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Car statistics 2024

Think you're a revhead? We bet some of these car stats will surprise you.

Car ownership

There are an estimated 21.2 million registered motor vehicles in Australia according to BITRE data.

According to Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker, 86% of people over the age of 18 have at least one car.

Of these registered vehicles, 15.3 million or 72% are classified as passenger vehicles (cars). The other main option for consumers, motorcycles, account for just 4.6% of all vehicles.

BITRE data reveals that South Australians are the most prolific car owners with 637 registered passenger vehicles for every 1000 people in the state.

Younger Aussies are relying less on cars than older generations. One in five (20%) of gen Z and 14% of gen Y don't own a car. This is compared to just 7% of baby boomers.

Although the cost of buying and owning a car has significantly decreased, it is still one of the largest financial decisions Australians will make.

Only 77% of households with a combined income below $50,000 own a car, compared to 93% with an income above $100,000. Moreover, nearly a third (31%) of households in the top bracket have 2 cars compared to just 1 in 10 (10%) households in the lowest.

There were an additional 1,081,429 new cars and SUVs bought in 2022 according to OICA data.

Toyota is the most popular car brand in Australia and has held the top spot since 2005. As of January 2023, 20% of all registered passenger vehicles were a Toyota – equivalent to just over 3 million cars. Mazda's were the next most popular accounting for 10% of Australia's fleet. Holden used to hold the second position in 2021 but has seen a decline since and was overtaken by Mazda in 2022.

MG has seen a meteoric rise since 2016 seeing their presence on the roads multiply tenfold from just 11,783 cars in 2016 to 127,918 in 2023.

Electric vehicle statistics

The above chart also reveals that electric car makers have actually led the pack recently. Elon Musk's much-publicised Tesla has more than doubled every year since 2021. However, the relatively unknown Chinese-owned Haval has seen even more explosive growth. The number of Haval SUVs on Australian roads increased by 154% in 2021 compared to a lift of 120% for Tesla.

As for the entire electric vehicle market, there was a 114% increase in battery electric vehicles (BEVs) also known as "pure electric cars" in the year to 2023.

While pure electric cars are seeing a huge surge, hybrid electric vehicles still account for the majority of electric cars in Australia (83%). These vehicles which combine a traditional combustion engine with a battery cell tend to have a lower price tag than their purebred counterparts while still saving some money on fuel, making them a great option in the current cost of living crisis.

How long do people own their car

Aussies generally own their motor vehicles for an average of 11 years and 3 months, according to BITRE data from 2023. This is up from 11 years the previous year. Tasmanians hold on to their vehicles the longest (13.2 years) followed by South Australians (12.7 years).

How much do Australians spend on car insurance?

The average Australian currently spends $123 each month on car insurance, according to Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker. Over the past 12 months, around 11% of Australian car owners downgraded to a lower level of car insurance and 5% ditched their car insurance altogether, according to a Finder survey in February 2024.

Car insurance premiums have increased by nearly 20% since early 2021.

Which state has the most fatalities?

Australia recorded 1,194 road deaths in 2022, up 5.8% from the previous year. Northern Territory had the most fatalities per person, more than doubling the next highest state, Tasmania. The safest state was NSW, followed by Victoria.

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