Sub-annual motor vehicle use estimates, July 2019 to June 2020

Estimates of; kilometres travelled, tonne-kilometres travelled, tonnes carried and fuel use.

Released
21/12/2020

This article provides estimates on Australian motor vehicle use and freight movements over the 2019/20 year for the following four month collection periods:

Period 1 – 1 July 2019 to 31 October 2019
Period 2 – 1 November 2019 to 29 February 2020 (bushfires and severe weather events)
Period 3 – 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 (COVID-19)

These estimates have been produced to inform any impacts on vehicle use during the 2019/20 summer bushfires and the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Collection period 2 aligns with natural disasters experienced over 2019/20 and period 3 aligns with the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Included in this publication for reference and comparison are sub-annual estimates for the Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, 2018.  These estimates are available as a data download.

Key statistics

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Period 1 – 1 July 2019 to 31 October 2019

State and territory

In Period 1:

  • New South Wales registered vehicles travelled the most with 28,728 million kilometres, this accounted for 32.0% of all kilometres travelled
  • Victoria contributed the second largest number of kilometres, with 23,432 million kilometres (26.1%), followed by Queensland with 18,169 million kilometres (20.2%)
  • The Northern Territory contributed the least, travelling 757 million kilometres (0.8%)
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Key statistics by state and territory of registration - Period 1
State / TerritoryTotal kilometres travelledFuel consumedTotal tonnes carriedTotal tonne-kilometres travelled
 (million)(megalitres)(million)(million)
NSW28,7283,70619418,725
Vic.23,4323,09420922,445
Qld18,1692,66518420,380
SA5,972830616,209
WA9,2961,3689711,280
Tas.2,015278171,322
NT75711281,415
ACT1,3971664252
Aust.89,76712,21977382,027

Vehicle type

In Period 1 motor vehicles travelled a total of 89,767 million kilometres.

  • Passenger vehicles contributed the most and travelled 62,063 million kilometres (69.1%)
  • Light commercial vehicles travelled 19,289 million kilometres (21.5%)
  • Rigid trucks travelled 3,912 million kilometres (4.4%)
  • Articulated trucks travelled 2,913 million kilometres (3.2%)
  • Motor cycles, non-freight carrying trucks and buses travelled 1,590 million kilometres (1.8%)
  • Total fuel consumed by all vehicles was 12,219 megalitres
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Key statistics by type of vehicle – Period 1
Vehicle typeTotal kilometres travelledFuel consumedTotal tonnes carriedTotal tonne-kilometres travelled
 (million)(megalitres)(million)(million)
Passenger vehicles62,0636,843..
Motor cycles59031..
Light commercial vehicles19,2892,433543,518
Rigid trucks3,9121,09535115,578
Articulated trucks2,9131,54736862,931
Non-freight carrying trucks10221..
Buses898249..
Total89,76712,21977382,027

Period 2 – 1 November 2019 to 29 February 2020

State and territory

Compared to Period 1:

  • New South Wales registered vehicles drove 21,386 million kilometres, down 7,342 million kilometres (25.6%)
  • New South Wales vehicles used less fuel consuming 3,001 megalitres, down 705 megalitres (19.0%)
  • Western Australian vehicles were the only vehicles to record an increase, travelling 9,956 million kilometres, up 7.1%
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Key statistics by state and territory of registration - Period 2
State / TerritoryTotal kilometres travelledFuel consumedTotal tonnes carriedTotal tonne-kilometres travelled
 (million)(megalitres)(million)(million)
NSW21,3863,00122815,444
Vic.23,2982,98023618,078
Qld18,1582,50013714,778
SA5,568775615,521
WA9,9561,37812412,274
Tas.1,721236161,395
NT669907910
ACT1,2721453182
Aust.82,02811,10581368,582

Vehicle type

Compared to Period 1:

