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QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY
The Motor Vehicle Census (MVC) collates data relating to vehicles which were registered with a motor vehicle registration authority at 31 January 2020. The data is collected under the legislation of each state and territory for the purposes of licensing vehicles to drive on public roads and the collection of third party insurance.
Registered vehicles are defined as those motor vehicles registered at the date of the census, or that had registration expire less than one month before that date. Data reflects the information as recorded in registration documents.
The MVC has been conducted regularly since 1971 but not every year and not always at the same time of the year. Refer to paragraph 2 of the Explanatory Notes for a list of snapshot dates from 1971.
Data are classified geographically by state or territory of registration and postcode of owner.
The snapshot date for the MVC is currently 31 January of the reference year. The statistics are generally released within 7 months of the snapshot being taken.
The MVC provides the survey frame for the Survey of Motor Vehicle Use (SMVU). Editing of the data is designed to maximise data quality to the level required for the SMVU. The MVC is collected as an administrative data by-product from the state and territory MVRs. The size of the registered motor vehicle fleet (over 19 million vehicles) dictates that quality assurance of each record is not possible. However, considerable effort is made by the ABS to improve data quality with consistency checks and comparisons.
While the data are made available at a detailed level, the ABS is unable to guarantee that it is necessarily sufficient for all purposes for which it may be used. There is also some variation in the reporting from the MVRs, and care should be taken when comparing data across jurisdictions. Data items where conversions of vehicles (eg. fuel type or reconfigurations) have occurred may not be accurately reported or recorded at the MVR.
The types of fuel being used for motor vehicles has undergone change over the years. Leaded petrol is no longer available for sale. However, some older vehicles are still recorded with this fuel type by the MVRs. The number of hybrid and electric vehicles is increasing. However, not all state and territory MVRs currently identify hybrids separately.
Statistics from the 2020 MVC are comparable to previous censuses. Data from the MVC, when categorised by year of manufacture, can be confronted with new motor vehicle sales data available from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI). The MVC is also used as the frame for the Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia (cat. no. 9208.0).
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