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19/11/2009 Note: The ABS has reissued the publication pdf file for the 31 March 2009 Motor Vehicle Census. This corrects errors detected in data previously released on 17 November 2009. Tables 2 and 5 contained incorrect data for the 2008 year only. Other data in these two tables and all other tables have not changed.
In the 5 years between 31 March 2004 and 31 March 2009, the passenger vehicle fleet has grown 13.1% from 10.6 million to 12.0 million. Motor cycles and articulated trucks were the vehicle types showing the largest growth over this time with increases of 57.5% and 22.5% respectively. Light commercial vehicles rose by 21.4%, buses rose by 18.4% and rigid trucks by 17.9%. Non-freight carrying trucks and passenger vehicles had the smallest growth over the same period, with increases of 13.2% and 13.1% respectively.
STATES AND TERRITORIES
New South Wales had the largest share of the Australian fleet at 31 March 2009 with 4.6 million vehicles or 29.1% of all registered vehicles. Victoria had the second largest share with 4.0 million (25.6%) and Queensland had 3.3 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 2004 to 31 March 2009, three states experienced growth above the national average of 15.8%. Registrations in Queensland at 31 March 2009 were 23.6% above those at 31 March 2004, an average annual growth rate of 4.3%. In the same five year period, registrations in Western Australia increased 23.5% (also an average annual growth rate of 4.3%) and Northern Territory registrations rose 21.5%, with an average annual increase of 4.0%. South Australia's growth in fleet size between 31 March 2004 and 31 March 2009 of 10.3% was the smallest. In this state, the average annual growth was 2.0%.
VEHICLES AND RESIDENT POPULATION
There were 720 motor vehicles per 1,000 resident population in Australia at 31 March 2009. This compares with 674 vehicles per 1,000 residents at the end of March 2004, an increase of 46 vehicles per 1,000 residents over this time.
Western Australia had the highest rate of all states and territories with 822 vehicles per 1,000 residents at 31 March 2009, while the Northern Territory had the lowest rate with 577 vehicles per 1,000 residents. New South Wales, which had both the largest vehicle fleet and the largest population at 31 March 2009, averaged 645 vehicles per 1,000 residents, the second lowest of all states or territories.
AVERAGE AGE OF THE FLEET
The average age of all registered vehicles rose from 6.1 years in the 1971 MVC snapshot to 10.7 years in 1997 snapshot, but has gradually declined since then. There was no change recorded for average vehicle age comparing the 2009 snapshot to the 2008 shapshot.
At 31 March 2009, the average age of all vehicles registered in Australia was 9.9 years. This is younger than the 10.3 years recorded in the 2004 MVC. Over this five year period, all vehicle types except buses recorded a drop in the average age. Light rigid trucks and motorcycles showed the largest decreases in average age, both dropping 1.1 years, while buses increased 0.4 years over this five year period. Vehicles manufactured before 1994 (those more than 15 years old) comprised 20.7% of the total Australian fleet. This is slightly lower than the 21.2% of registrations recorded 12 months earlier.
At 31 March 2009, campervans were the oldest vehicles registered with an average age of 18.1 years, while motor cycles were the youngest vehicle type with an average age of 8.7 years.
The average age of passenger vehicles has fallen from 10.0 years at 31 March 2004 to 9.7 years at 31 March 2009.
Tasmania had the oldest fleet with an average age of 11.9 years at 31 March 2009, with 30.3% of vehicles manufactured before 1994. This was followed by South Australia with an average age of 11.0 years and 25.6% manufactured before 1994. Northern Territory had the youngest fleet in Australia with an average age of 8.8 years and 16.7% of vehicles manufactured before 1994.
TYPE OF FUEL
At the 31 March 2009 MVC snapshot, 13.2 million vehicles in Australia (84.0% of the total vehicle fleet) were registered with a petrol fuel type. This compares with the 11.9 million vehicles registered at the 31 March 2004 snapshot 5 years earlier, when 87.9% of registrations fell into this category.
When comparing 31 March 2009 with 31 March 2004 snapshots, the number of vehicles registered with diesel fuel has increased by 53.1%. The number of vehicles registered with diesel fuel at 31 March 2009 accounted for 12.8% (or 2.0 million vehicles) of the total fleet. Five years earlier, 9.7% 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 13.1% between the 2004 and 2009 MVC snapshots, yet the number of passenger vehicles registered with diesel fuel increased by 80.0%.
At 31 March 2009, there were 862,392 light commercial vehicles registered with diesel fuel. This is 42.8% of all vehicle registrations in the diesel category. For light commercial vehicles, the number of registrations with diesel fuel at 31 March 2009 was 60.3% higher than at 31 March 2004.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FLEET
Passenger vehicles accounted for 76.7% of all vehicles registered in Australia at 31 March 2009. Since 31 March 2004, all states and territories have recorded increases in registrations of this vehicle type, with Western Australia showing the largest percentage growth (19.9%) and South Australia the smallest (8.1%).
In the Australian Capital Territory, passenger vehicles accounted for 84.4% of all registrations. This was the highest proportion of any state/territory. The Northern Territory had the smallest proportion with 62.6%.
A total of 6.2 million passenger vehicles were either Toyota, Holden or Ford. These three makes accounted for 19.7%, 17.1% and 14.5% of the total passenger vehicle fleet registered at 31 March 2009.
Light commercial vehicles
Light commercial vehicles accounted for 15.1% of all vehicles registered in Australia at 31 March 2009, the second highest proportion behind passenger vehicles. Since 31 March 2004, all states and territories have recorded increases in registrations of this vehicle type, with Queensland showing the largest percentage growth (32.9%) and New South Wales the smallest (14.4%).
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 (26.6%). 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 2009. Registrations of rigid trucks with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) greater than 20 tonnes have increased by 32.7% since 31 March 2004, while registrations of rigid trucks with a GVM of 20 tonnes or less have increased by 14.9% over the same period.
At 31 March 2009, 81,217 articulated trucks were registered in Australia. While this is 22.5% 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 0.7% and the number of articulated trucks with GCM over 60 tonnes has increased 62.2%. This has resulted in an articulated truck fleet where the proportion of registrations with GCM over 60 tonnes has increased from 36.9% at 31 March 2004 to 48.9% at 31 March 2009.
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 (12,373). This is 70.5% greater than the number of registrations in this category at 31 March 2004. In comparison, at 31 March 2009, 82.1% of Northern Territory articulated trucks had a GCM greater than 60 tonnes. Western Australia has the lowest proportion of articulated trucks with a GCM greater than 60 tonnes, with only 1.5% of vehicles in this class.
Motor cycles accounted for 4.0% of all vehicles registered in Australia at 31 March 2009, up from 2.9% in 2004.
Between 31 March 2004 and 31 March 2009, motor cycle registrations increased by 57.5% and was 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 (75.9%), followed by the Northern Territory (70.2%). The smallest percentage increase was in Victoria where registrations of motor cycles at 31 March 2009 were 44.1% above those recorded 5 years earlier.
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