9208.0 - Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, Jul 1999  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/07/2000   
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  • Australians drive 178 billion kilometres on the roads in 1999 (Media Release)


July 21, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Australians drive 178 billion kilometres on the roads in 1999

Australian drivers travelled 178 billion kilometres in the 12 months ended 31 July 1999 up from 173 billion kilometres in the previous year according to figures published today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Of all vehicles on the road, eight out of 10 were passenger vehicles. These accounted for over three quarters (78 per cent) of the total distance travelled (138 billion kilometres) at an average of 14,400 kilometres for each vehicle. The average for articulated trucks was six times greater at 85,900 kilometres per vehicle.

In total 25 billion litres of fuel was used at an average rate of 13.8 litres per hundred kilometres. Unleaded petrol accounted for over half of all fuel consumed during the period at 13 billion litres. Diesel use was 6 billion litres at 25.7 litres per hundred kilometres.

Passenger vehicles used a total of 16 billion litres of fuel, of which 87 per cent was petrol. Diesel was the preferred fuel of freight vehicles comprising 67 per cent of all fuel used by these vehicles. Freight vehicles averaged 21.4 litres per hundred kilometres. Articulated trucks had the highest average fuel consumption for all fuels at 51.5 litres per hundred kilometres.

Other findings from the Survey of Motor Vehicle Use for 12 months ended 31 July 1999 were:
  • Each registered motor vehicle averaged 14,900 kilometres and consumed an average 13.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres during the survey period.
  • Three quarters of all travel was by vehicles registered in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
  • Vehicles registered in the Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest average distance travelled per vehicle at 16,100 kilometres and Tasmania recorded the lowest with 12,400 kilometres.
  • Over half of all motor vehicle usage (57 per cent or 101,923 million kilometres) was for business or travel to and from work. Passenger vehicles were most likely to be used for personal use (51 per cent or 70,267 million kilometres).
  • Freight carrying vehicles carried 1,421 million tonnes of goods and travelled an estimated 20 billion kilometres while laden.

Details are in Survey of Motor Vehicle Use (cat. no. 9208.0) which is available from ABS bookshops. The summary of findings of the publication can be found on ths site. If you wish to purchase a copy of the publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.