9208.0 - Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, 12 months ended 30 June 2016 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/03/2017   
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For the 12 months ending 30 June 2016:
  • The estimated number of motor vehicles registered in Australia was 18.2 million.
  • These vehicles travelled an estimated total of 249,512 million kilometres in Australia, with an average 13,716 kilometres per vehicle.
  • Total fuel consumption by all road registered vehicles was 32,732 megalitres.
  • Freight vehicles in Australia travelled an estimated 204,575 million tonne kilometres.

  • The total number of registered vehicles was made up of:
    • 13,712,810 passenger vehicles (75.4%)
    • 3,550,097 freight vehicles (19.5%) and
    • The remaining 5.1% (928,768) comprised of buses, motor cycles and non-freight carrying trucks.

  • Of the freight vehicles, 84.0% (2,983,034) were light commercial vehicles, 13.3% (470,849) were rigid trucks and 2.7% (96,214) were articulated trucks.

  • Vehicles registered in Victoria travelled the highest average kilometres (14,498), followed by Queensland (14,359 kilometres). Both estimates were above the national average. Vehicles registered in Tasmania travelled the lowest average kilometres (11,749).

Graph Image for AVERAGE KILOMETRES TRAVELLED, Motor vehicles by State and Territory of registration - Year ended 30 June 2016

  • Passenger vehicles travelled 175,899 million kilometres in the 12 months ended 30 June 2016, 70.5% of the total kilometres travelled
  • The majority of kilometres travelled by passenger vehicles were for personal and other use (53.5%). Travel to and from work (27.6%) and travel for business purposes (18.9%) accounted for the remaining kilometres travelled by passenger vehicles.
  • Distance travelled by state/territory of registration generally follows the proportion of registered vehicles in each state/territory. New South Wales had the largest proportion of total kilometres travelled (28.3%) and number of registered vehicles (29.3%). Northern Territory had the smallest proportion of kilometres travelled (0.8%) and number of registered vehicles (0.9%).

Graph Image for PROPORTION OF VEHICLES AND TOTAL KILOMETRES TRAVELLED, State and Territory of registration - Year ended 30 June 2016

  • In the 12 months ended 30 June 2016, total road freight is estimated at 204,575 million tonne kilometres in Australia. This consisted of:
      • 157,081 million tonne kilometres by articulated trucks (76.8% of the total)
      • 39,202 million tonne kilometres by rigid trucks (19.2% of the total), and
      • 8,291 million tonne kilometres by light commercial vehicles (4.1% of the total).
  • On average:
      • articulated trucks travelled 1,754,689 tonne kilometres per vehicle
      • rigid trucks travelled 99,370 tonne kilometres per vehicle and
      • light commercial vehicles travelled an average of 5,464 tonne kilometres per vehicle
  • Victoria has the highest road freight estimate at 54,306 million tonne kilometres, followed by Queensland (47,468 million tonne kilometres), New South Wales (45,225 million tonne kilometres) and Western Australia (33,153 million tonne kilometres).

  • In the 12 months ended 30 June 2016, registered motor vehicles in Australia consumed an estimated 32,732 megalitres of fuel. Of the total fuel consumed, 53.3% was petrol and 42.5% was diesel.

Graph Image for TOTAL FUEL CONSUMPTION, Type of fuel - Year ended 30 June 2016
  • Passenger vehicles consumed 18,606 megalitres of fuel, of which 82.6% (15,371 megalitres) was petrol.
  • Light commercial vehicles consumed a total of 6,074 megalitres of fuel, diesel accounted for 61.9% (3,759 megalitres) of fuel consumed and petrol accounted for 31.4% (1,908 megalitres).
  • A total of 7,172 megalitres of fuel was consumed by rigid and articulated trucks. Diesel was the overwhelmingly predominant fuel type (99.6%) consumed by trucks.
  • On average, articulated trucks had the highest rate of fuel consumption per vehicle at 56.3 litres per 100 kilometres. In comparison, the average rate of fuel consumption per passenger vehicle was 10.6 litres per 100 kilometres.

Graph Image for AVERAGE FUEL CONSUMPTION, Type of Vehicle, Year ended 30 June 2016



This publication presents estimates from the 2016 Survey of Motor Vehicle Use (SMVU). It contains statistics on passenger vehicle, motor cycle, truck and bus use for characteristics such as kilometres travelled, tonne kilometres and fuel consumption.

The data were collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) over the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016.

Estimates produced from the SMVU are based on information collected from a sample of registered vehicles, and are therefore subject to sampling error. Relative Standard Errors (RSEs) are provided alongside estimates presented in the datacubes to assist in determining the fitness for purpose of the estimates.

The SMVU is designed to produce estimates for a particular reference period. Movements in estimates over time are subject to high sampling error and care should be taken in interpreting any estimates of movement. See Explanatory Notes paragraph 14 for further information.

Additional information about the reliability, level and movement of the estimates is provided in the Technical Note.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.