Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Australians aged 80-plus are now more likely to drive than 18-24 year-olds, the latest national data from Roy Morgan shows.

Over the past eight years, the proportion of Australians aged 80+ who get behind the wheel has steadily increased—while 18-24 year-olds have become less inclined to drive. For the first time, in 2015 the oldies surpassed the youngsters as the more likely group to drive: 69% of 80+ (up from 59% in 2007) compared with 68% of 18-24 (down from 72%).

Even working in from the bookends, all older groups are now more likely to drive than their younger counterparts: 75-79 year-olds are now more likely to drive than 25-29 year-olds (85% vs 78%), while both 65-69 (91%) and 70-74 year-olds (87%) have surpassed the 30-34 group (85%).

In 2007, driving incidence peaked at 93% of people aged 35-49; the peak is still 93%—but today it’s among 50-64 year-olds. Australians aged 16 or 17 are also slightly less likely to drive than they were eight years ago (37%, down 1% point).   

% of age group who are drivers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: January-December 2007 n = 52,720; January-December 2015 n = 48,961 Australians 16+

As we start driving later and keep driving longer, this impacts the demographics of new car buyers. In 2007, just 38% of those who intended to buy new car within the next four years were aged 50 and over.  As of 2015, this group makes up 45% of the new car market, with growth sharpest among those 65+ (15% of the market, up from 9%).

Of the nearly 2.3 million Australians planning on getting a new car in the next four years, as many are now aged 35-49 (30%, down 4% points) as 50-64 (also 30%, up 1% point), while just one in four are aged 34 and under (down from 28%).  

% of New Car Intenders in Age Group

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: January-December 2007 n =6,217  and January-December 2015 n = 5,571 Australians 14+ who intend to buy a new car in the next four years.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Watching most car commercials, you’d be forgiven for assuming all drivers are in their mid-30s. But Australians aged 65-plus are today around 50% more likely to intend to buy a new car in the next four years than they were  2007—and there are, in fact, almost as many of these buyers across the country as there are 25-34 year-olds in the market.

“Compared with the norm, older buyers are more interested in buying new small or medium passenger vehicles, with intentions well above the norm to get themselves a new Mercedes-Benz, Kia or Honda.”  

Contact Profile

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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