Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

The proportion of Kiwi seniors (aged 65+) who drive has grown by almost 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.

New Zealanders aged 65+ are now more likely to drive than 25-34 year olds. Back in 2003, 91.0% of the younger group drove compared with 83.7% of seniors; today, 91.4% of seniors are still behind the wheel but just 87.6% of Kiwis in their late 20s and early 30s drive.

The proportional rise among seniors equates to nearly 170,000 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.

However it is among 18-24 year-olds where we have witnessed the steepest decline, from 76.0% a decade ago to 70.4% now. In both the 35-49 and 50-64 age groups, the proportion of drivers is relatively unchanged since 2003, with over 93% driving.    

There are now three million drivers on NZ roads—an increase of almost 400,000 over the last decade—but the overall proportion of New Zealanders driving (84.3%) is down 1.4% points since 2003. 

% of New Zealanders who drive – by age

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (NZ): September 2002 – August 2003 (n=11,078) & September 2012 – August 2013 (n=10,477)

Pip Elliott, General Manager of Roy Morgan New Zealand, says:

“A marginally lower proportion of Kiwis are driving now compared with 10 years ago. But with the population increasing by around 17% over that time, this means there are actually 15% more drivers on our roads.
“The Over 65s is the only age group with a proportional increase in people driving; all other age groups saw a decline compared with 10 years ago.
“The decline in driving among younger people correlates to an increase in public transport usage. For instance, in the year to August 2003 25% of all 25-34 year-olds travelled by bus within an average three months; in the year to August 2013, this had risen to 30%.”  

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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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