9309.0 - Motor Vehicle Census, Australia, Mar 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/11/2002   
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November 18, 2002
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Australia's motor vehicle fleet larger and younger

Over the last 30 years Australia's motor vehicle fleet has increased by 150% while the population has increased by only 50%, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

The ratio of people to motor vehicles was 1.9 at 31 March 2002 compared with 3.3 in 1971.

There were 12.8 million registered motor vehicles in Australia at 31 March 2002, an increase of 345 000 (or 2.8%) over the previous twelve months. The number of passenger vehicles increased by 266 000 (or 2.7%) to a total of 10.1 million.

The average age of Australia's registered motor vehicles at 31 March 2002 was 10.5 years compared with 10.7 years in 1997. The average age of passenger vehicles was 10.1 years (10.5 years in 1997) and the average age of motor cycles was just 10 years (10.2 years in 1997).

The majority of the passenger vehicle fleet (6.1 million or 61%) was manufactured after 1990. A further 3.2 million (or 32%) were manufactured in the ten years from 1981 to 1991. Only 767 000 (or 7.6%) were manufactured before 1981.

There were 8.8 million (or 69% of the fleet) motor vehicles designed to use unleaded petrol, 2.5 million (or 20%) designed to use leaded petrol and 1.2 million (or 9%) designed to use diesel fuel. Over three-quarters (76%) of passenger vehicles were designed to use unleaded petrol.

There were 64 000 articulated trucks on register at 31 March 2002. Almost half of these (31 000 or 48%) had a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) of more than 40 and up to 50 tonnes. The number of articulated trucks of GCM up to 60 tonnes decreased by 1.7% over the last 12 months. However, there was a trend towards larger articulated trucks with those of GCM over 60 tonnes increasing by 12%. Over half (33 000 or 52%) of the articulated trucks on register at 31 March 2002 were manufactured after 1990.

Further details are in Motor Vehicle Census, (cat. no. 9309.0).