Australians are beginning to embrace the idea that motorcycles may be a viable alternative to cars, with the segment showing the strongest growth in sales over the last five years.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just published its latest Motor Vehicle Census data, which compared vehicle registrations in 2010 to 2015.
Australian motorists had 18,007,767 vehicles registered at the start of this year (when a snapshot of the data was taken); up 2.1 percent on last year’s tally of 17,633,493 and up 12.1 percent on 2010’s figure of 16,061,098.
The average age of vehicles in Australia is steady at 10.1 years, with only campervans showing any real downward movement - now 0.4 years younger, on average.
Motorcycles and articulated trucks are getting older, according to the Census, with average ages increasing 1.0 and 0.6 years respectively over the five-year period.
While every class of vehicle has seen growth in the number of registrations over the last half a decade, it’s motorcycles and scooters that are leading the charge with figures up 22.3 percent.
In raw figures, registered motorcycles accounted for 807,215 this year, 780,174 last year and 660,107 in 2010.
Light rigid trucks were second to motorcycles for segment growth, with figures up 21.4 percent over the last five years. Campervans were next - up 20.2 percent.
Naturally, passenger cars account for 75.2 percent of all vehicles on the road, followed by light commercials at 16.1 percent and motorcycles on 4.5 percent (up from 4.1 percent in 2010).
Also of no surprise are figures showing the most registered vehicles can be found in the most populated states, with 5.2 million in New South Wales, 4.6 million in Victoria and 3.8 million in Queensland.
The Northern Territory has only 155,035 registered vehicles at present while the ACT has 283,572, but both of Australia’s territories saw the second-strongest growth (11.1 percent) in vehicle registrations behind Western Australia over the last five years.
South Australia had the slowest growth at 7.4 percent.
Australia has 764 registered vehicles for every 1000 ‘estimated’ residents, with the strongest concentration found in Tasmania at 875 and the lowest in the NT (629).
Finally, as carmakers juggle the adoption and deletion of new models powered by fuels other than petrol, the ABS has revealed the current breakdown.
While petrol is king of the road, powering 77.7 percent of all vehicles, there are now 3.6 million diesels doing the rounds in Australia (19.7 percent).
The diesel figure may be a long way behind that of petrol-powered vehicles, but diesel numbers for passenger cars and light commercials have exploded in the last five years - up 96.4 and 62.9 percent respectively since 2010.