average of 2.0 million tonne-kilometres. In comparison, rigid trucks and light commercial vehicles travelled an average of 98,000 and 6,400 tonne-kilometres respectively in the 12 months ended 31 October 2005.
In the 12 months ended 31 October 2005, articulated trucks of a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) over 40 tonnes travelled 118,432 million tonne-kilometres, out of a total 126,926 million tonne-kilometres travelled by all articulated trucks.
The amount of tonne-kilometres travelled by articulated trucks in the 12 months ended 31 October 2005 varied when comparing the state of operation and the state of registration, with the largest difference occuring in New South Wales.
Total tonne-kilometres travelled by articulated trucks, State of operation and registration-Year ended 31 October 2005
Registered motor vehicles in Australia consumed 28,967 million litres of fuel in the 12 months ended 31 October 2005. This is an increase of 11.6% (3,019 million litres) since the 12 months ended 31 October 2001. Over the same period, the estimated number of motor vehicles in Australia increased by 12.5% and kilometres travelled increased by 8.5%.
Of the total fuel consumed by motor vehicles in the 12 months ended 31 October 2005, 64.6% of fuel was petrol and 30.0% was diesel fuel.
Passenger vehicles used 15,856 million litres of petrol in the 12 months ended 31 October 2005, of which 95.6% (15,160 million litres) was unleaded petrol.
A total of 5,636 million litres of diesel fuel was used by articulated and rigid trucks. This was 64.9% of all diesel fuel used.
The total fuel consumption by other vehicles in the 12 months ended 31 October 2005 included 4,484 million litres of fuel by light commercial vehicles and 506 million litres of fuel by buses.
Total Fuel Consumption, Type of fuel - Years ended 31 October 2001 and 31 October 2005
The average rate of fuel consumption for all motor vehicles in the 12 months ended 31 October 2005 was 14.0 litres per 100 kilometres, an increase of 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres since 2001. Articulated trucks had the highest average fuel consumption with 54.7 litres per 100 kilometres.
Average fuel consumption, Type of vehicle - Year ended 31 October 2005