But many are fewer than five years old, and nearly one million were scrapped in 2015-16
The average age of Australia’s vehicle fleet is 10.1 years, although more than 30 per cent of vehicles on the road are fewer than five years old.
Furthermore, estimates suggest that sales of used vehicles were more than triple those of new vehicles in 2016 - the latter of which are at record highs.
This data comes from a new report into the industry commissioned by the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA), conducted with more than 1000 automotive businesses.
The report, called Directions in Australia’s Automotive Industry, purports to be “the most comprehensive analysis ever into the state of the motoring industry”. It was produced by the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) Research Unit.
There are a number of interesting findings from the report, including:
- There were approximately 18.4 million registered vehicles on Australia’s roads early last year (when last measured), a car-park that has averaged 2.4 per cent growth per annum
- Passenger vehicles comprise just over 75 per cent of the national fleet, followed by light commercial vehicles (16.2), motorcycles (4.5), heavy rigid trucks (1.8), light rigid trucks (0.8) and other vehicle types (1.5)
- The average age of Australia’s vehicle fleet is 10.1 years, with passenger vehicles representing the youngest vehicles on road (9.8) and camper vans and heavy rigid trucks the oldest (17.4 and 15.7 years respectively)
- Vehicles up to five years of age account for the largest proportion of the national fleet (30.5 per cent), followed by vehicles aged 6-10 years (27.2), 11-15 years (21.2) and 16 years and over (21.0). The average age of the vehicle fleet has not fundamentally changed since 2006
- Additionally, approximately 800,000 registered motor vehicles (excluding motorcycles) were scrapped between 2015 and 2016, or 4.4 per cent of the national vehicle fleet. The vehicle scrappage rate has remained relatively consistent over the past five years
As you can read on our dedicated industry sales landing page, VFACTS from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) indicate that there were 1,178,133 new vehicles sold in Australia in 2016, through 69 individual vehicle marques - an increase of 22,725 new vehicles or 2 per cent over 2015.
The market is up 0.4 per cent again in 2017, to a new record level.
Whilst the Australian new vehicle market is small by international standards, the presence of a high number of vehicle marques places Australia as one of the most highly contested and competitive new vehicle markets in the world.
Just under half of all new vehicles sold in 2016 (48.5 per cent) were private vehicle sales, with sales to businesses, government and the rental market accounting for 42.9, 3.5 and 5.1 per cent respectively.
Over two-thirds of new vehicles sold in 2016 were petrol vehicles (67.1 per cent), followed by diesel vehicles (31.7), hybrid electric vehicles (1.1), LPG vehicles (0.1) and battery electric vehicles (0.01 ). Diesel vehicles (particularly light commercial) represent the fastest growing vehicle segment, up by almost 60 per cent since 2011.
Unlike new vehicle sales statistics which are collected by the FCAI, there is no central authority responsible for the comprehensive collection of used vehicle sales data.
Proxy estimates for used vehicle sales nationally can be obtained through transfer of vehicle registration data, which is available from state and territory vehicle registration authorities.
Vehicle transfer data collected from each jurisdiction indicates that nationally, there were approximately 3.88 million used vehicles sold in 2016. This places the used vehicle market at 3.3 times the size of the new vehicle market in Australia, with annual combined new and used vehicle sales of approximately five million.
Listen to the CarAdvice team talk to VACC Executive Director Geoff Gwilym below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.