Friday, August 28th, 2015 - Roy Morgan Research

An estimated 574,000 Australian households (6.3%) now don’t have a car, up from 490,000 (5.8%) four years ago. However this small overall increase masks divergent trends at opposite ends of the household life cycle, new automotive research from Roy Morgan shows.

A higher proportion of younger and mid-life households, ranging from Young Singles, Young Couples and Young Parents through to Mid-Life Families, now don’t have car compared with 2011. But Older Households—which make up around a third of the population—have bucked the trend, and are now less likely to be car-free.

In the year to March 2011, only around 1 in 15 households comprising Young Couples (6.4%) didn’t have a car; four years later, and it’s over 1 in 9 (11.3%). During that time, the rate of car-free living among Young Couples surpassed that among Older Households, which declined from 7.5% to 6.4%.

17.0% of Young Singles now don’t have a car in the household (up from 15.6% in 2011). The most likely household type to have a car is Mid-Life Families—however the proportion without one has nearly doubled from 1.8% to 3.5% over the last four years.   

% of each Household with no car: 2011 vs 2015:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, Apr 2010–Mar 2011 n = 18,263 and Apr 2014–Mar 2015 n = 15,913 Australians 14+.

Jordan Pakes, Industry Director – Automotive, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The number of Aussie car free households is on the rise, with almost 1 in 5 young singles living in a house with no car at all.

“Overall, households without a car don’t appear to be rushing to the dealership anytime soon, with purchase intention levels well below average across the majority of the household life-cycle segments. Only car-free young couple households are as likely to intend to buy a new car as the industry average.

“Looking at young singles or parents living in a household with no car, used car purchase intention is at or above the norm – suggesting new car affordability may be a factor. Among mid-life families, mid-life households and older households with no car, car purchase intention is much lower when compared with car-owners in equivalent household.

“Of all the life cycle segments and combinations of current car ownership, those most likely to be in the market for a new car are mid-life households that already have three or more cars in the driveway—in fact, around 1 in 5 are intending to either expand the garage or replace an existing vehicle in the next four years.”

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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.
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