9309.0 - Motor Vehicle Census, Australia, Mar 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/12/2001   
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  • Australia's motor vehicle fleet grows 24% in 10 years (Media Release)


December 12, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Australia's motor vehicle fleet grows 24% in 10 years

There were 12.5 million registered motor vehicles in Australia at 31 March 2001, a 24% increase from 1991, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Passenger vehicles made up almost 80% of the total vehicle fleet.

Since 1991, the average number of vehicles per 1,000 in the population has grown from 582 to 645. Western Australia had the highest rate of vehicle ownership of all States and Territories in 2001 with 720 per 1,000 people while the Northern Territory recorded the lowest rate with 522.

The vast majority (89%) of vehicles used petrol in 2001. All petrol powered vehicles manufactured after February 1986 were produced to use unleaded fuel, and the proportion of those vehicles in the fleet continues to rise as older vehicles are progressively replaced. In 1991, vehicles using unleaded petrol made up 27% of the total fleet but by 2001 this had risen to 66%.

Diesel was used by 8.7% of vehicles registered at 31 March 2001, while in 1991 the proportion was 6%. The proportion of passenger vehicles using diesel has nearly doubled in 10 years, from 1.3% in 1991 to 2.5% in 2001.

Over the 30 years since 1971, the average age of the fleet has increased from 6.1 years to a high of 10.7 years in 1998, before dropping slightly to 10.5 years in 2001. Campervans (19 years), large rigid trucks (15.7) and non-freight carrying trucks (14.6) were the oldest vehicles on average, while the average age of passenger vehicles was 10.1 years.

Further details can be found in Motor Vehicle Census, Australia (cat. no. 9309.0) which is available from ABS bookshops. Copies of this publication are available in ABS bookshops in capital cities. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.