The insurance industry is going through a period of technologically-driven change, with the advent of wearables and telematics taking us from a self-reported world towards a future in which decisions are based on captured (and shared) behavioural data. From an automotive perspective, this will allow for the delivery of more personalised products, with providers already looking at how customer driving behaviour can be leveraged to deliver tailored premiums. These innovations mostly however remain in development, meaning that insurance companies still need to rely on self-reported information, particularly when it comes to distances travelled.
Distance is particularly important in Australia, given the size of the country, as well as the the ongoing conversations around range anxiety when it comes to electric vehicles. That does however raise questions around how much of an issue this really is, leading us to the question of how far Australians drive each year? Once again, the ABS is helpful, providing access to data around the number of vehicles in the car parc, and the total distance travelled. Looking at this at an overall level, we see that the 19 million vehicles on Australian roads travel around 250 million km per year, for an average of 13,000km per vehicle per year.
We can however dive into the data in more detail to gain a greater level of insight. Splitting it by vehicle type, we can see that the average distance travelled by a passenger vehicle is 12,300km. Off the back of this, the numbers then increase roughly in line with vehicle size (and the increasing proportion of business use). LCVs are 15,900km per year, although around 40% of the distance they travel is still classed as personal use. Beyond that, rigid trucks are 20,400, and articulated trucks reach a peak of 75,200km per vehicle, as we get to the larger vehicles operating long-haul routes around the country.
To leave you with one final point, as a motorcyclist, the average distance travelled of 3,200km per year just highlights how many bikes spend their time sitting in a garage, rather than being out on the road...