  • Kilometres travelled by all vehicles was 82,028 million kilometres, down 8.6%
  • Passenger vehicles accounted for the largest decrease in kilometres, travelling 57,113 million kilometres, down 4,950 million kilometres (8.0%)
  • Light commercial vehicles had the second largest decrease, travelling 17,333 million kilometres, down 1,956 million kilometres (10.1%)
  • Fuel consumed by all vehicles was 11,105 megalitres, down 9.1%
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Key statistics by type of vehicle – period 2
Vehicle typeTotal kilometres travelledFuel consumedTotal tonnes carriedTotal tonne-kilometres travelled
 (million)(megalitres)(million)(million)
Passenger vehicles57,1136,322..
Motor cycles69247..
Light commercial vehicles17,3332,155572,669
Rigid trucks3,5391,02437012,434
Articulated trucks2,5101,33238653,479
Non-freight carrying trucks10425..
Buses737201..
Total82,02811,10581368,582

Period 3 – 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020

State and territory

Compared to Period 2:

  • All State and Territories except Tasmania experienced a decrease in kilometres travelled in period 3
  • Motor vehicle use in Tasmania increased by 5.5% to 1,816 million kilometres
  • Victorian registered vehicles had the largest decrease, travelling 16,728 million kilometres, down 6,570 million kilometres (28.2%)
  • Queensland registered vehicles had the second largest decrease, travelling 14,319 million kilometres, down 3,839 million kilometres (21.1%)
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Key statistics by state and territory of registration – Period 3
State / TerritoryTotal kilometres travelledFuel consumedTotal tonnes carriedTotal tonne-kilometres travelled
 (million)(megalitres)(million)(million)
NSW18,8042,79918217,299
Vic.16,7282,23815718,596
Qld14,3192,17916517,508
SA4,868669476,499
WA8,3211,33111010,996
Tas.1,816252171,137
NT5908611916
ACT8871033140
Aust.66,3349,65769273,090

Vehicle type

Compared to Period 2:

  • Kilometres travelled by all vehicles was 66,334 million kilometres, down 19.1%
  • Passenger vehicles accounted for the largest decrease, travelling 43,625 million kilometres, down 13,488 million kilometres (23.6%)
  • Light commercials had the second largest decrease, travelling 15,423 million kilometres, down 1,910 million kilometres (11.0%)
  • Articulated trucks had the largest increase with 2,755 million kilometres travelled, up 245 million kilometres (9.8%)
  • Fuel consumed by all vehicles was 9,657 megalitres, down 13.0%reflecting the reduction in distance travelled
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Key statistics by type of vehicle – Period 3
Vehicle typeTotal kilometres travelledFuel consumedTotal tonnes carriedTotal tonne-kilometres travelled
 (million)(megalitres)(million)(million)
Passenger vehicles43,6254,906..
Motor cycles39424..
Light commercial vehicles15,4232,070482,692
Rigid trucks3,5361,02530113,725
Articulated trucks2,7551,46234456,673
Non-freight carrying trucks11028..
Buses491141..
Total66,3349,65769273,090

Freight

  • Freight movement, measured in tonne-kilometres, reduced slightly during the natural disasters and COVID-19 pandemic experienced during periods 2 and 3.
  • Freight vehicles in period 1 travelled 82,027 million tonne-kilometres. This decreased to 68,582 million tonne-kilometres in period 2, down 16.4%. From period 2 to period 3 there was an increase of 6.6% with 73,090 tonne-kilometres.
  • Articulated trucks travelled 62,931 million tonne-kilometres in period 1. This decreased to 53,479 tonne-kilometres in period 2, down 15.0%. From period 2 to period 3 there was an increase of 6.0% with 56,673 tonne-kilometres travelled.
  • Rigid trucks and light commercial vehicles showed decreases in tonne-kilometres travelled from period 1 to 2. Rigid trucks decreased by 20.2% and light commercial vehicles decreased by 24.1%.  Both showed increases from period 2 to period 3, with rigid trucks travelling 13,725 million tonne-kilometres in period 3 (up 10.4%) and light commercial vehicles travelling 2,692 million tonne-kilometres in period 3 (up 0.9%).
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