1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Passenger vehicles per 1000 people(a)
Graph Image for Passenger vehicles per 1000 people(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Timing and frequency of census varies prior to 2001. Census not conducted in 2000. For more information, see the Transport datacube.

Source(s): ABS Motor Vehicle Census, Australia (cat. no. 9309.0)


Motor vehicles are Australians' primary means of transportation, with car ownership being important to people's mobility. Levels of car ownership can be affected by many factors including incomes, interest rates, car prices and demographic trends. For example, as cars are often shared within a household, an increase in single person households may boost car numbers.

In March 2009, there were over 12 million registered passenger vehicles in Australia, a rise from around 9.7 million in 1999. In 2009, passenger vehicles comprised just over three-quarters (77%) of Australia's vehicle fleet, with the remainder (a further 3.7 million vehicles) being accounted for by campervans, trucks, buses, motorcycles and light commercial vehicles.

Although the number of motorcycles registered grew by 58% over the last five years, passenger vehicles still remained Australia's favoured vehicle type. By 2009, there was just over one passenger vehicle for every two Australians - 552 passenger vehicles for every 1,000 people, up from 510 vehicles per 1,000 people in 1999.

For the year ended October 2007, passenger motor vehicles (including campervans) travelled a total distance of 158 billion kilometres, a rise from 148 billion kilometres in 2004. This equated to each Australian passenger vehicle covering an average distance of 13,700 kilometres. Notably, 29% of the total kilometres travelled by passenger vehicles in Australia during the year was covered in trips to and from the workplace (ABS 2007). When and whether people use their cars often depends in part on the anticipated levels of congestion, the price of fuel, and the availability, affordability and convenience of alternative transport.


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