9309.0 - Motor Vehicle Census, Australia, Oct 1999  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/08/2000   
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August 18, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
New registrations down but vehicle numbers continue to climb: ABS

Following a year where registrations of new motor vehicles fell, the total number of motor vehicles registered in Australia continued to increase, according to the 1999 Motor Vehicle Census released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

During the year ended 31 October 1999 the number of registered vehicles rose by 1.7 percent to total 11,934,797. This rate of increase was significantly less than the 3.4 percent recorded during the previous year.

Growth in registrations was greatest in Queensland (3.4 percent) and Western Australia (2.7 percent).

The number of passenger vehicles increased by 1.7 percent while the strongest growth was in buses (2.8 percent). The next highest increases were in rigid trucks with GVM 4.5 tonnes and less (2.3 percent) and light commercial vehicles (2.1 percent).

The number of vehicles per head of population also continued to increase, from 644 to 647 vehicles per 1,000 persons between 1998 and 1999. Western Australia had the highest number of vehicles per 1,000 persons (723) while the Northern Territory had the lowest (535).

The average age of the vehicle fleet, which has been increasing steadily over the last two decades, fell from 10.7 years in 1998 to 10.6 years in 1999. The average age of passenger vehicles recorded a small fall from 10.4 years in 1998 to 10.3 in 1999 while the average age of other types of vehicles either remained steady or increased. Tasmania had the oldest vehicle fleet (12.5 years), followed by South Australia (12.1 years) and Victoria (11.2 years). The Northern Territory (9.2 years) and New South Wales (9.5 years) had the youngest fleet.

The number of vehicles using fuel types other than petrol continued to increase at a faster rate than the petrol powered fleet. The number of diesel powered vehicles increased by 5.4 percent and the number of LPG and dual fuel powered vehicles increased by 10.1 percent compared with a 1.1 percent increase in the number of petrol powered vehicles. Leaded petrol vehicles continued to fall (12.0 percent) in 1999 although these vehicles still total approximately 30 percent of all registrations.

Details are in Motor Vehicle Census, Australia, 31 October 1999 (cat. no. 9309.0), available from ABS bookshops. The main features of this publication are available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS bookshop in your capital city.