As we move into the second half of the year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is starting to release more detail from its 2019 Motor Vehicle Census, letting us dig into the Australian car parc at a national, and state level.
Looking at the figures below, we can clearly see variations in age of vehicle by state. Focussing on the almost four million vehicles dating back to 2003 or earlier, we can see that Tasmania, and to a lesser extent SA have a greater share of older vehicles, with both of them having more registered vehicles in this age bracket than they do vehicles first registered in the last five years. On the other end of the scale, the NT, ACT and NSW all have closer to twice as many new vehicles as they do old ones.
While this holds true across both passenger and light commercial vehicles, we see a different pattern when we look at trucks. We know the Australian truck parc skews older, and despite last year's record sales, that still holds true in the data. In this case, the ACT is the only state or territory where the number of trucks dating prior to 2004 is not larger than those sold in the last five years.
If we start unpacking the Australian truck parc, we can see however that these numbers again vary substantially depending on the type of truck we're talking about. When we look at light rigid trucks, the numbers again skew towards newer vehicles. Similarly, for articulated trucks, they remain more balanced, with the pre 2004 and 2014 - 2019 numbers largely comparable. If we focus however on the heavy rigid truck parc, we can however see a significantly bias to older vehicles, with more than double the new vehicles across most states.
While there are substantial costs involved in acquiring these trucks, and fleets need to ensure they are obtaining value from their investment, these numbers are concerning from both a safety and driver retention perspective. Improved driver aids and safety equipment can help reduce incidents, and simplify compliance with Chain of Responsibility requirements. Similarly, the upgrades to cabin comfort that we've seen in recent years will enable fleets operating newer vehicles (particularly on long haul routes) to differentiate themselves, and offer a more attractive proposition when it comes to attracting and retaining quality drivers.
If you've got any questions, or would like more information about the Australian car or truck parc, please get in touch with our team of auto experts.