Aussies love cars more, petrol less

Aussies love cars more, petrol less

Our love affair with cars has deepened over the past five years, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

As of 31 January 2017, there were 581 registered motor vehicles per 1,000 people – 0.3 per cent higher than the figure recorded in 2016 and 2.5 per cent higher than in 2012.

The number of cars on the road has also increased. There were 18.8 million registered motor vehicles at the end of January – up 2.1 per cent over one year and 12.2 per cent over five years.

2017 2016 2012
Registered motor vehicles 18.8 million 18.4 million 16.7 million
Vehicles per 1,000 people 581 579 567
Vehicles’ average age 10.1 years 10.1 years 10.0 years

Petrol loses market share

While Australians are loving cars more, they’re loving petrol cars less.

The share of vehicles that use petrol fell from 81.1 per cent in 2012 to 75.7 per cent in 2017. Meanwhile, diesel jumped from 15.9 per cent to 22.2 per cent.

Passenger vehicles represent 75.0 per cent of vehicles on the road and motorcycles 4.5 per cent – figures that are largely unchanged over the past five years.

The rest of the vehicle fleet consists of trucks, buses, vans and campervans.

2017 2016 2012
Diesel share 22.2% 20.9% 15.9%
Petrol share 75.7% 76.7% 81.1%
Other fuel share 2.1% 2.3% 3.1%
Passenger vehicles share 75.0% 75.1% 75.9%
Motorcycles share 4.5% 4.5% 4.2%

Toyota remains top dog

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Toyota, Holden and Ford were the top three brands in both 2012 and 2017, according to registration statistics.

However, while Toyota’s market share remained constant during that five-year period, Holden and Ford suffered significant losses.

Mazda, Hyundai and Volkswagen were the big winners in the top 10, with each manufacturer increasing its market share by more than one percentage point.

Rank Brand 2017 2016 2012
1 Toyota 20.2% 20.2% 20.0%
2 Holden 13.1% 13.8% 16.1%
3 Ford 9.1% 9.8% 12.6%
4 Mazda 8.1% 7.7% 6.4%
5 Hyundai 7.2% 6.9% 5.8%
6 Mitsubishi 5.9% 6.1% 7.1%
7 Nissan 5.8% 5.8% 5.9%
8 Honda 4.9% 4.9% 4.7%
9 Subaru 4.5% 4.3% 3.9%
10 Volkswagen 3.2% 3.0% 2.0%

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Learn more about car loans

What is a dealership?

A dealership is a car yard or a place where cars are sold.

What is dealer finance?

Dealer finance is a car loan organised through a car dealer – as opposed to car loans organised by a finance broker or directly by the lender.

What is CTP insurance?

CTP insurance, also known as compulsory third-party insurance or a green slip, is compulsory if you want to register a vehicle in Australia. If you’re responsible for a car accident, your CTP insurance will be used to pay any compensation due to anyone who might be injured or killed. However, CTP insurance doesn’t cover you for vehicle damage or theft.

Can you get a chattel mortgage with bad credit?

Getting approval for a chattel mortgage with bad credit may be possible, given ‘chattel’ (usually a piece of equipment or car) is put up as security for the loan. That means if you fail to repay the loan, the creditor can recover the loaned amount by repossessing and selling the car or piece of equipment. This differs from unsecured car loans, where the asset is not tied to the loan and cannot be taken if you don’t meet the repayments. 

What is depreciation?

Depreciation is the reduction in the value of your car. Almost every car loses value each year, although at different rates. As a guide, cars depreciate on average by 14 per cent per year in the first three years and then eight per cent per year after that.

How to get a chattel mortgage?

Both businesses and individuals may use a chattel mortgage, provided that the car is being used predominantly for business purposes. 

To apply for a chattel mortgage, you need to first consider your options and choose a suitable lender that meets your requirements. Once you have selected a lender, you can apply for the loan online by filling out a form. If the lender doesn’t offer an online application process, you can either call them or visit their nearest branch. 

After you’ve applied, the lender will ask you to supply documents that confirm your identification, income, job profile, etc. If everything is in order, most lenders will arrange the loan’s settlement, so all you need to do is pick up your car!

What is a variable-rate loan?

A variable-rate loan is one where the lender can change the interest rate whenever it wants. For example, if you sign up for a variable-rate loan at 8.75 per cent, the lender might change the interest rate to 8.90 per cent the month after and then 8.65 per cent the month after that. By contrast, if you take out a five-year fixed-rate loan at 8.75 per cent, the lender is obliged to leave your interest rate at 8.75 per cent for at least five years.

What is equity?

The equity is the share of the car that you own. For example, if you take out a $15,000 loan to buy a $20,000 car, you have $5,000 of equity in the vehicle, or 25 per cent. (The lender has the other 75 per cent.) Equity changes over time as you pay off your loan and your car depreciates in value. For example, two years later you might now owe $10,000 on your car, which might now be worth $15,000. In that case, you would still have $5,000 of equity in the vehicle, but your share would be 33 per cent.

What is an interest rate?

The interest rate is the price you have to pay for borrowing money. The interest rate is expressed as an annual percentage of however much of the loan remains to be paid. For example, if you took out a $10,000 car loan with an interest rate of 8.75 per cent, you would be charged 8.75 per cent of $10,000, or $875 of interest per year. But if you then reduced the outstanding loan to $9,000, your annual interest bill would be 8.75 per cent of $9,000, or $787.50.

What is resale value?

The resale value is the price you could realistically charge if you were to sell your car. Almost every car loses value each year, although at different rates. As a guide, cars depreciate on average by 14 per cent per year in the first three years and then eight per cent per year after that.

What is a fixed-rate loan?

A fixed-rate loan is one where the interest rate remains constant for an agreed amount of time. For example, if you take out a five-year fixed-rate loan at 8.75 per cent, the lender is obliged to leave your interest rate at 8.75 per cent for at least five years. By contrast, if you take out a variable-rate loan at 8.75 per cent, the lender can change the interest rate whenever it wants.

What is proof of income?

Before giving you a car loan, lenders will ask for proof of income – documentary evidence that you earn as much as you claim you earn. Lenders will typically want some combination of tax returns, pay slips and bank statements. The reason lenders want proof of income is because they want to be sure you have the means to repay the car loan.

What is the luxury car tax?

The federal government imposes a luxury car tax of 33 per cent on the value of a car above a threshold. As of the 2017-18 financial year, that threshold was $75,526 for fuel-efficient vehicles and $65,094 for other vehicles. So a fuel-efficient car worth $80,000 would be taxed only on the difference between the threshold and the value of the car ($4,474), rather than taxed on the entire $80,000. Similarly, an ordinary car worth $70,000 would be taxed on the $4,906 above the threshold, rather than the entire $70,000. The luxury car tax is paid by dealers that sell or import luxury cars, and also by individuals who import luxury cars.

What is an LVR?

The LVR, or loan-to-value ratio, is a percentage that expresses the amount of money owed on the car compared to the value of the car. For example, if you take out a $15,000 loan to buy a $20,000 car, you have an LVR of 75 per cent. LVRs change over time as you pay off your loan and your car depreciates in value. For example, two years later you might now owe $10,000 on your car, which might now be worth $15,000. In that case, although there would still be a $5,000 difference between the size of the outstanding loan and the value of the car, the LVR would now be 67 per cent.