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9208.0 - Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, Oct 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/09/2005   
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ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This publication presents estimates from the 2004 Survey of Motor Vehicle Use (SMVU). It contains statistics on passenger vehicle, motor cycle, truck and bus use for characteristics such as distance travelled, fuel consumption and area of operation.

The data were collected in four quarterly sample surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) over the period 1 November 2003 to 31 October 2004.

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 2004 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. Therefore 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 Technical Note.

CHANGES IN THIS PUBLICATION

Following compilation of the 2004 estimates, the results for 2003 are being reviewed. In particular, the impact of compiling the 2003 estimates using post-stratification techniques is being assessed. Revised estimates for 2003 may be released once that assessment is complete. For this publication, 2003 estimates have been listed as 'na' - not available.

INQUIRIES

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 2004 there were an estimated 13.5 million vehicles registered in Australia.

Passenger vehicles (79.0%) made up the largest group of registered vehicles in 2004, followed by freight vehicles (17.5%). The remaining 3.5% comprised buses, motor cycles and non-freight carrying trucks. Of the freight vehicles, 82.0% were light commercial vehicles, 15.2% were rigid trucks and 2.8% were articulated trucks.

The 13.5 million vehicles represented an increase of 1.3 million vehicles (10.3%) compared with the 12 months ended 31 October 2000.

KILOMETRES TRAVELLED

Motor vehicles in Australia travelled an estimated 199,055 million kilometres in the 12 months ended 31 October 2004. While the number of vehicles increased by 10.3% compared with the 12 months ended 31 October 2000, the distance travelled by these vehicles has only increased by 7.8% over this time.

The state/territory proportion of total kilometres travelled closely relates to the number of registered vehicles in each state/territory. New South Wales had the largest share of total kilometres travelled (29.6%) and the largest number of registered vehicles.

Number of vehicles and total kilometres travelled, Percent by state/territory-Year ended 31 October 2004
Graph: Number of vehicles and total kilometres travelled, percent by state/territory—Year ended 31 October 2004



Australian registered motor vehicles each travelled an average of 14,800 kilometres in the 12 months ended 31 October 2004. Queensland (15,600 kilometres), Australian Capital Territory (15,000 kilometres), Northern Territory (14,900 kilometres) and Victoria (14,900 kilometres) were above the national average, while vehicles registered in Tasmania travelled the least number of kilometres (13,000).

Average kilometres travelled, Motor vehicles by state/territory of registration - Year ended 31 October 2004
Graph: Average kilometres travelled, Motor vehicles by state/territory of registration—Year ended 31 October 2004



Passenger vehicles accounted for 74.2% of the total distance travelled in the 12 months ended 31 October 2004. This represents a decrease compared with the proportion travelled by passenger vehicles in the 12 months ended 31 October 2000 (76.7%).

Personal and other use accounted for 53.1% of the total kilometres travelled by passenger vehicles in Australia during 2004. Travel to and from work (25.5%) and business use (21.4%) accounted for the remaining kilometres travelled by passenger vehicles.

Freight carrying vehicles accounted for 47,659 million kilometres travelled (23.9%) in the 12 months ended 31 October 2004. Of this, light commercial vehicles accounted for 71.4% of the kilometres travelled, rigid trucks for 16.0%, and articulated trucks for 12.6%.

TONNE-KILOMETRES

Freight vehicles in Australia travelled an estimated 157,668 million tonne-kilometres in the 12 months ended 31 October 2004. This is an increase of 23,290 million tonne-kilometres (17.3%) travelled since the 12 months ended 31 October 2000. An increase in tonne-kilometres was reported in all freight vehicle types.

Total tonne-kilometres travelled, Type of vehicle - Years ended 31 October 2000 and 31 October 2004
Graph: Total tonne-kilometres travelled, Type of vehicle—Years ended 31 October 2000 and 31 October 2004



Articulated trucks accounted for 76.9% of the total freight vehicle tonne-kilometres travelled in the 12 months ended 31 October 2004. Rigid trucks accounted for 18.9% and light commercial vehicles for 4.2%. Articulated trucks each travelled an average of 2.0 million tonne-kilometres. In comparison, rigid trucks and light commercial vehicles travelled an average of 93,700 and 6,000 tonne-kilometres respectively in the 12 months ended 31 October 2004.

In the 12 months ended 31 October 2004 articulated trucks of a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) of up to and including 40 tonnes travelled a total of 7,517 million tonne-kilometres, representing an average of 491,400 tonne-kilometres per vehicle. Articulated trucks over 40 tonnes GCM travelled a total of 113,765 million tonne-kilometres, an average of 2,480,900 tonne-kilometres per vehicle.

The amount of tonne-kilometres travelled by articulated trucks in the 12 months ended 31 October 2004 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 2004
Graph: Total tonne-kilometres travelled by articulated trucks, state of operation and registration-Year ended 31 October 2004


FUEL CONSUMPTION

Registered motor vehicles in Australia consumed 27,505 million litres of fuel in the 12 months ended 31 October 2004. This is an increase of 6.4% (1,652 million litres) since the 12 months ended 31 October 2000. Over the same period, the estimated number of motor vehicles in Australia increased by 10.3% and kilometres travelled increased by 7.8%.

Of the total fuel consumed by motor vehicles in the 12 months ended 31 October 2004, 64.1% of fuel was petrol and 30.0% was diesel fuel.

Total Fuel Consumption, Type of fuel - Years ended 31 October 2000 and 31 October 2004
Graph: Total Fuel Consumption, Type of fuel—Years ended 31 October 2000 and 31 October 2004


The average rate of fuel consumption for all motor vehicles in the 12 months ended 31 October 2004 was 13.8 litres per 100 kilometres, a decrease of 0.2 litres per 100 kilometres since 2000. Articulated trucks had the highest average fuel consumption with 55.0 litres per 100 kilometres.

Average fuel consumption, Type of vehicle - Year ended 31 October 2004
Graph: Average fuel consumption, type of vehicle-Year ended 31 October 2004



Passenger vehicles used 14,882 million litres of petrol in the 12 months ended 31 October 2004, of which 94.2% (14,021 million litres) was unleaded petrol.

A total of 5,384 million litres of diesel fuel was used by articulated and rigid trucks. This was 65.3% of all diesel fuel used and represents 100.0% and 97.9% respectively of fuel consumption for these vehicle types.

The total fuel consumption by other vehicles in the 12 months ended 31 October 2004 included 4,471 million litres of fuel by light commercial vehicles and 524 million litres of fuel by buses.

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