Friday, October 11th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

The proportion of Australian seniors (65+) who drive has grown by 10% in the last 10 years—but 25-34 year olds are today less inclined to get behind the wheel, the latest research from Roy Morgan shows.

Australians aged 65+ are now more likely to drive than 25-34 year olds. Back in 2003, 87.5% of the younger group drove compared with 75.9% of seniors; today, 83.3% of seniors are still behind the wheel but just 82.0% of Australians in their late 20s and early 30s drive.

The proportional rise among seniors equates to over one million more motorists aged over 65, and now makes these drivers the third largest bloc of road users behind 35-49 and 50-64 year olds, with the 25-34 year-olds bumped down to fourth.

In other age groups, the proportion of drivers is relatively unchanged since 2003. Over 92% of 35-64 year olds drive, and 71% of 18-24 year olds have taken to the road.   

There are now 15.6 million drivers on our roads—an increase of more than 2.6 million over the last decade. The overall proportion of Australians driving (81.9%) is up less than 0.1% since 2003.  

% of Australians who drive – by age

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Aust.): August 2002–July 2003 & August 2012 – July 2013, Drivers 14+ n= 86,934

Jordan Pakes, Group Account Director – Automotive, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Almost the same proportion of Aussies are driving now as 10 years ago. But with the population increasing by around 20% in that time, this means there are also 20% more drivers on our roads.

“Over the last decade, the number of drivers 65+ has increased by more than a million, accounting for close to 40% of the overall growth in driver numbers.

“Across the major age groups, the only segment to have declined significantly is the 25-34 years olds – with 82% currently driving, down from 87.5% in 2003.

“According to Roy Morgan’s revolutionary classification system Helix Personas – closer analysis reveals that almost 40% of non-driving 25-34 year olds belong to the Metrotech Community (click here to access profile). The vast majority of Metrotechs live in urban areas of capital cities, are well educated professionals and typically renting apartments. 

“Conversely, drivers aged 65+ are much more likely to be in the Golden Years Community (click here to access profile). This community group is likely to be found in rural areas or regional cities/towns and potentially more likely to be reliant on a vehicle as a means of transport.”

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332


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